What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an arrangement made in between at least 2 neighbouring occupiers prior to the start of construction/building work which is to be carried out to a party border or structure, or where works are being undertaken in close distance to a party border or structure. There are 3 main types of work which need a Party Wall Property surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a brand-new wall on or together with a boundary).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening and so on).
- Adjacent Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and throughout the UK, our experienced industrial building surveyors perform a range of expert surveying services consisting of Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Studies by expert and skilled 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 an allowing Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a residential or commercial property the legal right to undertake particular works that may otherwise make up trespass or nuisance.
Nevertheless, it likewise looks for to secure the interests of adjoining owners from any possibly unfavorable results that such works may have by imposing a requirement that all adjacent owners be given prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act provides for a mandatory conflict resolution treatment mediated by a statutorily selected property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the implementation of any proposal so informed.
Particularly, such notice must be served where the owner of a home (called ‘the structure owner’) intends to carry out any construction work described in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Note that it is only those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is restricted to the following:
- Section 1 uses where it is proposed to put up a brand-new wall at a limit that is not already built on.
- Area 2 issues existing party structures, that include party floorings, walls and partitions (that different structures or parts of buildings), party fence walls (essentially a limit wall in between lands in different ownership which is constructed astride a border) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent residential or commercial property.
- Area 6 can apply to excavations as much as 6 m far from a building or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The details that Sees must supply in regard of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notification relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is essential to keep in mind that the credibility of any notice not offering all the relevant info or served in the inaccurate manner, could be available to challenge in Court.
There is no standard form of Notification although many people utilize those released by the RICS or versions appended to the explanatory pamphlet provided by the Department for Communities and City Government. Offered all the information needed by the relevant section of the Act is present, a simple letter would be equally legitimate.
Depending upon the scenarios of any provided task there might be more than one adjoining owner on whom observe needs to be served in respect of the exact same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner may be besides an immediate neighbour. It is constantly preferable to go over the desired works with adjoining owners prior to serving them with official written notification – a proposal well described may minimize issues enough to prevent a dispute developing and prevent the requirement to appoint surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be prevented:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory booklet says that some deal with a party wall may be so small that service of notice under the Act would be generally regarded as not essential and give as examples works not likely to impact the structural strength or support functions of a party structure or trigger damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical circuitry or inserting power sockets, and screws to support racks, kitchen area cabinets, and so on.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act supplied that written consent is gotten from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.
The three kinds of Notice are understood, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Area 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice need to be served a minimum of 2 months prior to the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other two notices must be served at least one month prior to work commencing.
The obligatory information which Discovers should contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- An indicator of the structure owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notice:
- The name and address of the building owner.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- A sign of the building owner’s proposals.
- A statement as to whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise reinforce or protect the structures of the building or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying areas and plans revealing: a) the site and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to erect a structure or structure, its website.
The majority of the pro-forma notifications in use consist of the following details as a matter of course no matter the type of notification:
- The date of the notice.
- The name and addresses of both the building and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the properties being worked on/affected if different).
- A statement regarding the commencement of works relative to the proper notice duration.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to respond within 14 days, an advisory note describing what takes place.
Section 10 of the Act specifies that where an adjoining owner does not approval in writing to works notified by the structure owner under Sections 3 and 6, both parties need to either settle on the visit of a single surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Surveyor), or each appoint their own property surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a project is straightforward, this might only include factor to consider of the time and way in which those works are to be performed. In more complex schemes, thought will need to be provided to a commensurately greater number of elements and indeed selected property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in regard of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The very same treatment is utilized to fix any subsequent disagreements in between neighbouring owners that might emerge in relation to the informed works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjoining owner does not stop the statutory procedure. A conflict can emerge by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in respect of some matter emerging out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are trivial, but if he stays quiet, neither consenting nor dissenting for a duration of 2 week after having actually been served with a Notice under either Section 3 or Area 6, the Act deems a dissent to have actually emerged in any event.
There is no deemed dissent arrangement in Section 1 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still develop, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works alerted under that section however just as concerns actual dissent on specific premises. An adjoining owner’s factors for disputing Area 2 and Area 6 works are seldom specified prior to the visit of surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually arisen, whether real or considered, both owners are lawfully required to designate an agreed surveyor or, if they can not jointly agree on a single person, a surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, automatically offers the owner making the demand the statutory authority to appoint a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This procedure is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two property surveyors are appointed, they are required to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a third surveyor who may be hired by either of the surveyors or either of the parties to figure out the challenged matters and make the essential award. The third property surveyor is never ever designated by anybody but the Act offers the individual so chose the very same statutory powers as the two surveyors.
Third surveyors are most commonly called upon where the two surveyors have reached a deadlock in their considerations over some specific point and frequently this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the fees of the property surveyor designated by the adjacent owner. Seldom will a 3rd surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the whole works but may accompany one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the requirement develops.
There is no meaning of who can be a property surveyor, but it must not be the same individual that will supervise 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 inspection of the works to guarantee that they abide by the works, and who will spend for the works. They will generally be needed to pay the charges and the cost of the works if the work is exclusively for the benefit of the structure owner.
If they disagree with the award, celebrations have 14 days to appeal to the county court.
The Act permits access to the adjoining property for the purposes of performing the works whether the adjoining owner permits or not, however they must be offered 14 days notification.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 indicates that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other documents can be served by electronic communications.
The details that Observes should offer 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 relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A valid dispute can still occur, and surveyors be selected in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works notified under that area but only as concerns actual dissent on particular premises. An adjoining owner’s reasons for challenging Area 2 and Section 6 works are seldom specified prior to the appointment of surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually emerged, whether real or deemed, both owners are lawfully obliged to appoint a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not jointly concur on a single individual, a surveyor each and if requested to make such a visit by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the request being served.
Around the Web