Now, one of our most common enquiries amongst potential clients and agents is ‘does the Party Wall Act apply for my works’?
At Shore, we provide free consultations and analysis of drawings to determine if the Party Wall Act may or may not apply. If you do not have drawings to hand, a simple conversation is typically enough to determine if the Act applies.
However, we understand that you will want some knowledge of what may be required before you start consulting party wall surveyors. We thought it would be a good idea to outline the typical works that fall under the Act and the specific sections they apply to.
You may be planning a rear extension to open up the living room or kitchen; you may want to build a two-story side extension to add a bedroom for impending additions to the family or a simple conservatory for additional space.
Whatever the reason for extending may be, extensions usually have one thing in common – excavations for new foundations. Section 6 of the Party Wall Act 1996 makes specific reference to excavating within 3 or 6 metres of a permanent neighbouring structure. Timber fence and sheds do not count as a permanent structure.
If you dig excavations within 3 metres of a neighbour’s property and below their foundations, then you need to serve a party wall notice. Further information on this can be found on our website.
The 6-metre rule is slightly more complicated. You would need to calculate the assumed depth of the neighbour’s foundations and the proposed depth of your foundations. You draw a hypothetical line 45˚ from the bottom of the neighbour’s foundations and if this coincides with your foundations, then a party wall notice is required. Any adjoining structure within 6 metres would require a notice.
The 6-metre rule usually applies with deep excavations such as piling.
Loft conversions are a fantastic opportunity to make use of any unused space to create an extra bedroom or two. If you share a party wall with your neighbour, it is very likely the Party Wall Act will apply, and notices will need to be served.
Proposals often require insertion of steel beams into a party wall to accommodate a new suspended floor or alterations to the roof.
All additional works to a party wall would be covered under section 3 of the Act & this section is quite vast and will cover additional works.
General alterations are somewhat more open ended as many works would be too minor to warrant the services of a party wall surveyor. However, items that include removing chimney breasts on party walls, demolition and re-building shared garden walls and fixing/removing partitions to the party wall may all apply.
Section 3 of the Act will cover these works and an appropriate party wall notice should be served on all adjoining neighbours directly affected.
Please see the table below to show the type of works that may apply to your project.
Different section may sometimes interlink with one another. At Shore, we serve all party wall notices free of charge.
Please download our helpful flow chart which outlines the full party wall process.
If you require advice on any matters relating to the Party Wall Act please do not hesitate to contact us on 01206 230 820 or by e-mail.
Follow Shore’s blog for further insight into a day in the life of a party wall surveyor and for useful information in relation to the Party Wall Act.
*This post is published for general information only. Shore Ltd cannot take responsibility for any loss or damage suffered as a result of any unintended inaccuracy contained within the post.
Fire Safety Assessments
The Regulations & Responsibilities
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which came into force 1st October 2006, place a duty onto employers including landlords and tenants to ensure that the premises in which their staff or tenants occupy are safe and provide a reasonable standard of fire safety.
The order has introduced radical and wide-ranging reforms to fire safety legislation in England and Wales. The legislative regime applies to most non-domestic properties and requires “A Responsible Person” – defined in the case of a workplace as the Employer/Landlord to the extent that the relevant part of the workplace is under their control and who must carry out a “Fire Risk Assessment” to ensure that the more detailed fire safety requirements of the RRO are being met.
The regulations are intended to cover a wide range of areas to which fire safety would apply and deal with both the fixed features, such as the integrity of a staircase and fire doors within the same etc, but also how the buildings are managed to ensure that escape routes are clear and free from obstructions and that appropriate hand held fire fighting equipment is available etc.
In a building which is multi tenanted the duty for fire safety of the common parts transfers onto the landlord to ensure that these areas are properly maintained and offer a satisfactory level of protection and warning in the event of fire.
The tenanted areas becomes the responsibility of those individual tenants to ensure that fire safety within their demises complies with the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Amendment Regulations 1999 and they will need to undertake their own fire risk assessment.
Shore can provide services to undertake an audit of workplaces to provide advice on fire safety requirements and can then proceed to prepare the core documentation needed by an employer to demonstrate that they have assessed their workplace.
We normally find that once the preparation of the core documentation is complete employers can then reassess/audit their premises on an annual basis or when alterations to the premises have occurred. We are however available to provide ongoing advice to clients on a yearly basis as necessary.
For further information on how Shore can assist you please feel free to contact us. To download a copy of our application form and contact information can be found on our Contacts page.