What is a Party Wall Award?
The process and requirements of a Party Wall Award are as set out in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. A Party Wall Award is an agreement made in between a minimum of two neighbouring occupiers prior to the beginning of construction/building work which is to be carried out to a party border or structure, or where works are being carried out in close proximity to a party limit or structure. There are three primary types of work which need a Party Wall Property surveyor to conduct a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (building a new wall on or along with a border).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, rebuilding, thickening etc.).
- Surrounding Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing building).
In London and throughout the UK, our knowledgeable commercial building surveyors carry out a range of expert surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we carry out Party Wall Surveys by experienced 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.
THE PARTY WALL ACT 1996- A BEGINNERS GUIDE
We appreciate that many people wanting to carry out deal with their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late stage in the pre-construction process. We also understand it can be a difficult process for those that have not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, among our senior property surveyors, offers his “beginners guide” which aims to offer an outline understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a treatment to follow when building work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near neighbouring buildings, and new walls at limits. The Act allows owners to perform certain particular works, consisting of work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of anybody else who might be impacted by that work. The Act is developed to avoid or reduce conflicts by making sure homeowner notify their neighbours in advance of certain proposed works.
The Act supplies a mechanism for fixing conflicts and making it possible for works to proceed. It also requires that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or surveyors will figure out the time and way in which those works are performed.
What is a party wall?
Party walls usually separate buildings coming from different owners but could include garden walls built astride a limit– called party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 various size structures typically just the part that is utilized by both homes is a party wall, the rest comes from the individual or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so consisted of due to the fact that the arrangements of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they also include party structures and party fence walls.
Area 20 of the Act defines each:
” party fence wall” means a wall (not becoming part of a structure) which stands on lands of different owners and is used or built to be used for separating such adjoining lands, however does not include a wall built on the land of one owner the artificially formed assistance of which jobs into the land of another owner;
” party structure” suggests a party wall and likewise a floor partition or other structure separating structures or parts of buildings approached entirely by different entryways or different staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are certain items of work that you can just be done after notifying the adjacent owners and either getting written arrangement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (but are not restricted to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion.
- placing a wet proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if essential, cutting off any objects preventing this from occurring.
- restoring a party and demolishing wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjacent walls or structures by cutting a flashing into an adjoining structure.
- excavating foundations within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating structures within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
Notifications are also needed if it is proposed to develop a new wall on the line of junction (limit line). A party wall surveyor will usually have the ability to verify which work is notifiable and guidance the notice period and kind of notification required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to particular particular types of work and is permissive in nature. It must not be seen as a method of objecting to or preventing works and it is not intended to be applied to small jobs that do not affect the structural integrity or loading of a party wall.
It is generally concurred that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not require a notification.
The operations of the Act are constantly prompted by the of issuing notifications. This is the first stage of the process and, without the concern of legitimate notifications, no further action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Composed notification should be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months before beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners need to be served a notification and there are likely to be instances where there is more than one adjacent home and more than one owner of each property (ie: if the adjoining home is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices will be needed to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats affected by the works). Functions to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or flooring, will also require a notice to adjacent owners living above or below.
Legitimate notifications must consist of the following info as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and details of the proposed work including plans, areas and details of building and construction techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is necessary to include the correct information on a notification as, if they are considered invalid, then any subsequent actions are likewise invalid.
Responses To Notifications.
On receipt of a notice, an adjacent owner has three possible strategies:.
- To grant the works proceeding as explained. A consenting Adjacent Owner keeps all rights under the Act consisting of the right to appoint a surveyor later in the process if there is a disagreement at that phase.
- To dissent and select a surveyor. The Act allows the Owners to concur in the appointment of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or appoint their own separate surveyor.
- Provide a counter notice to set out certain conditions needed for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notification must set out what extra or customized work the Adjoining Owner wish to be included for his advantage.
In most cases, if the adjoining does not react within 2 week then a considered dispute is stated to have occurred and the individual performing the work must designate a property surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjoining owners provide written consent to the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no disagreement to fix and no more requirement for party wall property surveyors or, certainly, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work proceeds as detailed within no damage and the notice is caused, then no more involvement is required.
The property surveyors then work together to concur the terms under which work might continue. The surveyor( s) will examine the strategies, notices and structural information of the works and, after considering the impact of the works, will draw up an arrangement which sets out the terms under which work can be brought out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will normally tape-record the condition of the appropriate part of adjacent home prior to work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act but is considered excellent practice and is duly supplied by the majority of good property surveyors). The award might also grant access to both homes so that the works can be securely carried out and the surveyor/s can check operate in development.
Typically, the structure owner who started the work pays for all expenditures of work and the sensible expenses sustained by all parties as a result, this will include the property surveyors fees for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that numerous individuals wanting to carry out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late phase in the pre-construction procedure. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, offers his “novices guide” which intends to supply a summary understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Celebration?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a procedure to follow when constructing work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at boundaries. The Act allows owners to bring out certain particular works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time safeguarding the interests of anybody else who may be impacted by that work. Written notice needs to be served on adjacent owners at least 2 months prior to starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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