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 a contract made between at least two neighbouring occupiers prior to the beginning of construction/building work which is to be carried out to a party border 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 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 throughout the UK, our knowledgeable business building surveyors carry out a series of expert surveying services including Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Studies by knowledgeable and expert Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
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 affect garden construction, however it does affect the construction of border walls even if not part of buildings and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and gives you rights and obligations 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 border fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Preparation Permission for any work undertaken. Likewise, having Planning Approval does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters into result if someone is preparing to do deal with a relevant structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply suggest 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 boundary line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the residential or commercial properties however is not part of any structure.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring home.
For details of how the Party Wall Act affects building work in basic, take a look at this page.
As with all work affecting neighbours, it is constantly better to reach a friendly agreement instead of turn to any law. Even where the work needs a notification to be served, it is better to informally discuss the intended work, consider the neighbours remarks, and modify your strategies (if suitable) prior to serving the notification.
What garden work needs a notice and permission.
The general concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have an impact upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or might cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall need to be notified. Suggestions should be sought from a local Building Control Workplace or expert surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Work 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 thickness of a party border wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go listed below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
If the planned deal with a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification needs to be issued to all affected neighbouring celebrations. The notification must include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the home undertaking the work.
- The address of the home.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will typically be just a single sentence detailing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement 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 limit wall approximately or astride the border line the process of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person intending to carry out the work should serve a written notification at least one months before the intended start of the work to every neighbouring party providing details of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party ought to react in composing offering consent or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 14 days of getting the notice, the impact is to put the notice into dispute. No official contract is required for a wall up to the boundary line, the neighbour just requires not to object in composing.
- No work might commence on a wall astride the limit line until all neighbouring celebrations have actually agreed in writing to the notification (or a revised notice).
See below regarding what occurs 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 requires to be served a minimum of one month prior to the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring parties need to offer written arrangement within 2 week or a conflict is considered to have taken place.
See below regarding what occurs in case of a dispute/objection.
If a dispute occurs, what takes place.
If contract can not be reached between neighbouring parties, the process is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are appointed to identify a fair and unbiased Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all parties).
- Each party selects their own Property surveyor to represent the specific celebrations.
The person who is carrying out the work will normally 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 must be kept in mind that any Property surveyor should act within their statutory obligations and propose a neutral and reasonable Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the individual Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which should be fair and unbiased to all celebrations.
- Once an Award has been made, all parties have 2 week to interest a County Court versus the Award.
When you have contract.
Once you have agreement, all work must comply with the notification. All the agreements ought to be kept to guarantee that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the residential or commercial property may want to establish that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve just given a short overview of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work but take a look at the Neighborhoods and Local Government site for a more detailed explanatory booklet including example letters for notifications and actions.
- Discussing desired deal with neighbours is totally free and can avoid misunderstanding which may occur if a notification gets here unexpectedly.
- Your local Structure Control Office may have the ability to give totally free guidance concerning the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular situations.
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