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 agreement made between at least 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 boundary or structure. There are three main kinds of work which require a Party Wall Property surveyor to conduct a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a new wall on or along with a border).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, rebuilding, thickening etc.).
- Surrounding Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and across the UK, our knowledgeable industrial structure surveyors perform a range of professional surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by skilled and expert 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 impacts the garden
At first sight, it is simple to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not affect garden building and construction, nevertheless it does affect the building and construction of boundary walls even if not part of buildings and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered force in 1997, so it is now law and gives you rights and responsibilities whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing deal with a relevant structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to limit fences.
The Party Wall Act does not affect any requirement for Preparation Consent for any work undertaken. Having Planning Approval does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act comes into result if someone is preparing to do work on a pertinent structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just imply the wall in between two semi-detached residential or commercial properties, as far as gardeners are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the limit line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the properties however is not part of any structure.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring residential or commercial property.
For information of how the Party Wall Act impacts building work in basic, have a look at this page.
Just like all work impacting neighbours, it is constantly better to reach a friendly contract instead of turn to any law. Even where the work requires a notice to be served, it is much better to informally discuss the intended work, think about the neighbours remarks, and modify your plans (if appropriate) prior to serving the notice.
What garden work requires a notification and permission.
The basic concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an impact upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or might trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be notified. If in doubt, recommendations should be sought from a regional Structure Control Office or professional surveyor/architect.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or destroy border wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party boundary wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go listed below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring structure.
If the prepared work on a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notice should be provided 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 carrying out the work.
- The address of the home.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will typically be simply a single sentence describing 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 includes 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 border line the process of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person meaning to perform the work should serve a composed notification at least one months before the intended start of the work to every neighbouring party providing information of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party should respond in writing offering consent or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 14 days of receiving the notification, the impact is to put the notification into conflict. However no formal arrangement is needed for a wall up to the limit line, the neighbour just needs not to object in writing.
- No work may start on a wall astride the limit line until all neighbouring parties have agreed in writing to the notification (or a modified notification).
See below regarding what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification needs to be served a minimum of one month prior to the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring parties need to give written contract within 14 days or a dispute is deemed to have actually occurred.
See listed below regarding what occurs in case of a dispute/objection.
What happens if a conflict arises.
If arrangement can not be reached in between neighbouring parties, the process is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are appointed to figure out a fair and impartial Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all celebrations).
- Each party designates their own Property surveyor to represent the private parties.
The individual who is performing the work will typically have to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor needlessly – in the opinion of the Property surveyor. It needs to be kept in mind that any Property surveyor needs to act within their statutory obligations and propose a reasonable and neutral Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the individual Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which should be neutral and reasonable to all parties.
- Once an Award has actually been made, all celebrations have 2 week to appeal to a County Court against the Award.
As soon as you have arrangement.
As soon as you have agreement, all work should abide by the notification. All the agreements need to be maintained to guarantee that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the property may wish to establish that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We have actually just given a short overview of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work but have a look at the Neighborhoods and Local Government site for a more thorough explanatory pamphlet including example letters for reactions and notices.
- Going over intended work with neighbours is complimentary and can avoid misunderstanding which may develop if a notification shows up suddenly.
- Your local Building Control Workplace may be able to provide free suggestions regarding the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular circumstances.
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