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 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 boundary or structure. There are 3 main types of work which need a Party Wall Property surveyor to conduct a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (building a brand-new wall on or together with a limit).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening etc.).
- 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 structure surveyors perform a series of expert surveying services including Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we perform 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.
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is a making it possible for Act, insofar as it grants the owner of a residential or commercial property the legal right to undertake particular works that may otherwise make up trespass or nuisance.
It likewise seeks to secure the interests of adjoining owners from any possibly adverse impacts that such works may have by imposing a requirement that all adjacent owners be provided prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act offers a necessary disagreement resolution treatment mediated by a statutorily appointed surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the application of any proposal so informed.
Particularly, such notification must be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (referred to as ‘the structure owner’) intends to carry out any construction work explained 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:
- Section 1 uses where it is proposed to put up a brand-new wall at a border that is not currently built on.
- Section 2 concerns existing party structures, which include party floorings, walls and partitions (that different buildings or parts of buildings), party fence walls (basically a boundary wall between lands in different ownership which is constructed astride a border) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent residential or commercial property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations approximately 6 m far from a structure or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The details that Discovers need to supply in respect of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notifications are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notice connecting to Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is essential to note that the validity of any notice not offering all the pertinent information or served in the incorrect manner, 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 City Government. Nevertheless, supplied all the information required by the relevant section of the Act exists, an easy letter would be similarly legitimate.
Depending on the circumstances of any offered task there may be more than one adjacent owner on whom notice requirements to be served in respect of the very same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner might be other than an instant neighbour. It is constantly more effective to go over the desired works with adjacent owners prior to serving them with official written notification – a proposal well discussed may ease issues enough to prevent a disagreement arising and prevent the necessity to designate surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the need to serve notice might be avoided:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory pamphlet says that some works on a party wall might be so minor that service of notice under the Act would be typically considered as not needed and give as examples works not likely to impact the structural strength or assistance functions of a party structure or cause damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical circuitry or inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen area cabinets, and so forth.
- Functions under Section 2 of the Act supplied that written authorization is obtained from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The three kinds of Notice are known, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Section 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice need to be served a minimum of two months prior to the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other two notices should be served a minimum of one month prior to work beginning.
The compulsory info which Sees need to contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- A sign of the structure owner’s desire to build a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notice:
- The name and address of the building 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 building owner’s propositions.
- A statement as to whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise reinforce or secure the structures of the structure or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying strategies and areas revealing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the building owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to set up a building or structure, its website.
The majority of the pro-forma notifications in use consist of the following info as a matter of course regardless of the type of notice:
- The date of the notice.
- If different), the name and addresses of both the structure and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the homes being worked on/affected.
- A statement regarding the beginning of works relative to the appropriate notification period.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to react within 14 days, an advisory note discussing what takes place.
Section 10 of the Act states that where an adjacent owner does not authorization in writing to works notified by the building owner under Areas 3 and 6, both parties must either settle on the consultation of a single surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Surveyor), or each designate their own surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute in between the celebrations.
Where a project is straightforward, this may just involve factor to consider of the time and manner in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex schemes, thought will have to be provided to a commensurately greater number of elements and certainly designated property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The same procedure is used to deal with any subsequent disagreements in between neighbouring owners that might develop in relation to the notified works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjoining owner does not stop the statutory procedure. A conflict can emerge by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the structure owner an objection in regard of some matter developing out of or incidental to the works – the means of making that objection are trivial, but if he stays silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a duration of 2 week after having been served with a Notification under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act considers a dissent to have developed in any event.
There is no considered dissent arrangement in Area 1 of the Act. A legitimate dispute can still occur, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works informed under that section however only as concerns actual dissent on particular grounds. An adjacent owner’s reasons for disputing Area 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever defined prior to the visit of surveyors and in a lot of cases not even then.
Where dissent has arisen, whether real or deemed, both owners are legally required to select a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a single person, a surveyor each and if requested to make such a consultation by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, instantly offers the owner making the demand the statutory authority to designate a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This procedure is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 property surveyors are appointed, they are required to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a third property surveyor who may be hired by either of the surveyors or either of the parties to figure out the contested matters and make the essential award. The third surveyor is never ever designated by anybody however the Act offers the individual so selected the same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most frequently called upon where the two surveyors have reached an impasse in their considerations over some specific point and frequently this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the costs of the surveyor appointed by the adjacent owner. Hardly ever will a third surveyor be asked to prepare an award in regard of the entire works but may join with one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the requirement emerges.
There is no meaning of who can be a property surveyor, but it must not be the same individual that will supervise the works.
The award will set out the works that can be performed, who will pay the costs for the preparation of the award and inspection of the works to guarantee that they abide by the works, and who will pay for the works. They will usually be required to pay the fees and the expense of the works if the work is entirely for the benefit of the structure owner.
Parties have 2 week to interest the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act enables access to the adjacent residential or commercial property for the purposes of carrying out the works whether the adjoining owner permits or not, however they should be provided 2 week notification.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 implies that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other documents can be served by electronic communications.
The info that Notices should offer in regard of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those areas but the requirements of a Notification relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A valid conflict can still develop, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works notified under that area but just as concerns actual dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for challenging Area 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever defined prior to the visit of surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually developed, whether actual or considered, both owners are legally obliged to appoint a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not jointly agree on a single individual, a surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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