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 in between at least 2 neighbouring occupiers prior to the beginning of construction/building work which is to be carried out to a party boundary or structure, or where works are being undertaken in close proximity to a party boundary or structure. There are three main kinds of work which need a Party Wall Property surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (building a brand-new wall on or along with a limit).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, reconstructing, thickening etc.).
- Nearby Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing building).
In London and across the UK, our experienced commercial building surveyors perform a variety of professional surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we perform Party Wall Studies by expert and knowledgeable 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 believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden building and construction, however it does impact the building and construction of limit walls even if not part of structures and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and offers you rights and duties whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing deal with a pertinent structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to limit fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Planning Permission for any work carried out. Having Preparation Authorization does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters into effect if somebody is preparing to do deal with a pertinent structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just mean the wall in between 2 semi-detached properties, as far as gardeners are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the boundary line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the residential or commercial properties however is not part of any structure.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring residential or commercial property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act impacts structure work in basic, take a look at this page.
Just like all work impacting neighbours, it is always much better to reach a friendly agreement instead of turn to any law. Even where the work needs a notice to be served, it is better to informally talk about the intended work, think about the neighbours remarks, and amend your plans (if appropriate) before serving the notification.
What garden work needs a notification and consent.
The general principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may 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 must be alerted. If in doubt, suggestions needs to be sought from a regional Structure Control Office or expert surveyor/architect.
Operate 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 thickness of a party limit wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below the bottom of the structures 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 structure.
A notification must be released to all affected neighbouring celebrations if the planned work on a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notice should include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the residential or commercial property carrying out the work.
- The address of the property.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will generally be simply a single sentence detailing 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 etc
If the prepared work is a brand-new limit wall up to or astride the limit line the procedure of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual intending to carry out the work should serve a composed notice a minimum of one months prior to the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party providing information of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party ought to react in writing offering consent or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 14 days of receiving the notification, the result is to put the notification into conflict. Nevertheless no official arrangement is needed for a wall approximately the border line, the neighbour just requires not to object in composing.
- No work may begin on a wall astride the boundary line up until all neighbouring parties have concurred in writing to the notification (or a revised notice).
See listed below concerning what occurs in case of a dispute/objection.
If the planned 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 prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations must offer written contract within 2 week or a dispute is considered to have actually occurred.
See below regarding what happens in the event of a dispute/objection.
What occurs if a disagreement occurs.
If contract can not be reached between neighbouring parties, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to identify a reasonable and neutral Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Property surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all parties).
- Each party designates their own Surveyor to represent the specific celebrations.
The individual who is carrying out the work will usually need to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor unnecessarily – in the viewpoint of the Surveyor. It ought to be kept in mind that any Property surveyor must act within their statutory obligations and propose a impartial and reasonable Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Property surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the private Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which should be objective and reasonable to all parties.
- As soon as an Award has been made, all parties have 2 week to attract a County Court against the Award.
As soon as you have contract.
As soon as you have arrangement, all work must comply with the notification. All the agreements must be retained to guarantee that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the residential or commercial property might want to establish that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
Keep in mind:
- We’ve only offered a brief outline of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work however have a look at the Neighborhoods and Local Government site for a more detailed explanatory brochure consisting of example letters for notifications and actions.
- Discussing desired work with neighbours is free and can avoid misconception which might develop if a notification arrives all of a sudden.
- Your regional Building Control Workplace may be able to offer complimentary advice concerning the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific circumstances.
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