What is a Party Wall Award?
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 carried out to a party border or structure, or where works are being undertaken in close proximity to a party limit or structure. There are 3 primary types of work which need a Party Wall Surveyor to carry out a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (building a brand-new wall on or alongside a border).
- Party Structure Functions (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 throughout the UK, our skilled industrial structure surveyors perform a series of professional surveying services including Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we perform Party Wall Surveys by expert and skilled 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- A NEWBIES GUIDE
We appreciate that many people wishing to perform works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late stage in the pre-construction process. We likewise comprehend it can be a challenging procedure for those that have actually not experienced it in the past. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior surveyors, offers his “beginners guide” which aims to provide a summary understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 offers a treatment to follow when building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at borders. The Act permits owners to carry out certain particular works, including work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of anybody else who might be impacted by that work. The Act is developed to prevent or minimise conflicts by making certain homeowner alert their neighbours in advance of certain proposed works.
The Act provides a mechanism for dealing with disagreements and making it possible for works to continue. It also requires that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or property surveyors will identify the time and method which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls usually separate buildings coming from various owners however could include garden walls developed astride a border– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 different size buildings often just the part that is utilized by both residential or commercial properties is a party wall, the rest belongs to the person or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so consisted of since the provisions of the Act are not limited to party walls, they likewise consist of party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” implies a wall (not belonging to a building) which stands on lands of different owners and is used or constructed to be used for separating such adjacent lands, however does not consist of a wall constructed on the land of one owner the synthetically formed assistance of which jobs into the land of another owner;
” party structure” suggests a party wall and also a flooring partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of structures approached entirely by separate entrances or separate staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular products of work that you can just be done after notifying the adjacent owners and either receiving written contract of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (however are not restricted to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion.
- placing a damp proof course, even if just to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any objects avoiding this from happening.
- restoring a party and destroying wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjacent walls or buildings by cutting a flashing into an adjacent building.
- excavating foundations within 3 metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating foundations within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its foundations.
Notifications are likewise required if it is proposed to construct a new wall on the line of junction (limit line). A party wall surveyor will typically be able to validate which work is notifiable and recommendations the notification period and type of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to particular specific kinds of work and is liberal in nature. It ought to not be seen as a method of challenging or avoiding works and it is not planned to be applied to small tasks that do not impact the structural integrity or loading of a party wall.
It is usually concurred that works such as repairing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not need a notification.
The workings of the Act are always prompted by the of releasing notifications. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the concern of legitimate notices, no further action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Written notification should be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months before beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjoining owners need to be served a notification and there are likely to be instances where there is more than one adjoining home and more than one owner of each home (ie: if the adjacent home is split into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be needed to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Works to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or flooring, will likewise need a notification to adjoining owners living above or below.
Legitimate notices must include the following information as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the building owner;.
- The nature and details of the proposed work including strategies, sections and details of building and construction techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is necessary to consist of the right details on a notice as, if they are deemed invalid, then any subsequent actions are also void.
Actions To Notices.
On invoice of a notice, an adjoining owner has 3 possible strategies:.
- To consent to the works proceeding as explained. A consenting Adjacent Owner maintains all rights under the Act including the right to designate a property surveyor later on in the process if there is a conflict at that stage.
- To dissent and select a surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the appointment of a single ‘Agreed’ property surveyor or designate their own separate surveyor.
- Issue a counter notice to set out certain conditions required for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice ought to set out what extra or modified work the Adjoining Owner want to be consisted of for his benefit.
For the most part, if the adjacent does not react within 14 days then a considered conflict is said to have happened and the person performing the work should designate a property surveyor to act on the adjacent owners behalf.
If adjacent owners offer composed consent to the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no disagreement to fix and no additional need for party wall surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work profits as detailed within no damage and the notice is triggered, then no additional involvement is necessary.
The property surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work may continue. The surveyor( s) will examine the plans, notifications and structural information of the works and, after considering the effect of the works, will draw up an agreement which sets out the terms under which work can be carried out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will typically tape the condition of the relevant part of adjoining property prior to work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act however is considered great practice and is properly provided by many excellent surveyors). The award may also give access to both homes so that the works can be safely carried out and the surveyor/s can check work in development.
Normally, the building owner who started the work pays for all costs of work and the reasonable costs incurred by all celebrations as a result, this will include the property surveyors fees for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We value that many individuals wanting to bring out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late stage in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, offers his “newbies guide” which aims to provide a summary understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Celebration?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a treatment to follow when building work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at borders. The Act permits owners to carry out particular specific works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. Composed notice needs to be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months prior to beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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