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Party Wall Etc Act 1996

Turner Surveyors are experienced Party Wall Surveyors

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 out. 

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 45 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 notices. 

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. 

 

 
                                       

Contact: gary@turnersurveyors.co.uk

07879 624646

 

2004 Turner Surveyors, 2004 Gary Turner