What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an agreement made in between at least two neighbouring occupiers prior to the beginning of construction/building work which is to be carried out to a party limit or structure, or where works are being undertaken in close proximity to a party border or structure. There are 3 main types of work which need a Party Wall Property surveyor to carry out a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a brand-new wall on or together with a limit).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, rebuilding, thickening and so on).
- Surrounding Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and throughout the UK, our skilled commercial structure surveyors perform a range of expert surveying services including Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we perform Party Wall Studies by skilled and expert Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
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 etc. Act 1996 is a making it possible for Act, insofar as it approves the owner of a property the legal right to carry out certain works that may otherwise make up trespass or problem.
Nevertheless, it also looks for to secure the interests of adjoining owners from any possibly unfavorable effects that such works may have by imposing a requirement that all adjacent owners be offered prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act offers a necessary disagreement resolution treatment moderated by a statutorily designated property surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the implementation of any proposition so alerted.
Particularly, such notice should be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (referred to as ‘the building owner’) intends to undertake any construction work described in Areas 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Keep in mind that it is only those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is limited to the following:
- Section 1 applies where it is proposed to set up a new wall at a boundary that is not already built on.
- Section 2 concerns existing party structures, which include party walls, floors and partitions (that separate structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (basically a boundary wall between lands in different ownership which is constructed astride a limit) and, in some instances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations up to 6 m away from a structure or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The details that Discovers need to provide in respect of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notice connecting to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is very important to note that the credibility of any notice not providing all the appropriate information or served in the inaccurate way, could be open to challenge in Court.
There is no standard kind of Notification although many individuals utilize those released by the RICS or variations added to the explanatory pamphlet provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Provided all the details required by the appropriate section of the Act is present, a simple letter would be similarly valid.
Depending upon the scenarios of any offered job there may be more than one adjoining owner on whom observe needs to be served in respect of the same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner might be besides an immediate neighbour. It is constantly preferable to go over the designated works with adjoining owners prior to serving them with official written notice – a proposition well described might relieve issues adequate to prevent a dispute arising and prevent the requirement to select surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the requirement to serve notice may be prevented:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory booklet says that some works on a party wall may be so minor that service of notice under the Act would be usually considered as not needed and give as examples works unlikely to impact the structural strength or support functions of a party structure or cause damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical circuitry or placing power sockets, and screws to support racks, kitchen cabinets, and the like.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act provided that written approval is obtained from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The 3 types of Notification are known, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Section 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification must be served at least two months prior to the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other two notifications should be served at least one month prior to work starting.
The necessary information which Discovers must contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- An indication of the structure owner’s desire to build a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notice:
- The name and address of the building owner.
- The nature and details of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indicator of the building owner’s proposals.
- A statement regarding whether or not the building owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or safeguard the foundations of the structure or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying areas and plans showing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the building owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to erect a building or structure, its website.
Most of the pro-forma notices in use include the following details as a matter of course regardless of the type of notice:
- The date of the notice.
- If different), the name and addresses of both the building and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the homes being worked on/affected.
- A statement regarding the start of works relative to the proper notice duration.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to react within 14 days, an advisory note describing what takes place.
Area 10 of the Act specifies that where an adjacent owner does not permission in writing to works informed by the building owner under Areas 3 and 6, both celebrations must either agree on the visit of a single surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each select their own surveyor, to identify by award matters in dispute in between the celebrations.
Where a project is straightforward, this might only involve consideration of the time and manner in which those works are to be performed. In more complex plans, thought will need to be given to a commensurately greater number of aspects and indeed selected surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in regard of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The exact same procedure is utilized to deal with any subsequent disagreements in between neighbouring owners that might occur 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 stop the statutory process. A dispute can arise by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the structure owner an objection in respect of some matter developing out of or incidental to the works – the methods of making that objection are trivial, however if he stays silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a duration of 14 days after having been served with a Notification under either Section 3 or Area 6, the Act deems a dissent to have arisen in any event.
There is no considered dissent arrangement in Area 1 of the Act. A valid dispute can still occur, and property surveyors be appointed in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works informed under that section however only as regards real dissent on specific grounds. An adjoining owner’s factors for challenging Area 2 and Section 6 works are rarely specified prior to the consultation of surveyors and in most cases not even then.
Where dissent has developed, whether real or deemed, both owners are lawfully required to designate a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single person, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a visit by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, instantly gives the owner making the request the statutory authority to select a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This procedure is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two surveyors are selected, they are required to agree upon the selection, in composing, of a 3rd surveyor who may be hired by either of the surveyors or either of the parties to determine the challenged matters and make the essential award. The 3rd surveyor is never ever designated by anyone but the Act provides the person so picked the very same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
Third surveyors are most frequently called upon where the two property surveyors have actually reached a deadlock in their deliberations over some particular point and typically this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the charges of the surveyor designated by the adjacent owner. Rarely will a third property surveyor be asked to prepare an award in regard of the whole works but might accompany one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the need arises.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, but it needs to not be the same individual that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be performed, who will pay the fees 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. If the work is solely for the advantage of the building owner, then they will normally be required to pay the charges and the expense of the works.
If they disagree with the award, celebrations have 14 days to appeal to the county court.
The Act enables access to the adjoining home for the functions of carrying out the works whether the adjacent owner permits or not, however they should be given 14 days notice.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 indicates that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other files can be served by electronic communications.
The info that Sees need to supply in respect of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notification relating to Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A valid conflict can still occur, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works notified under that area however only as concerns actual dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for contesting Area 2 and Area 6 works are rarely specified prior to the consultation of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually emerged, whether actual or deemed, both owners are lawfully required to appoint a concurred surveyor or, if they can not jointly concur on a single individual, a property surveyor each and if asked for to make such a consultation by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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