At Faulkners Surveyors we carry out Party Wall Studies by knowledgeable and professional Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.

What is a Party Wall Award?

The procedure 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 a minimum of two neighbouring occupiers prior to the beginning of construction/building work which is to be undertaken to a party boundary or structure, or where works are being carried out in close proximity to a party border or structure. There are 3 main kinds of work which require a Party Wall Property surveyor to conduct a Party Wall Award and these are:

  • Line of junction (building a brand-new wall on or together with a boundary).
  • Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, reconstructing, thickening and so on).
  • Surrounding 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 variety of professional surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we carry out Party Wall Surveys by professional and experienced 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.

wall party

Party Wall Act

The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 is a making it possible for Act, insofar as it grants the owner of a property the legal right to undertake specific works that may otherwise constitute trespass or annoyance.

It likewise looks for to secure the interests of adjoining owners from any possibly adverse results that such works might have by enforcing a requirement that all adjacent owners be offered prior notification of them.

In addition, the Act offers a compulsory conflict resolution procedure moderated by a statutorily selected surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the implementation of any proposition so notified.

Specifically, such notification should be served where the owner of a home (known as ‘the building owner’) means to carry out any building and 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:

The details that Notices need to supply in regard of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notification relating to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is necessary to note that the credibility of any notice not offering all the pertinent info or served in the incorrect way, could be open up to challenge in Court.

There is no basic form of Notification although many people utilize those published by the RICS or variations added to the explanatory booklet provided by the Department for Communities and City Government. Supplied all the info required by the appropriate section of the Act is present, an easy letter would be similarly legitimate.

Depending upon the situations of any provided task there might be more than one adjacent owner on whom discover needs to be served in respect of the very same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner might be other than an immediate neighbour. It is constantly more effective to talk about the designated works with adjacent owners before serving them with formal composed notification – a proposal well discussed might alleviate issues enough to prevent a conflict emerging and avoid the necessity to designate property surveyors.

There are 2 exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be avoided:

  1. De minimis works: The government’s explanatory brochure says that some deal with a party wall may be so small that service of notification under the Act would be normally regarded as not needed and give as examples works not likely to affect the structural strength or assistance functions of a party structure or trigger damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical circuitry or placing power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen area cupboards, and so forth.
  2. Works under Area 2 of the Act provided that written consent is acquired from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.

The 3 kinds of Notification are known, respectively as:

A party structure notice should be served at least two months prior to the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other two notifications must be served a minimum of one month prior to work commencing.

The necessary details which Observes should contain are as follows:

The majority of the pro-forma notifications in use consist of the following info as a matter of course despite the type of notice:

Section 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjoining owner does not approval in writing to works informed by the structure owner under Areas 3 and 6, both parties must either agree on the consultation of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Surveyor), or each select their own surveyor, to identify by award matters in dispute between the celebrations.

Where a job is straightforward, this might just include factor to consider of the time and way in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex plans, thought will have to be provided to a commensurately greater number of elements and undoubtedly selected surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.

The very same treatment is utilized to deal with any subsequent disputes in between neighbouring owners that may emerge in relation to the alerted works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.

Inaction on the part of the adjacent owner does not halt the statutory process. A conflict can arise by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the structure owner an objection in regard of some matter occurring out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are not important, but if he stays silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a period of 2 week after having been served with a Notice under either Section 3 or Area 6, the Act deems a dissent to have emerged in any event.

There is no deemed dissent provision in Section 1 of the Act. A legitimate dispute can still arise, and property surveyors be appointed in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works notified under that section however just as concerns actual dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for contesting Area 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever defined prior to the consultation of surveyors and oftentimes not even then.

Where dissent has emerged, whether actual or considered, both owners are legally obliged to select a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a bachelor, a surveyor each and if requested to make such a visit by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, automatically provides the owner making the demand the statutory authority to appoint a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.

Where two property surveyors are selected, they are required to agree upon the selection, in composing, of a 3rd surveyor who might be hired by either of the property surveyors or either of the parties to figure out the disputed matters and make the necessary award. The 3rd surveyor is never designated by anybody but the Act provides the individual so selected the same statutory powers as the two surveyors.

Third surveyors are most typically hired where the two property surveyors have actually reached a deadlock in their deliberations over some particular point and frequently this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the costs of the surveyor selected by the adjoining owner. Hardly ever will a 3rd property surveyor be asked to draw up an award in respect of the whole works but may accompany one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need occurs.

There is no meaning of who can be a surveyor, however it must not be the same person that will monitor the works.

The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the fees for the preparation of the award and examination of the works to make sure 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 generally be required to pay the fees and the expense of the works.

Celebrations have 14 days to interest the county court if they disagree with the award.

The Act permits access to the adjoining home for the purposes of carrying out the works whether the adjoining owner allows or not, however they must be offered 2 week notification.

NB: The intro of The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 indicates that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other documents can be served by electronic communications.

The information that Notices need to supply in regard of works covered the above sections is various 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 Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A valid conflict can still occur, and property surveyors be appointed in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works informed under that area however only as regards real dissent on specific grounds. An adjoining owner’s reasons for challenging Area 2 and Area 6 works are rarely defined 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 select a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not collectively concur on a single individual, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such a consultation by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the demand being served.

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