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 between at least 2 neighbouring occupiers prior to the commencement of construction/building work which is to be carried out to a party limit or structure, or where works are being carried out in close proximity to a party limit or structure. There are three main kinds of work which need a Party Wall Surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (developing a new wall on or along with a limit).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, rebuilding, thickening etc.).
- Nearby Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and across the UK, our experienced commercial building property surveyors carry out a range of professional surveying services including Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by professional and knowledgeable Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it impacts the garden
At first sight, it is simple to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden building and construction, however it does impact the construction of border walls even if not part of structures and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered force in 1997, so it is now law and offers you rights and obligations whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing deal with an appropriate structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to limit fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Preparation Authorization for any work carried out. Likewise, having Planning Permission does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act comes into effect if somebody is planning to do work on an appropriate structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just suggest the wall in between 2 semi-detached properties, as far as gardeners are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the border line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the properties however is not part of any building.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring home.
For information of how the Party Wall Act affects structure operate in basic, have a look at this page.
As with all work impacting neighbours, it is constantly better to reach a friendly contract instead of resort to any law. Even where the work needs a notification to be served, it is better to informally talk about the designated work, think about the neighbours remarks, and change your strategies (if appropriate) before serving the notification.
What garden work needs a notification and permission.
The basic principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have a result upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or might trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall need to be alerted. Recommendations must be sought from a local Building Control Workplace or professional surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To demolish and/or rebuild/build a party border wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party limit wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
A notice should be issued to all affected neighbouring celebrations if the prepared work on a limit wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notification needs to include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the property undertaking the work.
- The address of the property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will normally be just a single sentence describing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notification is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notification is being served.
- If the work involves excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position and so on
If the prepared work is a new border wall approximately or astride the boundary line the procedure of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual intending to carry out the work needs to serve a composed notice at least one months prior to the desired start of the work to every neighbouring party giving information of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party must react in writing providing approval or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 14 days of receiving the notification, the effect is to put the notification into dispute. No official agreement is required for a wall up to the boundary line, the neighbour simply needs not to object in composing.
- No work may start on a wall astride the limit line up until all neighbouring parties have actually agreed in writing to the notification (or a revised notification).
See listed below concerning what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
If the planned work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notice requires to be served at least one month prior to the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations need to offer written contract within 14 days or a dispute is deemed to have occurred.
See below regarding what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
What happens if a conflict arises.
If agreement can not be reached in between neighbouring celebrations, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to figure out a fair and objective Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all parties).
- Each party selects their own Property surveyor to represent the private celebrations.
The individual who is carrying out the work will normally have to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor needlessly – in the viewpoint of the Property surveyor. However it needs to be noted that any Surveyor needs to act within their statutory duties and propose a fair and impartial Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the specific Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which must be reasonable and unbiased to all parties.
- Once an Award has been made, all celebrations have 2 week to appeal to a County Court against the Award.
Once you have contract.
As soon as you have arrangement, all work must comply with the notification. All the arrangements must be kept to guarantee that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the residential or commercial property may wish to establish that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
Keep in mind:
- We’ve just offered a quick outline of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work but take a look at the Communities and City government site for a more thorough explanatory pamphlet consisting of example letters for notifications and responses.
- If a notification shows up unexpectedly, discussing designated work with neighbours is complimentary and can avoid misunderstanding which may occur.
- Your local Structure Control Office might have the ability to provide complimentary guidance relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific situations.
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