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 in between at least 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 undertaken in close proximity to a party limit or structure. There are three primary types of work which need a Party Wall Surveyor to conduct a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (building a new wall on or along with a limit).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, reconstructing, 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 experienced business structure property surveyors carry out a range of professional surveying services consisting of Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we carry out Party Wall Studies by professional 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 impacts the garden
At first sight, it is simple to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not affect garden building and construction, however it does impact the building of limit walls even if not part of structures and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and gives you rights and duties whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on a pertinent 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 Approval for any work carried out. Having Preparation Consent does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters impact if someone is preparing to do deal with a pertinent structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply suggest the wall in between two semi-detached residential or commercial properties, as far as garden enthusiasts are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the limit line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the residential or commercial properties but is not part of any structure.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring residential or commercial property.
For information of how the Party Wall Act affects building operate in basic, have a look at this page.
Just like all work affecting neighbours, it is constantly much better to reach a friendly agreement instead of resort to any law. Even where the work requires a notification to be served, it is better to informally discuss the designated work, consider the neighbours remarks, and amend your plans (if suitable) prior to serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notice and permission.
The basic principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have an effect upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or might trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be notified. Guidance should be sought from a local Structure Control Office or professional surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or demolish border wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party border wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below the bottom of the foundations 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 building.
If the planned deal with a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification must be released to all impacted neighbouring parties. The notification needs to consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the home carrying out the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will usually 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 includes excavations, a drawing revealing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a new limit wall up to or astride the boundary line the process of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual planning to carry out the work must serve a written notice at least one months prior to the desired start of the work to every neighbouring party providing details of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party needs to react in writing giving consent or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 2 week of getting the notification, the impact is to put the notice into disagreement. Nevertheless no official arrangement is required for a wall approximately the boundary line, the neighbour simply needs not to object in composing.
- No work might commence on a wall astride the border line till all neighbouring celebrations have agreed in writing to the notification (or a revised notice).
See listed below regarding what takes place in case of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notice requires to be served at least one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring parties should give written contract within 14 days or a conflict is deemed to have actually happened.
See listed below regarding what occurs in the event of a dispute/objection.
If a conflict develops, what takes place.
If arrangement can not be reached in between neighbouring celebrations, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are appointed to identify a objective and fair Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all parties).
- Each party designates their own Surveyor to represent the private celebrations.
The individual who is carrying out the work will usually have to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor needlessly – in the viewpoint of the Property surveyor. It needs to be kept in mind that any Property surveyor should act within their statutory obligations and propose a neutral and reasonable Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the private Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which should be reasonable and objective to all parties.
- Once an Award has been made, all parties have 2 week to interest a County Court against the Award.
Once you have contract.
All work needs to comply with the notice when you have contract. All the contracts ought to be maintained to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the home may want to develop that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
Keep in mind:
- We have actually only given a short summary of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work but take a look at the Neighborhoods and City government website for a more detailed explanatory booklet consisting of example letters for reactions and notifications.
- Discussing designated work with neighbours is free and can prevent misunderstanding which may arise if a notice gets here all of a sudden.
- Your regional Building Control Office might be able to provide complimentary recommendations relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific scenarios.
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