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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 effects the garden
At first sight, it is simple to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden building, nevertheless it does affect the building and construction of limit walls even if not part of buildings and can also 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 deal with a pertinent structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not affect any requirement for Planning Consent 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 result if somebody is preparing to do work on a relevant structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just mean the wall in between two semi-detached residential or commercial properties, as far as garden enthusiasts are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the limit line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the residential or commercial properties however is not part of any structure.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring home.
For information of how the Party Wall Act affects building operate in general, have a look at this page.
As with all work affecting neighbours, it is always better to reach a friendly contract rather than resort to any law. Even where the work needs a notice to be served, it is better to informally talk about the desired work, think about the neighbours remarks, and modify your plans (if appropriate) prior to serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notice and permission.
The basic concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an impact upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or might trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be informed. If in doubt, recommendations should be looked for from a regional Structure Control Workplace or professional surveyor/architect.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or destroy limit wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party boundary wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
If the prepared work on a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notice needs to be provided to all affected neighbouring celebrations. The notice needs to consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the residential or commercial property carrying out the work.
- The address of the home.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will usually be just a single sentence laying out the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notification is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notification is being served.
- If the work includes excavations, a drawing revealing the depth, position and so on
If the planned work is a new boundary wall approximately or astride the border line the process of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person intending to perform the work needs to serve a composed notification at least one months before the desired start of the work to every neighbouring party offering details of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party ought to react in writing offering approval or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 14 days of getting the notice, the result is to put the notice into conflict. No official contract is required for a wall up to the border line, the neighbour just requires not to object in composing.
- No work may begin on a wall astride the border line until all neighbouring parties have actually agreed in writing to the notification (or a revised notice).
See below regarding what occurs in the event 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 before the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations should provide written agreement within 2 week or a conflict is deemed to have happened.
See listed below regarding what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
If a dispute arises, what takes place.
If arrangement can not be reached in between neighbouring celebrations, the process is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to figure out a objective and reasonable Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party designates their own Property surveyor to represent the individual parties.
The individual who is performing the work will normally have to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Property surveyor. Nevertheless it must be noted that any Property surveyor must act within their statutory obligations and propose a fair and neutral Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the private Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which needs to be neutral and reasonable to all parties.
- When an Award has been made, all parties have 2 week to interest a County Court against the Award.
When you have contract.
All work should comply with the notification when you have arrangement. All the agreements should be retained to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the home may want to develop that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve only given a quick overview of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work however have a look at the Communities and City government site for a more comprehensive explanatory pamphlet consisting of example letters for notifications and responses.
- Talking about desired deal with neighbours is complimentary and can prevent misconception which may occur if a notification gets here all of a sudden.
- Your regional Building Control Office may be able to provide totally free recommendations relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular scenarios.
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