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 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 boundary or structure, or where works are being undertaken in close proximity to a party border or structure. There are three primary types of work which require a Party Wall Surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a brand-new wall on or together with a limit).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, rebuilding, 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 business structure property surveyors carry out a variety of professional surveying services including Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by experienced and professional Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 is an enabling Act, insofar as it approves the owner of a property the legal right to undertake specific works that might otherwise make up trespass or problem.
It likewise seeks to secure the interests of adjacent owners from any possibly adverse effects that such works may have by enforcing a requirement that all adjacent owners be offered prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act attends to a mandatory conflict resolution procedure moderated by a statutorily designated property surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the application of any proposition so notified.
Specifically, such notification must be served where the owner of a property (called ‘the structure owner’) plans to carry out any building 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:
- Area 1 uses where it is proposed to erect a new wall at a limit that is not currently built on.
- Area 2 concerns existing party structures, which include party floors, partitions and walls (that different structures or parts of buildings), party fence walls (essentially a boundary wall between lands in different ownership which is built astride a boundary) and, in some instances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations as much as 6 m far from a structure or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The details that Observes need to supply in regard of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those areas but the requirements of a Notice associating with Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is essential to note that the credibility of any notice not providing all the appropriate information or served in the incorrect way, could be open to challenge in Court.
There is no basic kind of Notice although many people utilize those published by the RICS or versions appended to the explanatory brochure issued by the Department for Communities and City Government. Nevertheless, offered all the info required by the pertinent area of the Act is present, a basic letter would be equally legitimate.
Depending on the circumstances of any offered job there may be more than one adjoining owner on whom notice requirements to be served in respect of the very same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner might be other than an immediate neighbour. It is constantly preferable to talk about the designated works with adjoining owners before serving them with formal written notice – a proposition well described may alleviate issues sufficient to prevent a dispute arising and prevent the necessity to select property surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the need to serve notice might be prevented:
- 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 generally considered not essential and give as examples works not likely to affect 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 racks, kitchen area cabinets, and so forth.
- Functions under Area 2 of the Act provided that composed consent is gotten from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The three kinds of Notice are understood, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Area 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification should be served at least 2 months before the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other 2 notifications need to be served a minimum of one month prior to work commencing.
The necessary details which Notices should include are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- A sign 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 begin.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the building owner’s proposals.
- A statement as to whether or not the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or protect the foundations of the building or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying plans and areas showing: a) the site and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to set up a structure or structure, its website.
Most of the pro-forma notifications in use consist of the following info as a matter of course regardless of the kind of notification:
- The date of the notice.
- If different), the name and addresses of both the building and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the residential or commercial properties being worked on/affected.
- A statement regarding the beginning of works relative to the suitable notice period.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to react within 14 days, an advisory note explaining what happens.
Area 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjoining owner does not approval in writing to works notified by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both celebrations must either settle on the consultation of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each select their own surveyor, to identify by award matters in dispute in between the celebrations.
Where a task 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, believed will need to be offered to a commensurately greater number of factors and certainly 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 very same treatment is used to fix any subsequent disagreements in between neighbouring owners that may develop in relation to the notified works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjacent owner does not stop the statutory procedure. A disagreement can arise by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the structure owner an objection in respect of some matter emerging out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are not important, however if he stays quiet, neither dissenting nor consenting for a duration of 14 days after having been served with a Notice under either Area 3 or Area 6, the Act considers a dissent to have actually occurred in any event.
There is no considered dissent provision in Area 1 of the Act. A valid disagreement can still occur, and surveyors be appointed in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works notified under that section however just as regards real dissent on specific premises. An adjoining owner’s factors for disputing Section 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever defined prior to the consultation of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually emerged, whether real or considered, both owners are lawfully required to designate an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a single person, a surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, immediately provides 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 section 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two property surveyors are appointed, they are obliged to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a third property 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 needed award. The third property surveyor is never ever selected by anybody but the Act provides the person so chose the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd property surveyors are most typically hired where the two property surveyors have actually reached an impasse in their considerations over some specific point and typically this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the costs of the property surveyor appointed by the adjoining owner. Rarely will a 3rd surveyor be asked to draw up an award in respect of the entire works but might accompany one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need emerges.
There is no meaning of who can be a surveyor, but it needs to 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 fees for the preparation of the award and assessment of the works to make sure that they abide by the works, and who will spend for the works. They will generally be needed to pay the costs and the expense of the works if the work is solely for the benefit of the structure owner.
Parties have 2 week to appeal to the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act permits access to the adjoining residential or commercial property for the purposes of performing the works whether the adjoining owner permits or not, nevertheless they must be offered 14 days notification.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 suggests that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other files can be served by electronic communications.
The information that Discovers must supply in regard of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A legitimate dispute can still occur, and surveyors be appointed in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works notified under that section but just as regards actual dissent on specific premises. An adjoining owner’s factors for disputing Section 2 and Section 6 works are rarely specified prior to the visit of surveyors and in lots of cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually arisen, whether actual or considered, both owners are lawfully obliged to select an agreed surveyor or, if they can not collectively concur on a single person, a surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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