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 an agreement made between at least 2 neighbouring occupiers prior to the beginning of construction/building work which is to be carried out to a party limit 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 require a Party Wall Property surveyor to conduct a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (developing a new wall on or alongside a border).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, rebuilding, thickening etc.).
- Adjacent Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and across the UK, our skilled industrial structure surveyors carry out a series of professional surveying services including Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we carry out Party Wall Surveys by expert and skilled 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.
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 is an allowing Act, insofar as it grants the owner of a home the legal right to undertake certain works that might otherwise constitute trespass or problem.
It likewise seeks to safeguard the interests of adjacent owners from any potentially unfavorable results that such works might have by imposing a requirement that all adjacent owners be provided prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act offers a compulsory dispute resolution treatment moderated by a statutorily selected property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the application of any proposition so informed.
Specifically, such notification needs to be served where the owner of a property (called ‘the structure owner’) means to undertake any building work explained in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Keep in mind that it is just those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is limited to the following:
- Area 1 uses where it is proposed to put up a new wall at a limit that is not already built on.
- Section 2 issues existing party structures, that include party floors, walls and partitions (that different buildings or parts of structures), party fence walls (basically a boundary wall in between lands in separate ownership which is developed astride a border) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent residential or commercial property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations up to 6 m far from a building or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The details that Observes should supply in regard of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notification relating to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is essential to note that the credibility of any notice not offering all the appropriate details or served in the incorrect way, could be available to challenge in Court.
There is no basic kind of Notification although many people use those published by the RICS or variations added to the explanatory booklet issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government. However, provided all the information required by the appropriate area of the Act exists, a simple letter would be similarly valid.
Depending on the scenarios of any provided task there might be more than one adjoining owner on whom see needs to be served in regard of the same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner might be besides an immediate neighbour. It is always more suitable to discuss the intended deal with adjacent owners before serving them with formal composed notice – a proposal well described might ease issues sufficient to prevent a conflict developing and avoid the need to designate property surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the requirement to serve notice may be prevented:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory brochure says that some deal with a party wall may be so small that service of notification under the Act would be usually considered as not necessary and give as examples works not likely to affect the structural strength or support functions of a party structure or cause damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical wiring or placing power sockets, and screws to support racks, kitchen cabinets, and so forth.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act provided that written authorization is gotten from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The three types of Notification are known, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Area 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification should be served at least two months prior to the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other two notices must be served a minimum of one month prior to work beginning.
The necessary details which Sees must contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- A sign of the structure owner’s desire to build a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- The name and address of the structure owner.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the structure owner’s propositions.
- A statement regarding whether or not the building owner proposes to underpin or otherwise reinforce or safeguard the structures of the building or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying sections and plans showing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to put up a building or structure, its site.
Most of the pro-forma notices in use consist of the following info as a matter of course no matter the type of notice:
- The date of the notification.
- The name and addresses of both the structure and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the properties being worked on/affected if various).
- A declaration regarding the start of works relative to the suitable notification period.
- An advisory note explaining what happens if the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to react within 14 days.
Area 10 of the Act states that where an adjacent owner does not consent in writing to works informed by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both celebrations should either agree on the appointment of a single surveyor to act for both of them (referred to as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each select their own property surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a job is straightforward, this might only involve factor to consider of the time and manner in which those works are to be performed. In more complex schemes, thought will need to be provided to a commensurately greater number of elements and indeed designated property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in regard of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The very same treatment is utilized to deal with any subsequent disagreements in between neighbouring owners that may arise in relation to the alerted works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjacent owner does not stop the statutory procedure. A dispute can arise by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the structure owner an objection in respect of some matter occurring out of or incidental to the works – the means of making that objection are trivial, however if he stays silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a period of 14 days after having been served with a Notification under either Section 3 or Section 6, the Act deems a dissent to have actually emerged in any event.
There is no considered dissent provision in Area 1 of the Act. A legitimate dispute can still arise, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works alerted under that section however just as relates to actual dissent on particular grounds. An adjacent owner’s factors for challenging Section 2 and Section 6 works are seldom specified prior to the consultation of surveyors and in a lot of cases not even then.
Where dissent has occurred, whether actual or considered, both owners are legally required to designate a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a bachelor, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a consultation by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, immediately gives the owner making the demand the statutory authority to appoint a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 surveyors are selected, they are obliged to agree upon the selection, in composing, of a 3rd surveyor who might be called upon by either of the property surveyors or either of the parties to figure out the contested matters and make the essential award. The 3rd surveyor is never ever designated by anyone however the Act offers the person so picked the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd property surveyors are most frequently called upon where the two surveyors have actually reached an impasse in their considerations over some particular point and frequently this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the fees of the surveyor designated by the adjoining owner. Rarely will a 3rd surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the entire works however may join with one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the need emerges.
There is no meaning of who can be a surveyor, however it ought to not be the same person that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the fees for the preparation of the award and inspection of the works to make sure that they comply with the works, and who will spend for the works. If the work is entirely for the benefit of the building owner, then they will normally be required to pay the costs and the cost of the works.
Celebrations have 14 days to interest the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act permits access to the adjacent home for the functions of performing the works whether the adjacent owner permits or not, nevertheless they must be offered 2 week notice.
NB: The intro of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 suggests that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other documents can be served by electronic interactions.
The information that Notices need to offer in regard of works covered the above sections is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notification relating to Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A valid conflict can still develop, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works notified under that section but only as concerns actual dissent on specific premises. An adjoining owner’s reasons for disputing Area 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the appointment of surveyors and in lots of cases not even then.
Where dissent has developed, whether actual or deemed, both owners are lawfully required to select a concurred surveyor or, if they can not collectively concur on a single person, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such a visit by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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