What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an agreement made in 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 undertaken in close distance to a party limit or structure. There are three primary types of work which need a Party Wall Surveyor to carry out a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (developing a new wall on or along with a border).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening and so on).
- Surrounding Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing building).
In London and across the UK, our knowledgeable industrial building surveyors carry out a range of professional surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by knowledgeable and professional 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
as it effects the garden
At first sight, it is easy to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden construction, nevertheless it does affect the building and construction of boundary walls even if not part of structures and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered force in 1997, so it is now law and offers you rights and responsibilities whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on an appropriate structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not affect any requirement for Preparation Consent for any work undertaken. Also, having Preparation Permission does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters effect if somebody is preparing to do work on an appropriate structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply mean the wall in between two 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 used to separate the properties but is not part of any building.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring home.
For details of how the Party Wall Act affects structure work in basic, take a look at this page.
As with all work affecting neighbours, it is always better to reach a friendly agreement instead of resort to any law. Even where the work requires a notice to be served, it is much better to informally talk about the intended work, think about the neighbours remarks, and change your strategies (if suitable) before serving the notification.
What garden work requires a notice and authorization.
The basic concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have a result upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or may trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall must be alerted. Advice should be looked for from a regional Building Control Office or expert surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or destroy limit wall.
- To increase the height or thickness of a party limit wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
If the planned work on a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification needs to be released to all impacted neighbouring parties. The notice must consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the residential or commercial property undertaking the work.
- The address of the home.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will typically be just a single sentence laying out the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear declaration 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 planned work is a brand-new boundary wall as much as or astride the boundary line the procedure of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual meaning to carry out the work needs to serve a composed notification at least one months before the intended start of the work to every neighbouring party offering information of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party needs to react in composing giving consent or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 2 week of getting the notification, the impact is to put the notice into conflict. No formal arrangement is required for a wall up to the border line, the neighbour simply requires not to object in composing.
- No work might start on a wall astride the border line till all neighbouring parties have actually agreed in writing to the notification (or a modified notification).
See listed below concerning what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the planned work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notice needs to be served a minimum of one month prior to the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring parties must offer written contract within 14 days or a dispute is considered to have actually taken place.
See below regarding what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
If a conflict occurs, what takes place.
If contract can not be reached in between neighbouring parties, the process is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to identify a neutral and reasonable Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Property surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party selects their own Property surveyor to represent the specific parties.
The individual who is carrying out the work will usually have to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Surveyor. It must be noted that any Surveyor needs to act within their statutory duties and propose a unbiased and fair Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Property surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the specific Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which needs to be fair and unbiased to all celebrations.
- When an Award has been made, all parties have 14 days to appeal to a County Court against the Award.
As soon as you have agreement.
As soon as you have arrangement, all work should adhere to the notification. All the contracts must be kept to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the residential or commercial property might wish to establish that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
Keep in mind:
- We have actually only given a brief overview of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work but have a look at the Neighborhoods and City government website for a more detailed explanatory pamphlet including example letters for notices and actions.
- If a notice shows up unexpectedly, talking about intended work with neighbours is totally free and can avoid misconception which may emerge.
- Your local Building Control Workplace may be able to give complimentary suggestions relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular circumstances.
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