What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an arrangement made in between at least 2 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 distance to a party boundary or structure. There are three primary 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 alongside a limit).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening etc.).
- Nearby Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing building).
In London and across the UK, our skilled commercial structure property surveyors carry out a range of professional surveying services including Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by skilled and professional 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 grants the owner of a property the legal right to carry out particular works that may otherwise constitute trespass or nuisance.
It likewise looks for to secure the interests of adjacent owners from any possibly adverse results that such works might have by enforcing a requirement that all adjoining owners be given prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act provides for an obligatory conflict resolution treatment moderated by a statutorily appointed property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the implementation of any proposition so notified.
Specifically, such notification should be served where the owner of a home (called ‘the building owner’) plans to undertake any building work explained in Areas 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 new wall at a border that is not already built on.
- Area 2 concerns existing party structures, that include party floorings, partitions and walls (that different buildings or parts of buildings), party fence walls (basically a border wall between lands in different ownership which is developed 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 building or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The details that Discovers should supply in regard of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notice associating with Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is necessary to keep in mind that the credibility of any notice not supplying all the pertinent information or served in the inaccurate manner, could be open up to challenge in Court.
There is no standard form of Notice although many people use those released by the RICS or variations appended to the explanatory booklet provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Nevertheless, provided all the information required by the pertinent section of the Act exists, an easy letter would be equally legitimate.
Depending upon the situations of any offered task there may be more than one adjacent owner on whom discover requirements to be served in respect of the very same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner may be aside from an immediate neighbour. It is always preferable to talk about the intended works with adjacent owners before serving them with formal composed notification – a proposal well explained might minimize issues adequate to prevent a disagreement developing and avoid the requirement to select surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the need to serve notice may be prevented:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory pamphlet states that some deal with a party wall may be so small that service of notice under the Act would be typically considered not required and give as examples works unlikely to impact 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 wiring or inserting power sockets, and screws to support racks, cooking area cupboards, and so forth.
- Functions under Section 2 of the Act supplied that composed approval is acquired from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The 3 types of Notice are known, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Section 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification must be served at least two months prior to the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other 2 notices need to be served at least one month prior to work starting.
The necessary information which Sees must include are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- An indicator of the building owner’s desire to build a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- 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 propositions.
- A declaration regarding whether 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 put up a structure or structure, its site.
Most of the pro-forma notices in use include the following information as a matter of course no matter the type of notice:
- The date of the notification.
- If different), the name and addresses of both the structure and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the homes being worked on/affected.
- A declaration as to the beginning of works relative to the proper notice duration.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to respond within 14 days, an advisory note describing what happens.
Section 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjoining owner does not authorization in writing to works notified by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both celebrations should either settle on the consultation of a single surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Surveyor), or each select their own surveyor, to determine by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a job is straightforward, this may only involve consideration of the time and way in which those works are to be performed. In more complex schemes, thought will have to be given to a commensurately greater number of elements and certainly appointed surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in regard of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The exact same procedure is used to resolve any subsequent conflicts between neighbouring owners that might arise in relation to the alerted works, including 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 halt the statutory process. A conflict can arise by an adjoining 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 methods of making that objection are not important, but if he remains silent, neither dissenting nor consenting for a duration of 2 week after having actually been served with a Notice under either Section 3 or Section 6, the Act deems a dissent to have emerged in any event.
There is no considered dissent arrangement in Area 1 of the Act. A valid conflict can still develop, and surveyors be appointed in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works informed under that area but only as relates to real dissent on particular grounds. An adjacent owner’s factors for challenging Section 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the consultation of property surveyors and oftentimes not even then.
Where dissent has actually arisen, whether actual or deemed, both owners are legally required to designate an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not jointly 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 demand being served. Failure to comply, immediately offers the owner making the demand the statutory authority to appoint a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 surveyors are designated, they are required to agree upon the choice, in writing, of a 3rd property surveyor who may be called upon 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 appointed by anybody however the Act offers the person so picked the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd property surveyors are most frequently called upon where the two property surveyors have reached an impasse in their considerations over some specific point and often this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the fees of the property surveyor selected by the adjacent owner. Seldom will a 3rd surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the entire works however might join with one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the requirement occurs.
There is no meaning of who can be a property surveyor, but it should not be the same person 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 inspection of the works to guarantee that they abide by the works, and who will pay for the works. They will generally be needed to pay the charges and the expense of the works if the work is exclusively for the advantage of the building owner.
Celebrations have 2 week to interest the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act allows access to the adjoining residential or commercial property for the functions of performing the works whether the adjacent owner gives permission or not, however they should be offered 2 week notice.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 means that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other documents can be served by electronic interactions.
The details that Sees need to supply in regard 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 areas however the requirements of a Notification relating to Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still emerge, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works informed under that section however only as relates to real dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s factors for disputing Area 2 and Section 6 works are rarely defined prior to the appointment of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually arisen, whether real or deemed, both owners are lawfully required to appoint an agreed surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single individual, 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.
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