- Preparing and serving legitimate Party Wall Notices
- Acting as the Building Owners Party Wall Property Surveyor
- Acting as the Adjoining Owners Party Wall Property Surveyor
- Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor
- Carrying out and preparing Schedules of Condition
- Preparation and negotiation of Party Wall Awards
All our Party Wall Surveyors are specialists and operate in accordance with the guidelines set down by the Professors of Party Wall Surveyors.
The Party Wall Act etc. 1996 is law, failure to abide by this legislation may result in works being illegal.
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.
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 is a making it possible for Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a property the legal right to undertake specific works that may otherwise constitute trespass or problem.
It also seeks to secure the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially unfavorable impacts that such works might have by enforcing a requirement that all adjoining owners be provided prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act offers an obligatory conflict resolution procedure mediated by a statutorily appointed surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the application of any proposition so informed.
Specifically, such notification should be served where the owner of a property (known as ‘the building owner’) plans to carry out any building work explained 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:
- Section 1 applies where it is proposed to put up a brand-new wall at a limit that is not already built on.
- Section 2 concerns existing party structures, that include party walls, floors and partitions (that different structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (essentially a limit wall between lands in separate ownership which is constructed astride a boundary) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent home.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations approximately 6 m away from a building or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The info that Sees should supply in respect of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notification relating to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is necessary to note that the credibility of any notice not supplying all the relevant details or served in the incorrect manner, could be open up to challenge in Court.
There is no basic form of Notification although many people utilize those published by the RICS or versions appended to the explanatory pamphlet released by the Department for Communities and City Government. Nevertheless, offered all the information required by the appropriate area of the Act is present, an easy letter would be similarly valid.
Depending upon the situations of any given project there may be more than one adjacent owner on whom see requirements to be served in regard of the same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner may be aside from an instant neighbour. It is constantly preferable to discuss the desired deal with adjoining owners before serving them with formal written notification – a proposition well explained might minimize concerns adequate to prevent a disagreement emerging and avoid the requirement to designate surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the need to serve notice may be prevented:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory booklet says that some works on a party wall may be so small that service of notice under the Act would be typically regarded as not needed and give as examples works not likely to impact the structural strength or assistance functions of a party structure or trigger damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical circuitry or inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen cupboards, and so on.
- Works under Area 2 of the Act provided that written approval is obtained from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.
The 3 types of Notice are understood, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Area 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification should be served at least 2 months before the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other two notifications need to be served at least one month prior to work starting.
The obligatory info which Discovers need to consist of are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- An indication of the building owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- The name and address of the structure owner.
- The nature and details of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the structure owner’s propositions.
- A statement as to whether the building owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or secure the foundations of the structure or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying areas and strategies showing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the building owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to set up a structure or structure, its site.
Most of the pro-forma notifications in use include the following information as a matter of course regardless of the type of notification:
- The date of the notice.
- If different), the name and addresses of both the structure and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the residential or commercial properties being worked on/affected.
- A statement regarding the beginning of works relative to the proper notice duration.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to react within 14 days, an advisory note discussing what occurs.
Section 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjacent owner does not permission in writing to works informed by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both celebrations must either agree on the appointment of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each designate their own property surveyor, to determine by award matters in dispute in between the parties.
Where a project is straightforward, this may only include factor to consider of the time and way in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex plans, thought will need to be offered to a commensurately greater number of factors and indeed selected surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The same treatment is used to fix any subsequent conflicts in 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.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjacent owner does not halt the statutory procedure. A dispute can occur by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the structure owner an objection in respect of some matter occurring out of or incidental to the works – the methods of making that objection are not important, but if he remains quiet, neither dissenting nor consenting for a duration of 2 week after having actually been served with a Notification under either Section 3 or Section 6, the Act considers a dissent to have emerged in any event.
There is no considered dissent provision in Area 1 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still arise, and surveyors be selected in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works alerted under that area but just as regards actual dissent on particular premises. An adjoining owner’s reasons for challenging Area 2 and Area 6 works are seldom defined prior to the appointment of surveyors and oftentimes not even then.
Where dissent has developed, whether actual or considered, both owners are legally obliged to designate a concurred surveyor or, if they can not jointly settle on a bachelor, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a consultation by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, automatically gives the owner making the request the statutory authority to select a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 surveyors are designated, they are obliged to agree upon the choice, in writing, of a 3rd property surveyor who might be hired by either of the property surveyors or either of the celebrations to determine the contested matters and make the needed award. The 3rd property surveyor is never designated by anyone however the Act provides the individual so picked the same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
Third property surveyors are most commonly called upon where the two surveyors have actually reached an impasse in their deliberations over some particular point and often this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the costs of the property surveyor appointed by the adjoining owner. Rarely will a 3rd surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the whole works but might join with one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the need arises.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, however it must not be the same person that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be performed, who will pay the charges for the preparation of the award and examination of the works to guarantee that they comply with the works, and who will pay for the works. They will normally be needed to pay the fees and the expense of the works if the work is exclusively for the benefit of the building owner.
Celebrations have 14 days to interest the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act allows access to the adjacent residential or commercial property for the functions of carrying out the works whether the adjacent owner gives permission or not, however they must be given 2 week notification.
NB: The introduction 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 communications.
The details that Discovers need to provide in regard of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notice relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A valid dispute can still emerge, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works alerted under that section however just as relates to real dissent on particular premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for challenging Area 2 and Section 6 works are seldom specified prior to the appointment of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has occurred, whether real or considered, both owners are lawfully required to designate a concurred surveyor or, if they can not jointly agree on a single individual, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such a consultation by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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