What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is a contract made between at least two neighbouring occupiers prior to the start of construction/building work which is to be undertaken to a party limit or structure, or where works are being undertaken in close proximity to a party boundary or structure. There are 3 main types of work which need a Party Wall Surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a new wall on or along with a boundary).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, reconstructing, thickening and so on).
- Surrounding Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and throughout the UK, our knowledgeable commercial building surveyors carry out a series of expert surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we carry out 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.
THE PARTY WALL ACT 1996- A BEGINNERS GUIDE
We appreciate that lots of people wanting to perform works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late phase in the pre-construction process. We also understand it can be a complicated process for those that have not experienced it in the past. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior surveyors, offers his “beginners guide” which intends to offer an overview understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a treatment to follow when developing work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near neighbouring buildings, and new walls at boundaries. The Act permits owners to perform certain specific works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is designed to avoid or minimise disagreements by ensuring homeowner inform their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act offers a mechanism for dealing with conflicts and enabling works to continue. It also requires that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or surveyors will determine the time and way in which those works are performed.
What is a party wall?
Party walls generally separate buildings coming from different owners but could consist of garden walls built astride a boundary– called party fence walls. Where a wall separates two various size structures typically only the part that is utilized by both properties is a party wall, the rest comes from the person or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so included due to the fact that the arrangements of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they also consist of party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” indicates a wall (not being part of a structure) which bases on lands of various owners and is utilized or constructed to be used for separating such adjacent lands, however does not consist of a wall built on the land of one owner the artificially formed assistance of which projects into the land of another owner;
” party structure” suggests a party wall and likewise a flooring partition or other structure separating structures or parts of buildings approached exclusively by different entrances or different staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are certain products of work that you can only be done after informing the adjacent owners and either receiving written contract of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (however are not restricted to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion.
- placing a moist evidence course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any items preventing this from taking place.
- restoring a party and demolishing wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjacent walls or buildings by cutting a flashing into an adjoining structure.
- excavating structures within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating structures within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
Notices are likewise needed if it is proposed to construct a brand-new wall on the line of junction (boundary line). A party wall property surveyor will generally be able to confirm which work is notifiable and recommendations the notice duration and kind of notification required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to certain particular types of work and is permissive in nature. It ought to not be viewed as a technique of objecting to or preventing works and it is not intended to be applied to small tasks that do not impact the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is normally agreed that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are small works and do not require a notice.
The functions of the Act are constantly instigated by the of providing notifications. This is the first stage of the process and, without the issue of legitimate notifications, no further action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.
Composed notice must be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months prior to starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners need to be served a notification and there are likely to be instances where there is more than one adjoining property and more than one owner of each property (ie: if the adjacent property is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Functions to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or flooring, will also require a notice to adjacent owners living above or listed below.
Valid notices must contain the following details as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the building owner;.
- The nature and details of the proposed work consisting of strategies, sections and details of building techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is essential to include the proper details on a notification as, if they are considered void, then any subsequent actions are likewise invalid.
Responses To Notices.
On receipt of a notification, an adjoining owner has three possible courses of action:.
- To consent to the works going on as explained. If there is a disagreement at that stage, a consenting Adjacent Owner maintains all rights under the Act including the right to designate a property surveyor later on in the procedure.
- To dissent and select a property surveyor. The Act permits the Owners to concur in the consultation of a single ‘Agreed’ property surveyor or designate their own separate surveyor.
- Provide a counter notice to set out particular conditions needed for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice must set out what extra or customized work the Adjoining Owner would like to be consisted of for his advantage.
If the adjoining does not respond within 14 days then a deemed dispute is said to have actually taken place and the individual carrying out the work should appoint a property surveyor to act on the adjacent owners behalf.
If adjoining owners offer written grant the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no disagreement to deal with and no additional need for party wall property surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work proceeds as detailed within the notification and no damage is triggered, then no further participation is essential.
If adjacent owners dissent to the works (or if no response is gotten and a considered dissent has occurred) then a conflict has occurred which must be resolved under the requirements of Section 10 of The Act. It deserves restating that the Act is among enablement, it is not there to prevent works from taking place and it provides a route to end disagreements at every stage. Where written agreement is not given, the solution the Act provides is for both celebrations to designate an ‘concurred property surveyor’ who will act impartially or for each owner to appoint a property surveyor who in turn appoint a third property surveyor. The property surveyors then interact to agree the terms under which work might proceed. The property surveyor( s) will evaluate the plans, notices and structural details of the works and, after thinking about the impact of the works, will draw up a contract which sets out the terms under which work can be carried out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will normally tape the condition of the appropriate part of adjoining property before work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act however is considered excellent practice and is appropriately offered by most good property surveyors). The award may likewise give access to both properties so that the works can be securely performed and the surveyor/s can examine work in development.
Usually, the building owner who started the work spends for all expenditures of work and the sensible expenses incurred by all parties as a result, this will include the surveyors fees for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that many people wishing to bring out works on their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late phase in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, provides his “newbies guide” which aims to provide an outline understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 supplies a treatment to follow when constructing work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and brand-new walls at boundaries. The Act permits owners to carry out certain particular works, including work to the complete thickness of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time protecting the interests of anyone else who may be impacted by that work. Written notification needs to be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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