What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an arrangement made in between at least two 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 undertaken in close distance to a party boundary or structure. There are three main types of work which need a Party Wall Property surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a new wall on or along with a limit).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, 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 building property surveyors perform a series of expert surveying services including Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Studies 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.
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it effects 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 boundary walls even if not part of buildings and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered force in 1997, so it is now law and offers you rights and obligations whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on an appropriate structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Preparation Consent for any work undertaken. Having Preparation Approval does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters into effect 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 2 semi-detached residential or commercial properties, as far as gardeners are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the border line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the residential or commercial properties but is not part of any structure.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring residential or commercial property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act affects building operate in basic, have a look at this page.
Similar to all work impacting neighbours, it is always better to reach a friendly agreement instead of turn to any law. Even where the work needs a notice to be served, it is better to informally talk about the designated work, think about the neighbours comments, and amend your plans (if proper) prior to serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notification and authorization.
The general concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an impact upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or may cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall need to be notified. Advice should be sought from a local Structure Control Workplace or expert surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To demolish and/or rebuild/build a party border wall.
- To increase the height or thickness of a party limit wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go listed below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
- 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 structures of the neighbouring structure.
If the planned work on a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notice needs to be issued to all impacted neighbouring parties. The notification must include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the property carrying out the work.
- The address of the property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will typically be simply a single sentence laying out 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 showing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a new border wall approximately or astride the border line the procedure of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual meaning to perform the work should serve a written notice at least one months prior to the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party providing information of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party must respond in composing providing authorization 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. However no formal contract is needed for a wall up to the boundary line, the neighbour simply requires not to object in writing.
- No work may start on a wall astride the boundary line till all neighbouring celebrations have agreed in writing to the notification (or a revised notification).
See listed below concerning 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 notification needs to be served a minimum of one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations need to provide written agreement within 2 week or a conflict is deemed to have actually taken place.
See listed below concerning what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
What takes place if a conflict arises.
If arrangement can not be reached in between neighbouring parties, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to determine a impartial and fair Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all celebrations).
- Each party appoints their own Property surveyor to represent the individual celebrations.
The person who is carrying out the work will typically need to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor needlessly – in the opinion of the Surveyor. It ought to be noted that any Property surveyor needs to act within their statutory responsibilities and propose a reasonable and neutral Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the specific Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which needs to be fair and impartial to all parties.
- As soon as an Award has actually been made, all celebrations have 2 week to appeal to a County Court against the Award.
Once you have arrangement.
All work should comply with the notice when you have contract. All the contracts ought to be kept to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the residential or commercial property may want to establish that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We have actually just given a short overview of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work however have a look at the Communities and Local Government website for a more thorough explanatory pamphlet consisting of example letters for responses and notifications.
- Going over designated deal with neighbours is totally free and can prevent misunderstanding which may emerge if a notice arrives unexpectedly.
- Your local Structure Control Office may have the ability to provide complimentary advice relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific circumstances.
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