What is a Party Wall Award?
The process and requirements of a Party Wall Award are as set out in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. A Party Wall Award is an agreement made between a minimum of two 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 border or structure. There are three primary kinds of work which need a Party Wall Property surveyor to conduct a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (developing a brand-new wall on or alongside a border).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening etc.).
- Adjacent 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 property surveyors perform a variety of professional surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we perform Party Wall Surveys by knowledgeable and expert 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.
How The Party Wall etc.
Act 1996 Functions In simplistic terms, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 can be divided into two stages; firstly the Notifying Phase and secondly, if required, the Disputed Stage. The first stage is where the Structure Owners have a legal obligation to serve a formal Notification detailing the proposed works upon the Adjoining Owners. If the Adjacent Owners are satisfied that the Structure Owners’ proposed works will be of no inconvenience or, posture no threat of damage to their home, the Adjoining Owners just require to verify, in writing, that they consent to the works and the Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 might end there. The second phase would only be triggered if the Adjacent Owners had any concerns relating to the Structure Owners’ proposals or picked to disregard the Notification served by the Building Owners.
A conflict would then be considered to have emerged and, the structure offered by the Party Wall and so on. At the point of a “disagreement” having occurred, both the Structure Owners and the Adjacent Owners have to appoint a Party Wall Property surveyor to continue with fixing the dispute.
Prior to any dispute arising, Structure Owners and Adjacent Owners do not necessarily need the services of a Party Wall Surveyor. The Party Wall Business are frequently commissioned to supply recommendations on the Act and to serve the appropriate Party Wall Notices, guaranteeing they are legally valid.
What is a Party Wall Notification?
Structure Owners planning to perform any of the works defined within the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 have a legal responsibility to serve written Notice on any Adjacent Owner who might be affected by the Structure Owners proposed works. There is no main template for a Notification. Adequate information of the proposed works, legal names of all Owners, and when the proposed works will begin are all crucial to guarantee the validity of the Notification.
The case of Lehmann vs Herman (1993) reveals the importance of serving a legitimate Notice. Mr and Mrs Lehmann and Mr and Mrs Herman owned adjoining homes. Mr Herman wished to fix the Party Fence Wall that divided the two gardens and served a Notice on Mr and Mrs Lehmann. Nevertheless, as Mr Herman only served the Notification in his name, Mr and Mrs Lehmann refused to accept the Notice as being valid and argued that as both Mr and Mrs Herman would be considered as Structure Owners under the Act, Mrs Herman should likewise be included on the Notice. The dispute wound up in court and the judge agreed with the Lehmanns that the Notice was invalid.
What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is a legally binding document between Structure Owners and Adjoining Owners, which has actually been agreed by the designated property surveyor( s), authorising the execution of building work in accordance with the Act. An Award will likewise mention information of: how the works are to be carried out; working times and days; procedures needed to safeguard the Adjoining Owners property from damage and unneeded trouble; and make provisions for making good or the payment of compensation should harm be caused. An Arrange of Condition study of the Adjoining Owners property, although not a specific requirement of the Party Wall and so on. Act 1996, is popular and forms a referral document within the Award. The function of a Set up of Condition study is to offer a composed and photographic record of the condition of the structure prior to any works beginning. The schedule is then referred to should any damage emerged during or after completion of the works
I Already Have Planning Permission And/ Or Structure Control Approval. Do I Still Need To Follow The Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 is an absolutely separate piece of statute legislation to the Town and Nation Preparation Act 1990 or the Building Act 1984. If your planned works would be deemed notifiable under the Party Wall Act then yes, you would have to follow the treatments set out within the Act. No Regional Authority authorization or approval would get rid of the legal obligation to serve a Party Wall Notice upon your neighbour( s).
Does The Party Wall Act Cover Garden Fences?
The Act does cover “Party Fence Walls” which are considered to be a wall of solid structure that sits astride a boundary and not being part of a structure. For that reason, any works to such walls that would be considered notifiable under the Party Wall Act would also apply to Party Fence Walls. Timber fencing, precast concrete posts with infill panel fencing, etc would not be considered to be a Party Fence Wall, whether astride a limit or not.
If the Adjoining Owners are pleased that the Building Owners’ proposed works will be of no inconvenience or, posture no danger of damage to their home, the Adjoining Owners just need to validate, in composing, that they consent to the works and the Party Wall etc. At the point of a “dispute” having developed, both the Structure Owners and the Adjacent Owners have to designate a Party Wall Surveyor to proceed with dealing with the disagreement. The Party Wall Company are typically commissioned to offer guidance on the Act and to serve the appropriate Party Wall Notices, guaranteeing they are legally legitimate. A Party Wall Award is a lawfully binding file between Structure Owners and Adjoining Owners, which has actually been agreed by the appointed surveyor( s), authorising the execution of structure work in accordance with the Act. Any works to such walls that would be deemed notifiable under the Party Wall Act would also use to Party Fence Walls.
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