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 a minimum of 2 neighbouring occupiers prior to the beginning of construction/building work which is to be undertaken to a party border or structure, or where works are being carried out in close proximity to a party boundary or structure. There are 3 primary types of work which need a Party Wall Property surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (developing a new wall on or alongside a limit).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, reconstructing, thickening and so on).
- Adjacent Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and throughout the UK, our skilled business structure property surveyors perform a range of expert surveying services including Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by experienced and expert Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it impacts the garden
At first sight, it is easy to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not affect garden building and construction, however it does affect the construction of limit walls even if not part of buildings and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered force in 1997, so it is now law and provides you rights and responsibilities 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 affect any requirement for Preparation Permission for any work carried out. 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 relevant structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply imply the wall between two semi-detached properties, as far as garden enthusiasts are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the border line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the homes however is not part of any structure.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring home.
For information of how the Party Wall Act affects structure operate in basic, have a look at this page.
Similar to all work impacting neighbours, it is always much better to reach a friendly arrangement rather than turn to any law. Even where the work needs a notice to be served, it is better to informally talk about the designated work, consider the neighbours remarks, and modify your plans (if appropriate) prior to serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notice and permission.
The basic concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might 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 informed. If in doubt, guidance ought to be looked for from a regional Building Control Office or expert surveyor/architect.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To demolish and/or rebuild/build a party 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 structures of the neighbouring structure.
- 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 foundations of the neighbouring structure.
If the prepared work on a limit wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification needs to be issued to all affected neighbouring celebrations. The notification should consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the property carrying out the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will normally be just a single sentence describing 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 includes excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position etc
If the planned work is a new boundary wall up to or astride the boundary line the procedure of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person meaning to perform the work must serve a written notification a minimum of 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 composing giving approval or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 14 days of getting the notification, the effect is to put the notification into disagreement. No official agreement is needed for a wall up to the limit line, the neighbour simply needs not to object in writing.
- No work might start on a wall astride the limit line till all neighbouring celebrations have concurred in writing to the notice (or a modified notification).
See listed below concerning what happens 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 requires to be served a minimum of one month prior to the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations need to provide written agreement within 2 week or a conflict is considered to have actually occurred.
See below concerning what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
If a conflict emerges, what occurs.
If arrangement can not be reached between neighbouring parties, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to figure out a objective and fair Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party selects their own Surveyor to represent the private celebrations.
The person who is performing the work will normally need to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Property surveyor. However it ought to be noted that any Surveyor should act within their statutory responsibilities and propose a objective and reasonable Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the individual Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which should be unbiased and reasonable to all parties.
- Once an Award has actually been made, all parties have 2 week to interest a County Court versus the Award.
As soon as you have arrangement.
When you have arrangement, all work should abide by the notification. All the agreements need to be retained to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the home might want to develop that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve only offered a quick summary of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work however take a look at the Neighborhoods and City government site for a more comprehensive explanatory pamphlet including example letters for reactions and notices.
- If a notification arrives unexpectedly, talking about desired work with neighbours is totally free and can prevent misunderstanding which might arise.
- Your regional Structure Control Office may be able to provide free guidance concerning the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific situations.
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