What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an arrangement 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 proximity to a party boundary or structure. There are three main types of work which require a Party Wall Surveyor to conduct a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a new wall on or alongside a limit).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, reconstructing, 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 knowledgeable commercial building property surveyors perform a range of expert surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by expert and skilled Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
A party wall (sometimes parti-wall or parting wall surface, additionally referred to as common wall or as a demising wall surface) is a separating dividers between 2 adjoining buildings that is shared by the passengers of each home or organization. Generally, the contractor lays the wall surface along a property line separating 2 terraced houses, so that one half of the wall surface’s density exists on each side. This type of wall surface is normally structural. Celebration wall surfaces can also be developed by two abutting wall surfaces developed at different times. The term can be additionally utilized to explain a department between separate devices within a multi-unit apartment building. Very typically the wall surface in this instance is non-structural but developed to satisfy well-known criteria for audio and/or fire protection, i.e. a firewall.
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it effects the garden
At first sight, it is easy to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not affect garden building, however it does impact the building and construction of boundary walls even if not part of buildings and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and provides you rights and responsibilities whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing deal with 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 Authorization for any work carried out. Having Preparation Authorization does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters effect if somebody is preparing to do work on an appropriate structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just imply the wall in between two semi-detached properties, as far as garden enthusiasts are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the boundary line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the homes but is not part of any structure.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring home.
For details of how the Party Wall Act impacts structure operate in general, take a look at this page.
Similar to all work affecting neighbours, it is always better to reach a friendly arrangement rather than turn to any law. Even where the work needs a notice to be served, it is much better to informally talk about the designated work, consider the neighbours comments, and change your plans (if proper) before serving the notification.
What garden work requires a notification and approval.
The basic concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might 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 should be informed. If in doubt, guidance should be looked for from a regional Building Control Office or expert surveyor/architect.
Work 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 density of a party boundary 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 building where the excavation will go below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
If the prepared deal with a border wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notice must be provided to all affected neighbouring celebrations. The notification needs to consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the property carrying out the work.
- The address of the home.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will normally be simply a single sentence laying out the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear declaration that the notice is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notice is being served.
- If the work involves excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position etc
If the planned work is a new border wall as much as or astride the limit line the procedure of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual planning to carry out the work needs to serve a written notice a minimum of one months before the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party providing information of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party must react in writing giving permission or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 14 days of getting the notification, the impact is to put the notice into conflict. However no official contract is needed for a wall up to the limit line, the neighbour simply needs not to object in composing.
- No work might start on a wall astride the border line till all neighbouring celebrations have actually concurred in writing to the notification (or a revised notice).
See below concerning what occurs in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the planned 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 prior to the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations need to give written arrangement within 2 week or a dispute is deemed to have taken place.
See listed below concerning what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
If a disagreement arises, what occurs.
If arrangement can not be reached between neighbouring celebrations, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are appointed to figure out a fair and unbiased Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Property surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party designates their own Property surveyor to represent the specific celebrations.
The person who is performing the work will generally need to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor needlessly – in the opinion of the Property surveyor. Nevertheless it should be noted that any Property surveyor needs to act within their statutory responsibilities and propose a reasonable and unbiased Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Property surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the individual Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which should be reasonable and neutral to all parties.
- Once an Award has actually been made, all parties have 2 week to attract a County Court versus the Award.
Once you have agreement.
As soon as you have arrangement, all work should comply with the notice. All the contracts must be kept to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the home may want to develop that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
Keep in mind:
- We have actually only given a quick outline of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work however take a look at the Communities and City government website for a more detailed explanatory pamphlet including example letters for reactions and notifications.
- Going over desired work with neighbours is totally free and can prevent misunderstanding which may emerge if a notification shows up unexpectedly.
- Your regional Structure Control Office may be able to provide complimentary guidance relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific circumstances.
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