What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an arrangement made in between at least 2 neighbouring occupiers prior to the start of construction/building work which is to be undertaken to a party boundary or structure, or where works are being carried out in close distance to a party limit or structure. There are 3 main types of work which need a Party Wall Property surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a new wall on or along with a border).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening and so on).
- Nearby Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and throughout the UK, our skilled commercial structure property surveyors perform a series of professional surveying services consisting of 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 simple to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not affect garden building, however it does impact the building of limit walls even if not part of buildings and can likewise 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 work on an appropriate 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 Authorization for any work undertaken. Having Preparation Consent does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act comes into effect if somebody is preparing to do deal with an appropriate structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just imply the wall in between two semi-detached properties, as far as garden enthusiasts are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the boundary line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the homes however is not part of any building.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring property.
For information of how the Party Wall Act impacts building work in basic, have a look at this page.
As with all work impacting neighbours, it is constantly better to reach a friendly agreement instead of resort to any law. Even where the work requires a notification to be served, it is much better to informally discuss the desired work, consider the neighbours comments, and change your strategies (if appropriate) before serving the notice.
What garden work requires 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 may cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be informed. Recommendations should be sought from a local Building Control Workplace or professional surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To demolish and/or rebuild/build a party limit 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 foundations of the neighbouring building.
If the prepared deal with a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notice needs to be provided to all affected neighbouring parties. The notification needs to consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the home undertaking the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will typically be simply a single sentence describing 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 involves excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position and so on
If the prepared work is a brand-new limit wall as much as or astride the limit line the procedure of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual meaning to carry out the work needs to serve a written notice a minimum of one months before the desired start of the work to every neighbouring party giving information of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party needs to react in writing providing authorization or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 2 week of receiving the notification, the result is to put the notice into conflict. No formal agreement is required for a wall up to the boundary line, the neighbour simply requires not to object in composing.
- No work may begin on a wall astride the boundary line until all neighbouring celebrations have actually agreed in writing to the notice (or a revised notification).
See listed below regarding what takes place 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 needs to be served a minimum of one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations must provide written agreement within 14 days or a conflict is considered to have taken place.
See below regarding what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
What takes place if a conflict develops.
If arrangement can not be reached between neighbouring parties, the process is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to figure out a unbiased and reasonable Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party selects their own Property surveyor to represent the individual celebrations.
The individual who is carrying out the work will usually need to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Property surveyor. Nevertheless it must be kept in mind that any Surveyor needs to act within their statutory duties and propose a fair and unbiased Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the individual Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which needs to be reasonable and unbiased to all parties.
- Once an Award has been made, all celebrations have 14 days to interest a County Court versus the Award.
As soon as you have arrangement.
As soon as you have contract, all work must adhere to the notice. All the arrangements ought to be retained to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the property may want to establish that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
Keep in mind:
- We’ve just offered a brief outline of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work but have a look at the Neighborhoods and City government website for a more comprehensive explanatory booklet consisting of example letters for actions and notifications.
- If a notice arrives unexpectedly, going over designated work with neighbours is totally free and can avoid misconception which may develop.
- Your local Building Control Office may have the ability to give complimentary suggestions regarding the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific circumstances.
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