What is a Party Wall Award?
The procedure and requirements of a Party Wall Award are as set out in the Party Wall and so on. Act 1996. A Party Wall Award is an arrangement made in between a minimum of two neighbouring occupiers prior to the commencement 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 limit or structure. There are 3 primary kinds of work which require a Party Wall Surveyor to carry out a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (developing a new wall on or alongside a boundary).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, reconstructing, 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 industrial building property surveyors carry out a range of expert surveying services including Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by professional and knowledgeable 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.
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 is an enabling Act, insofar as it grants the owner of a home the legal right to carry out certain works that may otherwise constitute trespass or problem.
However, it also seeks to safeguard the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially unfavorable effects that such works may have by imposing a requirement that all adjoining owners be given prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act attends to a compulsory disagreement resolution treatment mediated by a statutorily designated surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the execution of any proposal so alerted.
Specifically, such notice must be served where the owner of a property (called ‘the building owner’) intends to carry out any building and construction work described in Areas 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Keep in mind that it is just those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is restricted to the following:
- Area 1 uses where it is proposed to set up a new wall at a border that is not already built on.
- Area 2 concerns existing party structures, that include party walls, partitions and floorings (that separate structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (basically a limit wall between lands in different ownership which is built astride a border) and, in some instances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Area 6 can apply to excavations up to 6 m away from a building or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The details that Sees should offer in respect of works covered the above sections is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those areas but the requirements of a Notification associating with Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is important to note that the credibility of any notification not supplying all the pertinent information or served in the inaccurate way, could be open up to challenge in Court.
There is no standard form of Notification although many people use those released by the RICS or versions added to the explanatory pamphlet released by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Supplied all the info needed by the pertinent area of the Act is present, an easy letter would be similarly legitimate.
Depending upon the situations of any given job there might be more than one adjacent owner on whom observe requirements to be served in respect of the same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner may be other than an immediate neighbour. It is constantly more effective to discuss the designated works with adjacent owners before serving them with official composed notice – a proposition well explained might minimize issues adequate to prevent a disagreement occurring and avoid the necessity to designate surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the need to serve notice might be prevented:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory booklet states that some works on a party wall may be so small that service of notification under the Act would be generally considered as not required and give as examples works unlikely to affect the structural strength or support functions of a party structure or cause damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical circuitry or placing power sockets, and screws to support racks, kitchen cabinets, and so forth.
- Functions under Area 2 of the Act provided that composed permission is gotten from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The three types of Notice are understood, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Area 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice should be served at least two months before the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other two notices must be served at least one month prior to work starting.
The mandatory info which Discovers should consist of are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- An indication of the structure owner’s desire to build a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- The name and address of the building owner.
- The nature and details of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the building owner’s propositions.
- A declaration as to whether or not the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise reinforce or safeguard the structures of the building or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying areas and strategies revealing: a) the site and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to erect a structure or structure, its website.
Most of the pro-forma notifications in use include the following info as a matter of course no matter the kind of notification:
- The date of the notice.
- The name and addresses of both the structure and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the residential or commercial properties being worked on/affected if different).
- A statement as to the beginning of works relative to the proper notification duration.
- An advisory note describing what takes place if the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to respond within 14 days.
Section 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjacent owner does not consent in writing to works alerted by the building owner under Areas 3 and 6, both parties should either settle on the visit of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each select their own surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a task is straightforward, this may just include consideration of the time and manner in which those works are to be performed. In more complex plans, believed will have to be offered to a commensurately greater number of factors and certainly selected property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter gotten in touch with any work to which the act relates.
The exact same treatment is used to resolve any subsequent conflicts between neighbouring owners that may occur in relation to the alerted works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjacent owner does not halt the statutory procedure. A conflict can develop by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in respect of some matter emerging out of or incidental to the works – the methods of making that objection are not important, but if he stays silent, neither dissenting nor consenting for a duration of 2 week after having actually been served with a Notice under either Area 3 or Area 6, the Act considers a dissent to have actually developed in any event.
There is no deemed dissent provision in Section 1 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still arise, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works alerted under that area but just as regards actual dissent on specific premises. An adjoining owner’s reasons for disputing Area 2 and Section 6 works are rarely defined prior to the consultation of surveyors and in a lot of cases not even then.
Where dissent has arisen, whether real or deemed, 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 asked for to make such a visit by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, immediately offers the owner making the demand the statutory authority to select 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 designated, they are obliged to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a 3rd surveyor who may be called upon by either of the surveyors or either of the celebrations to identify the disputed matters and make the needed award. The third surveyor is never ever selected by anybody but the Act provides the person so selected the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd property surveyors are most frequently called upon where the two surveyors have reached an impasse in their considerations over some specific point and often this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the costs of the property surveyor appointed by the adjoining owner. Seldom will a third surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the entire works but may join with 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, but it must not be the same individual that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be performed, who will pay the costs for the preparation of the award and inspection of the works to guarantee that they abide by the works, and who will pay for the works. They will normally be required to pay the costs and the cost of the works if the work is solely for the advantage of the structure owner.
Celebrations have 2 week to appeal to 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 permits or not, nevertheless they must be provided 14 days notice.
NB: The intro of The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 suggests that from 6 April 2016, notices and other files can be served by electronic interactions.
The details that Notices need to offer in respect 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 Area 3 of the Act. A valid dispute can still develop, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works alerted under that section but just as regards actual dissent on particular premises. An adjoining owner’s factors for challenging Area 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the appointment of surveyors and in lots of cases not even then.
Where dissent has arisen, whether real or considered, both owners are lawfully required to select an agreed surveyor or, if they can not collectively concur on a single person, a property surveyor each and if asked for to make such a visit by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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