What is a Party Wall Award?
The process 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 2 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 kinds of work which require a Party Wall Property surveyor to carry out a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a new wall on or together with a border).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, rebuilding, 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 business structure surveyors carry out a series of professional surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Studies by experienced and professional Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall and so on. 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 may otherwise make up trespass or annoyance.
It also seeks to safeguard the interests of adjacent owners from any possibly unfavorable impacts that such works may have by enforcing a requirement that all adjacent owners be offered prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act provides for a compulsory conflict resolution treatment moderated by a statutorily appointed property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the execution of any proposal so informed.
Specifically, such notice must be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (called ‘the structure owner’) intends to undertake any building and construction work described in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Note that it is just those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is restricted to the following:
- Area 1 applies where it is proposed to erect a new wall at a limit that is not currently built on.
- Section 2 concerns existing party structures, which include party floorings, walls and partitions (that separate buildings or parts of structures), party fence walls (essentially a limit wall between lands in separate ownership which is built astride a border) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations up to 6 m away from a structure or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The info that Notices need to supply in regard of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notice associating with Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is very important to note that the validity of any notification not supplying all the appropriate details or served in the inaccurate manner, could be available to challenge in Court.
There is no basic kind of Notification although lots of people use those published by the RICS or variations added to the explanatory pamphlet provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government. However, provided all the info needed by the pertinent area of the Act is present, an easy letter would be similarly valid.
Depending on the situations of any given job there may be more than one adjacent owner on whom see needs to be served in respect of the exact same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner might be other than an immediate neighbour. It is constantly preferable to go over the intended deal with adjacent owners prior to serving them with formal written notification – a proposition well described might reduce issues enough to prevent a dispute emerging and prevent the requirement to designate surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the need to serve notice might be prevented:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory pamphlet says that some deal with a party wall may be so minor that service of notification under the Act would be normally considered as not needed and give as examples works not likely to impact 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 inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, cooking area cabinets, and so forth.
- Works under Area 2 of the Act supplied that composed permission is gotten from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The 3 kinds of Notification are known, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Section 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice need to be served a minimum of 2 months prior to the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other two notifications must be served a minimum of one month prior to work commencing.
The mandatory information which Notices must contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- An indicator of the building 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 begin.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indicator of the structure owner’s proposals.
- A declaration as to whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise enhance or secure the structures of the structure or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying plans and areas showing: a) the site and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to put up a structure or structure, its website.
The majority of the pro-forma notifications in use consist of the following information as a matter of course regardless of the kind of notification:
- The date of the notice.
- If various), the name and addresses of both the building and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the homes being worked on/affected.
- A statement as to the beginning of works relative to the proper notice period.
- An advisory note discussing what happens if the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to react within 14 days.
Area 10 of the Act states that where an adjacent owner does not consent in writing to works informed by the structure owner under Sections 3 and 6, both parties must either agree on the consultation of a single surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Surveyor), or each select their own surveyor, to determine by award matters in dispute in between the parties.
Where a task is straightforward, this might 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 given to a commensurately greater number of aspects and indeed selected property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The exact same procedure is used to resolve any subsequent conflicts between neighbouring owners that might emerge in relation to the alerted works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjacent owner does not halt the statutory procedure. A dispute can occur by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in regard of some matter occurring out of or incidental to the works – the means of making that objection are not important, however if he stays quiet, neither consenting nor dissenting for a duration of 2 week after having actually been served with a Notification under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act deems a dissent to have arisen in any event.
There is no considered dissent provision in Section 1 of the Act. A valid conflict can still emerge, and property surveyors be appointed in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works notified under that area but just as concerns real dissent on specific grounds. An adjacent owner’s reasons for contesting Section 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the consultation of surveyors and in a lot of cases not even then.
Where dissent has occurred, whether real or deemed, both owners are lawfully required to select an agreed surveyor or, if they can not jointly agree on a bachelor, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a visit by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, instantly offers the owner making the demand the statutory authority to appoint a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in section 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two surveyors are appointed, they are obliged to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a 3rd surveyor who might be hired by either of the surveyors or either of the celebrations to identify the disputed matters and make the essential award. The third surveyor is never ever appointed by anyone however the Act offers the individual so selected the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most commonly hired where the two surveyors have actually reached a deadlock in their considerations over some specific point and frequently this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the charges of the property surveyor selected by the adjoining owner. Hardly ever will a 3rd surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the whole works however may join with one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need develops.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, however it must not be the same person 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 examination of the works to ensure that they adhere to the works, and who will pay for the works. If the work is solely for the benefit of the structure owner, then they will typically be needed to pay the fees and the expense of the works.
If they disagree with the award, parties have 14 days to appeal to the county court.
The Act permits access to the adjoining property for the purposes of performing the works whether the adjoining owner permits or not, however they must be provided 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 info that Observes need to supply in regard of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notifications are set out in those areas but the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A legitimate disagreement can still develop, and surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works notified under that section however only as regards actual dissent on particular grounds. An adjacent owner’s factors for challenging Section 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the appointment of property surveyors and in lots of cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually developed, whether real or considered, both owners are legally obliged to select a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single person, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such a visit by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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