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 in between at least two neighbouring occupiers prior to the beginning 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 border or structure. There are 3 primary kinds of work which require a Party Wall Property 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, restoring, 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 skilled industrial building property surveyors perform a range of expert surveying services including Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we perform Party Wall Surveys by skilled and expert Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is an enabling Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a home the legal right to carry out specific works that may otherwise make up trespass or nuisance.
However, it likewise seeks to secure the interests of adjacent owners from any possibly unfavorable effects that such works might have by enforcing a requirement that all adjacent owners be given prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act provides for a necessary disagreement resolution treatment moderated by a statutorily selected property surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the implementation of any proposition so informed.
Specifically, such notice needs to be served where the owner of a home (called ‘the building owner’) plans to undertake any building work described in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Keep in mind that it is only those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is limited to the following:
- Area 1 applies where it is proposed to set up a new wall at a border that is not currently built on.
- Section 2 issues existing party structures, which include party partitions, walls and floors (that different structures or parts of buildings), party fence walls (basically a border wall in between lands in separate ownership which is built astride a border) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent home.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations up to 6 m away from a structure or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The info that Sees must provide in regard of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notifications are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notice associating with Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is very important to note that the credibility of any notification not providing all the relevant information or served in the inaccurate way, could be available to challenge in Court.
There is no basic type of Notice although many people utilize those released by the RICS or variations added to the explanatory booklet provided by the Department for Communities and City Government. Provided all the details required by the relevant section of the Act is present, an easy letter would be similarly legitimate.
Depending upon the situations of any offered task there might be more than one adjacent owner on whom notice needs to be served in respect of the same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner might be besides an immediate neighbour. It is constantly more effective to discuss the intended works with adjacent owners before serving them with formal written notification – a proposition well explained might minimize issues sufficient to prevent a disagreement arising and avoid the necessity to select property surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be avoided:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory pamphlet says that some deal with a party wall may be so small that service of notification under the Act would be typically considered not needed and give as examples works unlikely to impact the structural strength or assistance functions of a party structure or trigger damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical wiring or inserting power sockets, and screws to support racks, cooking area cabinets, and so on.
- Works under Area 2 of the Act supplied that written approval is obtained from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The 3 kinds of Notification are known, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Area 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice must be served a minimum of 2 months prior to the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other two notices should be served at least one month prior to work starting.
The necessary information which Discovers should contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- An indicator of the building owner’s desire to construct 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:
- A sign of the building owner’s proposals.
- A declaration regarding whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise reinforce or secure the structures of the building or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying areas and strategies revealing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to erect a structure or structure, its site.
Most of the pro-forma notifications in use include the following information as a matter of course no matter the kind of notification:
- The date of the notification.
- The name and addresses of both the structure and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the homes being worked on/affected if various).
- A statement regarding the beginning of works relative to the appropriate notification duration.
- An advisory note discussing what happens if the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to react within 2 week.
Area 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjoining owner does not approval in writing to works notified by the building owner under Areas 3 and 6, both parties need to either agree on the visit of a single surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Surveyor), or each select their own surveyor, to determine by award matters in dispute between the celebrations.
Where a project is straightforward, this might just include consideration of the time and way in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex plans, thought will have to be offered to a commensurately greater number of factors and undoubtedly selected 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 same treatment is utilized to deal with any subsequent conflicts in between neighbouring owners that may emerge in relation to the notified works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjacent owner does not halt the statutory process. A conflict can emerge by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in regard of some matter emerging out of or incidental to the works – the methods of making that objection are not important, however if he remains silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a period of 2 week after having actually been served with a Notice under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act deems a dissent to have developed in any event.
There is no deemed dissent provision in Section 1 of the Act. A legitimate disagreement can still emerge, and surveyors be appointed in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works notified under that area but just as relates to real dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for disputing Section 2 and Area 6 works are seldom specified prior to the appointment of property surveyors and in most cases not even then.
Where dissent has arisen, whether actual or considered, both owners are legally obliged to appoint an agreed surveyor or, if they can not jointly agree on a bachelor, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, automatically gives the owner making the demand the statutory authority to select a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two property surveyors are designated, they are required to agree upon the choice, in writing, of a third property surveyor who may be called upon by either of the property surveyors or either of the parties to identify the contested matters and make the necessary award. The third surveyor is never ever designated by anybody however the Act provides the person so picked the exact same statutory powers as the two surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most commonly hired where the two surveyors have reached an impasse in their considerations over some particular point and frequently this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the costs of the property surveyor appointed by the adjacent owner. Rarely will a third property surveyor be asked to draw up an award in respect of the entire works however might accompany one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the requirement develops.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, however it ought to not be the same person that will supervise the works.
The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the costs for the preparation of the award and examination of the works to guarantee that they comply with the works, and who will pay for the works. They will usually be required to pay the fees and the cost of the works if the work is entirely for the advantage of the building owner.
Celebrations have 2 week to interest the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act permits access to the adjoining property for the functions of performing the works whether the adjacent owner allows or not, nevertheless they need to be given 2 week notice.
NB: The intro of The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 implies that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other files can be served by electronic interactions.
The details that Discovers should 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 Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A valid dispute can still arise, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works alerted under that area but just as regards real dissent on specific grounds. An adjacent owner’s reasons for disputing Area 2 and Section 6 works are rarely defined prior to the appointment of surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has occurred, whether actual or deemed, both owners are lawfully required to designate an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not jointly agree on a single person, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such a visit by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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