What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an agreement made between at least two neighbouring occupiers prior to the start of construction/building work which is to be undertaken to a party border or structure, or where works are being carried out in close distance to a party limit or structure. There are three primary types of work which need a Party Wall Property surveyor to carry out a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (developing a new wall on or together with a limit).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, reconstructing, thickening etc.).
- Surrounding Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing building).
In London and throughout the UK, our skilled commercial structure surveyors carry out a variety of expert surveying services including Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Studies by skilled and professional 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 effects the garden
At first sight, it is easy to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not affect garden building and construction, nevertheless it does impact the building of limit walls even if not part of buildings and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered 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 deal with a relevant structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not affect any requirement for Planning Consent for any work undertaken. Likewise, having Preparation Authorization does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act comes into result if somebody is preparing to do work on a relevant structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just mean the wall in between 2 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 near to a neighbouring property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act affects building operate in basic, have a look at this page.
Just like all work impacting neighbours, it is always better to reach a friendly arrangement instead of turn to any law. Even where the work requires a notification to be served, it is better to informally discuss the intended work, consider the neighbours comments, and change your strategies (if proper) before serving the notification.
What garden work needs a notice and consent.
The general 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 cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall need to be notified. If in doubt, suggestions ought to be sought from a local Structure Control Office or expert surveyor/architect.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To destroy and/or rebuild/build a party boundary wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party limit 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 structures of the neighbouring building.
If the planned work on a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification must be released to all affected neighbouring celebrations. The notice must consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the property undertaking the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will usually be simply a single sentence outlining the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notice is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notice is being served.
- If the work involves excavations, a drawing revealing the depth, position and so on
If the planned work is a new border wall up to or astride the limit line the process of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person intending to carry out the work must serve a composed notification at least one months prior to the intended start of the work to every neighbouring party giving information of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party must respond in composing offering approval or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 14 days of receiving the notice, the result is to put the notice into dispute. Nevertheless no formal contract is required for a wall up to the boundary line, the neighbour just needs not to object in writing.
- No work might begin on a wall astride the limit line until all neighbouring celebrations have agreed in writing to the notification (or a revised notification).
See below concerning what happens 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 before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations need to offer written contract within 2 week or a disagreement is considered to have actually happened.
See listed below concerning what occurs in the event of a dispute/objection.
What takes place if a disagreement occurs.
If agreement can not be reached in between neighbouring celebrations, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to determine a reasonable and objective Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all celebrations).
- Each party appoints their own Property surveyor to represent the private celebrations.
The person who is carrying out the work will generally have to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor needlessly – in the opinion of the Surveyor. However it ought to be kept in mind that any Property surveyor must act within their statutory responsibilities and propose a fair and impartial Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the specific Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which needs to be fair and unbiased to all parties.
- Once an Award has actually been made, all parties have 14 days to interest a County Court against the Award.
When you have contract.
As soon as you have arrangement, all work should adhere to the notification. All the arrangements should be retained to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the property might want to develop that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We have actually only provided a quick summary of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work however take a look at the Communities and Local Government site for a more thorough explanatory booklet consisting of example letters for notices and reactions.
- If a notice shows up all of a sudden, discussing desired work with neighbours is complimentary and can prevent misunderstanding which may occur.
- Your local Structure Control Workplace might have the ability to provide totally free advice concerning the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular scenarios.
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