|Party Wall Etc Act 1996
Turner Surveyors are experienced Party
The Act places a legal requirements
upon the Building Owner when making alterations to a Party Wall, Party
Structure, Party Fence Wall, or building on a Line of Junction. It also
gives you, the building owner, rights to build into, raise, or build
adjacent in respect to these
instances. It is designed to minimise disputes by appointing surveyors
to agree how and in what manner the building works are carried
A Party Wall is a wall that separates
buildings belonging to different owners, such as the 'middle' wall in a
semi-detached property, where it straddles the ownership. A Party Fence
Wall straddles land, not buildings. A further example of a Party
Structure is an instance such as floors between flats. Building on the
Line of Junction is where construction takes place up against a
boundary, where previously there was no construction.
The 'Etc' part of the Act refers to
foundations adjacent those on an adjacent property. If you build within
3m of an Adjacent Owner's foundations and are below the level of those
foundations, then you must serve an appropriate notice to the Adjoining
Owner. If you are building within 6m of those foundations, and are below
a 45º load line taken from these foundations, you also would be
required to serve notice.
When carrying out any works that fall
under the Act, an appropriate notice must be served on the Adjoining
Owners. These notices have a period of one month for Line of Junction
works or excavations, and two months for Party Walls, prior to any works
being carried out.
Turner Surveyors can act in the
first instance giving advice as to the necessity of serving notices,
together with what ones, on whom, as well as actually serving the
The Adjoining Owner can either agree or
dissent (no response is treated as a dissent) with the contents of the
notice. At this stage a Party Wall Surveyor is required to be
appointed for both parties. Please note that the Party Wall Surveyor is
appointed to act in accordance with the Party Wall Etc Act 1996 and not
for a client. They must follow the statute only. The same surveyor can
be appointed by both parties. Turner Surveyors welcomes inquiries for
appointment as Party Wall Surveyors.
From here the appointed surveyor(s)
will draw up an 'Award', a legal document detailing how the works are to
be carried out, all in accordance with the Act. It will include a
Schedule of Condition of the parts of the Adjoining Owner's property to
be affected, therefore defining any damage in existence before the works
are carried out, and preventing unfair claims.
It is therefore of importance to talk
to your neighbours about your proposal prior to issuing of the notices,
as they only have 14 days in which to respond, or are therefore deemed
to have dissented, and the Party Wall Surveyors must then be appointed.
Fees for Party Wall Surveyors work are
usually paid for in most instances by the Building Owner carrying out
the work, although it must be pointed out that they are agreed by the
surveyors, and should the Adjoining Owner be benefited from the works,
the fees may be distributed.
Should you wish to discuss any of these
matters further, please don't hesitate to contact us.