Faulkners Surveyors is an independent company of building property surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 acting for Building Owners, Adjoining Owners and as the Agreed Property Surveyor throughout London and the Home Counties.
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.
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it impacts the garden
At first sight, it is simple to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden construction, nevertheless it does impact the construction of boundary walls even if not part of structures and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered into force in 1997, so it is now law and gives you rights and obligations whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on an appropriate structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to border fences.
The Party Wall Act does not affect any requirement for Planning Authorization for any work carried out. Similarly, having Preparation Approval does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act comes into impact if somebody is preparing to do deal with an appropriate structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply indicate the wall between two semi-detached homes, as far as garden enthusiasts are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the boundary line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the properties but is not part of any building.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring property.
For information of how the Party Wall Act impacts building work in basic, have a look at this page.
As with all work affecting neighbours, it is always much better to reach a friendly contract rather than resort to any law. Even where the work requires a notice to be served, it is better to informally talk about the desired work, consider the neighbours remarks, and amend your plans (if proper) prior to serving the notice.
What garden work requires a notice and permission.
The basic principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an effect upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or may cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall need to be notified. Guidance ought to be sought from a regional Building Control Office or expert surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or demolish boundary wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party border wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring structure.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go listed below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
A notification must be issued to all affected neighbouring parties if the planned work on a limit wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notice needs to consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the home undertaking the work.
- The address of the property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will typically be simply a single sentence detailing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notice is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notification is being served.
- If the work includes excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a new border wall up to or astride the border line the process of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person intending to carry out the work needs to serve a composed notification at least one months before the desired start of the work to every neighbouring party giving information of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party needs to respond in composing giving consent or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 14 days of receiving the notice, the effect is to put the notice into conflict. No formal arrangement is required for a wall up to the border line, the neighbour simply needs not to object in composing.
- No work might begin on a wall astride the border line until all neighbouring parties have actually concurred in writing to the notice (or a revised notification).
See below regarding what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification needs to be served a minimum of one month prior to the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations must offer written arrangement within 14 days or a disagreement is deemed to have actually happened.
See listed below concerning what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
If a dispute occurs, what occurs.
If arrangement can not be reached in between neighbouring parties, the process is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to determine a unbiased and reasonable Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all parties).
- Each party designates their own Property surveyor to represent the private celebrations.
The person who is performing the work will typically need to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Surveyor. However it needs to be noted that any Property surveyor must act within their statutory duties and propose a neutral and fair Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all parties).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the individual Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which must be impartial and reasonable to all celebrations.
- When an Award has been made, all celebrations have 2 week to attract a County Court versus the Award.
As soon as you have agreement.
As soon as you have contract, all work must abide by the notification. All the contracts must be retained to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the home might wish to establish that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve only provided a short outline of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work however take a look at the Communities and Local Government website for a more detailed explanatory brochure including example letters for notifications and actions.
- Going over intended work with neighbours is free and can prevent misunderstanding which may occur if a notification gets here suddenly.
- Your regional Structure Control Office may have the ability to give totally free guidance regarding the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific scenarios.
Around the Web