What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an agreement made between at least two neighbouring occupiers prior to the beginning of construction/building work which is to be undertaken to a party limit or structure, or where works are being carried out in close proximity to a party border or structure. There are 3 primary types of work which need a Party Wall Surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (building a new wall on or along with a boundary).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening etc.).
- Adjacent Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing building).
In London and throughout the UK, our experienced commercial structure surveyors perform a series of professional surveying services including Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Studies by skilled and professional Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
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 might otherwise constitute trespass or annoyance.
Nevertheless, it also seeks to secure the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially adverse impacts that such works might have by enforcing a requirement that all adjoining owners be given prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act provides for a compulsory disagreement resolution treatment mediated by a statutorily designated property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the execution of any proposition so alerted.
Particularly, such notice should be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (known as ‘the structure owner’) means to carry out any construction work explained in Sections 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 erect a new wall at a boundary that is not currently built on.
- Area 2 issues existing party structures, which include party walls, partitions and floors (that separate structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (essentially a border wall in between lands in different ownership which is built astride a boundary) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Area 6 can apply to excavations as much as 6 m away from a structure or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The information that Discovers need to offer in regard of works covered the above sections is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is essential to note that the credibility of any notification not providing all the appropriate info or served in the incorrect manner, could be open up to challenge in Court.
There is no standard form of Notice although many individuals utilize those published by the RICS or versions appended to the explanatory brochure released by the Department for Communities and City Government. Provided all the information needed by the pertinent section of the Act is present, an easy letter would be equally valid.
Depending upon the scenarios of any provided task there might be more than one adjoining owner on whom discover needs to be served in respect of the exact same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner may be other than an immediate neighbour. It is always preferable to talk about the intended works with adjoining owners prior to serving them with official written notification – a proposition well discussed might reduce concerns sufficient to prevent a conflict emerging and prevent the need to designate property surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the need to serve notice may be avoided:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory brochure states that some deal with a party wall may be so minor that service of notice under the Act would be typically considered as not necessary and give as examples works unlikely to affect 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 wiring or inserting power sockets, and screws to support racks, kitchen cupboards, and so forth.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act supplied that written consent is gotten from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.
The 3 kinds of Notice are known, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Section 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice must be served a minimum of 2 months prior to the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other 2 notifications should be served at least one month prior to work starting.
The obligatory info which Sees need to consist of are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- A sign of the building owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notice:
- The name and address of the structure owner.
- The nature and details of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- A sign of the building owner’s proposals.
- A declaration regarding whether or not the building owner proposes to underpin or otherwise reinforce or secure the foundations of the structure or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying sections and strategies showing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to set up a building or structure, its site.
Most of the pro-forma notifications in use consist of the following info as a matter of course despite the kind of notice:
- The date of the notification.
- The name and addresses of both the building and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the homes being worked on/affected if various).
- A declaration regarding the commencement of works relative to the suitable notice duration.
- An advisory note describing what occurs if the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to respond within 14 days.
Area 10 of the Act specifies that where an adjacent owner does not authorization in writing to works notified by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both celebrations must either settle on the appointment of a single surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each select their own property surveyor, to identify by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a task is straightforward, this might only include consideration of the time and way in which those works are to be performed. In more complex plans, believed will have to be offered to a commensurately greater number of aspects and certainly appointed 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 used to deal with any subsequent disputes between neighbouring owners that may emerge in relation to the alerted works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjoining owner does not halt the statutory procedure. A conflict can occur by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the building owner an objection in respect of some matter occurring out of or incidental to the works – the methods of making that objection are not important, but if he remains silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a period of 14 days after having been served with a Notification under either Area 3 or Area 6, the Act considers a dissent to have developed in any event.
There is no considered dissent arrangement in Area 1 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still occur, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works alerted under that area however just as relates to real dissent on specific grounds. An adjacent owner’s reasons for disputing Area 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever defined prior to the visit of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has developed, whether real or considered, both owners are legally required to designate a concurred surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a bachelor, a property 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, immediately offers the owner making the request the statutory authority to select a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This procedure is set out in section 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two surveyors are appointed, they are obliged to agree upon the selection, in composing, of a 3rd property surveyor who might be hired by either of the property surveyors or either of the parties to identify the contested matters and make the needed award. The 3rd surveyor is never ever appointed by anyone but the Act provides the individual so picked the very same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
Third surveyors are most typically hired where the two surveyors have reached an impasse in their considerations over some specific point and typically this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the fees of the surveyor appointed by the adjacent owner. Hardly ever will a third surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the whole works however might accompany one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need emerges.
There is no meaning of who can be a property surveyor, but it ought to not be the same individual that will supervise the works.
The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the charges 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 normally be needed to pay the fees and the cost of the works if the work is entirely for the benefit of the structure owner.
Celebrations have 14 days to interest the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act allows access to the adjacent property for the functions of performing the works whether the adjoining owner permits or not, nevertheless they need to be offered 14 days notice.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 suggests that from 6 April 2016, notices and other documents can be served by electronic communications.
The info that Notices should offer in respect of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notices 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. A legitimate conflict can still occur, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works informed under that section however just as concerns actual dissent on particular grounds. An adjoining owner’s factors for disputing Area 2 and Section 6 works are rarely specified prior to the consultation of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has arisen, whether real or considered, both owners are legally obliged to designate an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not jointly concur on a single person, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a visit by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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