What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is a contract made in between at least two neighbouring occupiers prior to the commencement 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 limit or structure. There are 3 primary types of work which need a Party Wall Surveyor to carry out a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (developing a new wall on or alongside a border).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening and so on).
- Adjacent Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing building).
In London and throughout the UK, our skilled business building property surveyors carry out a range of expert surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by knowledgeable and expert 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- A BEGINNERS GUIDE
We value that many people wishing to perform works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late phase in the pre-construction process. We also comprehend it can be a difficult procedure for those that have actually not experienced it before. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior property surveyors, provides his “newbies guide” which aims to offer an overview understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 offers a procedure to follow when constructing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near to neighbouring structures, and brand-new walls at boundaries. The Act allows owners to perform particular particular works, including work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is developed to avoid or minimise conflicts by making sure property owners notify their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act provides a mechanism for fixing conflicts and allowing works to continue. It likewise needs that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or property surveyors will identify the time and method which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls generally different buildings coming from various owners but might include garden walls constructed astride a border– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two various size structures typically just the part that is utilized by both properties is a party wall, the rest comes from the person or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so included because the provisions of the Act are not limited to party walls, they likewise include party structures and party fence walls.
Area 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” implies a wall (not becoming part of a structure) which bases on lands of various owners and is utilized or constructed to be utilized for separating such adjoining lands, but does not consist of a wall constructed on the land of one owner the artificially formed support of which tasks into the land of another owner;
” party structure” suggests a party wall and also a floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of structures approached entirely by different entryways or different staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are certain items of work that you can just be done after informing the adjoining owners and either getting written agreement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works include (however are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion.
- inserting a damp evidence course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if needed, cutting off any objects avoiding this from occurring.
- restoring a party and demolishing wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjacent walls or structures by cutting a flashing into an adjacent structure.
- excavating structures within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations.
- excavating foundations within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and listed below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its foundations.
If it is proposed to construct a brand-new wall on the line of junction (limit line), notices are also required. A party wall property surveyor will generally have the ability to validate which work is notifiable and advice the notification period and kind of notification needed.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to certain particular types of work and is liberal in nature. It must not be seen as an approach of objecting to or preventing works and it is not intended to be applied to small jobs that do not affect the structural integrity or loading of a party wall.
It is usually concurred that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are small works and do not require a notification.
The functions of the Act are always initiated by the of issuing notifications. This is the first stage of the process and, without the concern of valid notices, no additional action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Composed notification should be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months prior to starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners should be served a notification and there are likely to be circumstances where there is more than one adjoining residential or commercial property and more than one owner of each home (ie: if the adjacent home is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Works to a party wall, or those affecting a ceiling or flooring, will also need a notification to adjoining owners living above or below.
Valid notices need to contain the following details as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work including strategies, areas and information of construction approaches.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is necessary to consist of the proper information on a notification as, if they are deemed void, then any subsequent actions are also invalid.
Actions To Notices.
On invoice of a notice, an adjoining owner has three possible strategies:.
- To grant the works going ahead as described. If there is a conflict at that phase, a consenting Adjoining Owner maintains all rights under the Act including the right to appoint a surveyor later on in the process.
- To dissent and designate a property surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the consultation of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or designate their own different property surveyor.
- Issue a counter notification to set out specific conditions required for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice must set out what extra or modified work the Adjoining Owner would like to be included for his benefit.
In most cases, if the adjoining does not respond within 14 days then a considered disagreement is said to have happened and the person performing the work should appoint a surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjacent owners offer written grant the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no dispute to deal with and no additional need for party wall property surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work profits as detailed within the notice and no damage is triggered, then no additional participation is necessary.
If adjacent owners dissent to the works (or if no action is received and a deemed dissent has developed) then a dispute has actually happened which need to be fixed under the requirements of Area 10 of The Act. It deserves restating that the Act is one of enablement, it is not there to prevent works from happening and it provides a route to end conflicts at every stage. Where written arrangement is not given, the option the Act supplies is for both celebrations to select an ‘agreed property surveyor’ who will act impartially or for each owner to appoint a property surveyor who in turn select a third property surveyor. The property surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work may proceed. The surveyor( s) will examine the plans, notices and structural details of the works and, after thinking about the effect of the works, will prepare an agreement which sets out the terms under which work can be carried out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will normally record the condition of the appropriate part of adjoining property before work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act but is considered good practice and is appropriately offered by a lot of excellent property surveyors). The award might likewise approve access to both residential or commercial properties so that the works can be securely carried out and the surveyor/s can check operate in progress.
Typically, the structure owner who started the work pays for all costs of work and the affordable costs sustained by all parties as a result, this will include the property surveyors fees for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that many individuals wishing to bring out works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late phase in the pre-construction procedure. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, offers his “beginners guide” which aims to offer an overview understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a treatment to follow when constructing work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at boundaries. The Act allows owners to carry out particular particular works, consisting of work to the complete thickness of a party wall, whilst at the very same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. Written notification should be served on adjoining owners at least two months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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