What is a Party Wall Award?
The procedure and requirements of a Party Wall Award are as set out in the Party Wall and so on. 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 border or structure, or where works are being undertaken in close proximity to a party boundary or structure. There are three main types of work which require a Party Wall Surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (building a new wall on or alongside a border).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, rebuilding, thickening and so on).
- Nearby Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and throughout the UK, our knowledgeable commercial structure surveyors perform a variety of professional surveying services including Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we carry out Party Wall Studies by expert and experienced 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 an enabling Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a home the legal right to carry out specific works that might otherwise make up trespass or problem.
Nevertheless, it also looks for to secure the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially adverse impacts that such works may have by enforcing a requirement that all adjacent owners be provided prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act provides for a compulsory dispute resolution treatment mediated by a statutorily appointed property surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the implementation of any proposition so alerted.
Particularly, such notice needs to be served where the owner of a property (referred to as ‘the building owner’) plans to undertake 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 applies where it is proposed to put up a new wall at a limit that is not already built on.
- Area 2 issues existing party structures, that include party partitions, floors and walls (that different structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (basically a boundary wall between lands in different ownership which is constructed astride a boundary) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent residential or commercial property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations as much as 6 m away from a structure or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The details that Sees need to offer in respect of works covered the above sections is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notifications are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notice connecting to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is essential to keep in mind that the credibility of any notice not providing all the relevant information or served in the inaccurate way, could be open to challenge in Court.
There is no standard form of Notification although many individuals use those released by the RICS or variations added to the explanatory pamphlet issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Nevertheless, supplied all the information needed by the relevant section of the Act is present, a basic letter would be similarly valid.
Depending on the circumstances of any offered job there may be more than one adjacent owner on whom observe requirements to be served in regard of the exact same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner may be other than an instant neighbour. It is always more suitable to talk about the designated deal with adjacent owners prior to serving them with official written notification – a proposition well discussed might alleviate issues enough to prevent a disagreement arising and prevent the need to select property surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the need to serve notice might be avoided:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory booklet states that some deal with a party wall may be so small that service of notification under the Act would be typically considered as not essential 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 circuitry or inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen area cupboards, and so forth.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act supplied that composed authorization is gotten from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The 3 types of Notice are understood, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Area 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification should be served a minimum of 2 months before the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other two notifications must be served a minimum of one month prior to work beginning.
The necessary information which Discovers should consist of are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- An indication of the structure owner’s desire to construct 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 start.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indicator of the structure owner’s propositions.
- A declaration as to whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or secure the structures of the structure or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying plans and sections showing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the building owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to erect a structure or structure, its website.
Most of the pro-forma notifications in use consist of the following information as a matter of course regardless of the kind of notice:
- The date of the notification.
- If various), the name and addresses of both the building and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the properties being worked on/affected.
- A declaration as to the start of works relative to the appropriate notification duration.
- An advisory note describing what occurs if the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to respond within 14 days.
Area 10 of the Act states that where an adjoining owner does not permission in writing to works informed by the structure owner under Areas 3 and 6, both celebrations need to either agree on the visit of a single surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each select their own property surveyor, to determine by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a job is straightforward, this might only involve factor to consider of the time and way in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex schemes, thought will need to be offered to a commensurately greater number of elements and certainly appointed surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter gotten in touch with any work to which the act relates.
The same procedure is used to resolve any subsequent disagreements in between neighbouring owners that might occur in relation to the alerted works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjacent owner does not stop the statutory procedure. A dispute can occur by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the building owner an objection in regard of some matter arising out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are not important, but if he remains quiet, neither dissenting nor consenting for a period of 14 days after having actually been served with a Notification under either Section 3 or Section 6, the Act deems a dissent to have emerged in any event.
There is no deemed dissent arrangement in Area 1 of the Act. A valid dispute can still occur, and surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works notified under that area but only as relates to actual dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s factors for challenging Section 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the appointment of property surveyors and oftentimes not even then.
Where dissent has actually developed, whether real or deemed, both owners are legally required to appoint a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not jointly settle on a bachelor, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a consultation by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, automatically provides the owner making the demand the statutory authority to appoint a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in section 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two property surveyors are selected, they are required to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a third surveyor who may be called upon by either of the property surveyors or either of the parties to figure out the disputed matters and make the essential award. The 3rd surveyor is never ever appointed by anybody but the Act provides the individual so chose the very same statutory powers as the two surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most commonly called upon where the two property surveyors have actually reached an impasse in their considerations over some particular point and often this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the costs of the property surveyor designated by the adjoining owner. Rarely will a third property surveyor be asked to draw up an award in respect of the whole works but may accompany one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need arises.
There is no definition of who can be a property surveyor, but it needs to not be the same individual 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 ensure that they comply with the works, and who will pay 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 expense of the works.
If they disagree with the award, parties have 14 days to appeal to the county court.
The Act allows access to the adjoining property for the functions of performing the works whether the adjoining owner permits or not, nevertheless they must be offered 14 days notice.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 suggests that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other files can be served by electronic interactions.
The info that Observes need to offer in respect of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A legitimate disagreement can still occur, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works informed under that section however just as concerns real dissent on particular premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for challenging Area 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the visit of property surveyors and in lots of cases not even then.
Where dissent has occurred, whether real or considered, both owners are legally required to select a concurred surveyor or, if they can not jointly concur on a single individual, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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