The Faulkners Surveyors is a professional Chartered Building Surveying Practice that operates throughout UK. The Faulkners Surveyors undertakes all elements of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and provides the following services:

Party Wall (WikiPedia)

A party wall (occasionally parti-wall or parting wall, also known as common wall or as a demising wall) is a dividing partition between two adjoining buildings that is shared by the occupants of each residence or business. Typically, the builder lays the wall along a property line dividing two terraced houses, so that one half of the wall’s thickness lies on each side. This type of wall is usually structural. Party walls can also be formed by two abutting walls built at different times. The term can be also used to describe a division between separate units within a multi-unit apartment complex. Very often the wall in this case is non-structural but designed to meet established criteria for sound and/or fire protection, i.e. a firewall.

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Party Wall Act

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is an allowing Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a property the legal right to carry out specific works that might otherwise make up trespass or annoyance.

It likewise seeks to secure the interests of adjacent owners from any possibly unfavorable results that such works might have by imposing a requirement that all adjacent owners be given prior notice of them.

In addition, the Act offers an obligatory dispute resolution procedure mediated by a statutorily appointed surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the execution of any proposition so notified.

Particularly, such notice needs to be served where the owner of a property (called ‘the building owner’) means to carry out any building and construction work described in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Note that it is just those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is limited to the following:

The information that Discovers should offer in regard of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notification associating with Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is very important to note that the credibility of any notification not offering all the pertinent details or served in the incorrect manner, could be available to challenge in Court.

There is no standard type of Notification although lots of people use those published by the RICS or variations appended to the explanatory booklet issued by the Department for Communities and City Government. Supplied all the info needed by the pertinent section of the Act is present, a basic letter would be similarly valid.

Depending upon the circumstances of any offered task there may be more than one adjoining owner on whom see needs to be served in regard of the very same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner might be besides an instant neighbour. It is constantly preferable to discuss the intended deal with adjacent owners prior to serving them with official written notification – a proposal well described may alleviate issues adequate to prevent a dispute occurring and avoid the need to select surveyors.

There are 2 exceptions where the need to serve notice might be prevented:

  1. De minimis works: The government’s explanatory pamphlet says that some works on a party wall might be so small that service of notice under the Act would be usually considered as not essential and give as examples works not likely to impact the structural strength or support functions of a party structure or cause damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical circuitry or inserting power sockets, and screws to support racks, kitchen cabinets, and the like.
  2. Functions under Area 2 of the Act offered that written consent is acquired from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.

The three kinds of Notification are understood, respectively as:

A party structure notice must be served a minimum of 2 months prior to the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other two notices should be served a minimum of one month prior to work beginning.

The necessary details which Discovers must include are as follows:

Most of the pro-forma notices in use include the following information as a matter of course despite the kind of notification:

Area 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjoining owner does not consent in writing to works notified by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both celebrations should either agree on the consultation of a single surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each select their own surveyor, to identify by award matters in dispute between the parties.

Where a task is straightforward, this might only include factor to consider of the time and manner in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex schemes, believed will need to be provided to a commensurately greater number of elements and undoubtedly designated property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in regard of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.

The same procedure is used to deal with any subsequent conflicts between neighbouring owners that may arise in relation to the notified works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.

Inaction on the part of the adjoining owner does not stop the statutory process. A conflict can emerge by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in regard of some matter occurring out of or incidental to the works – the means of making that objection are trivial, but if he stays silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a period of 14 days after having actually been served with a Notification under either Area 3 or Area 6, the Act considers a dissent to have occurred in any event.

There is no considered dissent provision in Area 1 of the Act. A legitimate disagreement can still develop, and surveyors be selected in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works alerted under that area but only as relates to real dissent on particular premises. An adjacent owner’s factors for challenging Section 2 and Area 6 works are rarely defined prior to the visit of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.

Where dissent has emerged, whether real or deemed, both owners are legally obliged to select an agreed surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a bachelor, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such a visit by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, immediately provides the owner making the demand the statutory authority to appoint a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This procedure is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.

Where two property surveyors are designated, they are required to agree upon the choice, in writing, of a 3rd property surveyor who may be hired by either of the property surveyors or either of the parties to determine the contested matters and make the necessary award. The 3rd surveyor is never ever appointed by anyone however the Act offers the person so selected the exact same statutory powers as the two surveyors.

3rd surveyors are most frequently hired where the two property surveyors have reached an impasse in their considerations over some particular point and often this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the charges of the property surveyor selected by the adjoining owner. Hardly ever will a third property surveyor be asked to draw up an award in respect of the entire works but may join with one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the requirement emerges.

There is no meaning of who can be a surveyor, however it should not be the same person that will monitor the works.

The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the costs for the preparation of the award and inspection of the works to ensure that they adhere to the works, and who will pay for the works. They will generally be required to pay the fees and the cost of the works if the work is exclusively for the benefit of the building owner.

If they disagree with the award, celebrations have 14 days to appeal to the county court.

The Act allows access to the adjacent residential or commercial property for the functions of carrying out the works whether the adjacent owner allows or not, nevertheless they should be offered 2 week notice.

NB: The intro of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 suggests that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other files can be served by electronic interactions.

The details that Discovers need to provide in respect of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notifications are set out in those areas but the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A legitimate disagreement can still arise, and surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works notified under that section but only as relates to real dissent on specific grounds. An adjacent owner’s factors for contesting Area 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the visit of surveyors and in numerous cases not even then.

Where dissent has emerged, whether actual or deemed, both owners are legally required to designate a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single individual, a surveyor each and if requested to make such a consultation by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the request being served.

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