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 arrangement made in between a minimum of 2 neighbouring occupiers prior to the beginning of construction/building work which is to be undertaken to a party limit or structure, or where works are being carried out in close proximity to a party border or structure. There are 3 primary kinds of work which need a Party Wall Surveyor to carry out a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (building a brand-new wall on or along with a limit).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening etc.).
- Adjacent Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing building).
In London and across the UK, our knowledgeable commercial structure property surveyors perform a variety of professional surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by professional and knowledgeable 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 allowing Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a residential or commercial property the legal right to carry out certain works that might otherwise constitute trespass or annoyance.
It also seeks to safeguard the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially adverse results that such works may have by enforcing a requirement that all adjacent owners be given prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act offers an obligatory disagreement resolution treatment mediated by a statutorily designated property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the implementation of any proposition so notified.
Specifically, such notification must be served where the owner of a property (called ‘the structure owner’) means to undertake any building and construction work explained in Areas 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Note that it is just those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is restricted to the following:
- Section 1 uses where it is proposed to erect a new wall at a boundary that is not currently built on.
- Section 2 issues existing party structures, which include party floors, partitions and walls (that separate buildings or parts of structures), party fence walls (essentially a border wall between lands in different ownership which is developed astride a border) and, in some instances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations as much as 6 m away from a structure or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The details that Sees must 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 sections however the requirements of a Notification associating with Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is necessary to keep in mind that the validity of any notice not offering all the relevant details or served in the inaccurate manner, could be available to challenge in Court.
There is no standard type of Notice although many individuals use those released by the RICS or versions added to the explanatory pamphlet issued by the Department for Communities and City Government. Supplied all the details required by the pertinent section of the Act is present, a basic letter would be similarly legitimate.
Depending on the circumstances of any offered project there may be more than one adjoining owner on whom see requirements to be served in respect of the exact same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner might be besides an immediate neighbour. It is constantly preferable to talk about the desired works with adjacent owners prior to serving them with official composed notification – a proposal well discussed may ease issues adequate to prevent a disagreement occurring and avoid the requirement to designate surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the need to serve notice may be avoided:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory booklet says that some deal with a party wall may be so small that service of notification under the Act would be normally regarded as not necessary and give as examples works not likely to impact 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 shelves, kitchen area cabinets, and the like.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act offered that composed approval is acquired from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.
The three types of Notice are known, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Area 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification must be served a minimum of 2 months prior to the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other two notifications should be served at least one month prior to work starting.
The compulsory info which Sees must include are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- An indicator of the structure owner’s desire to build a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- The name and address of the structure owner.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- A sign of the structure owner’s proposals.
- A statement regarding whether the building owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or protect the structures of the building or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying areas and strategies showing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to put up a structure or structure, its website.
The majority of the pro-forma notices in use consist of the following information as a matter of course no matter the type of notice:
- The date of the notice.
- The name and addresses of both the structure and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the residential or commercial properties being worked on/affected if different).
- A declaration regarding the beginning of works relative to the suitable notification period.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to react within 14 days, an advisory note describing what takes place.
Area 10 of the Act states that where an adjoining owner does not approval in writing to works informed by the structure owner under Areas 3 and 6, both parties should either settle on the appointment 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 celebrations.
Where a job is straightforward, this might only involve factor to consider of the time and manner in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex schemes, thought will need to be given to a commensurately greater number of factors and indeed designated property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in regard of any matter gotten in touch with any work to which the act relates.
The very same procedure is utilized to resolve any subsequent disagreements in between neighbouring owners that might emerge in relation to the alerted works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjoining owner does not halt the statutory procedure. A conflict can arise by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in regard of some matter emerging out of or incidental to the works – the methods of making that objection are trivial, but if he stays quiet, neither dissenting nor consenting for a period of 2 week after having actually been served with a Notification under either Section 3 or Section 6, the Act considers a dissent to have developed in any event.
There is no deemed dissent provision in Section 1 of the Act. A valid disagreement can still arise, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works alerted under that section but only as regards real dissent on particular grounds. An adjoining owner’s reasons for contesting Section 2 and Section 6 works are rarely 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 select an agreed surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a bachelor, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, automatically gives 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 property surveyors are appointed, they are obliged to agree upon the choice, in composing, of a 3rd property surveyor who might be called upon by either of the surveyors or either of the celebrations to determine the challenged matters and make the needed award. The third property surveyor is never ever selected by anyone but the Act offers the individual so picked the very same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
Third property surveyors are most frequently called upon where the two property surveyors have reached an impasse in their deliberations over some specific point and frequently this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the costs of the property surveyor designated by the adjoining owner. Hardly ever will a third property surveyor be asked to prepare an award in respect of the entire works however might join with one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need arises.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, but it should not be the same person that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be performed, who will pay the charges for the preparation of the award and examination of the works to guarantee that they adhere to the works, and who will spend for the works. If the work is exclusively for the benefit of the building owner, then they will generally be needed to pay the costs and the cost of the works.
Parties have 2 week to interest the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act permits access to the adjoining property for the purposes of carrying out the works whether the adjacent owner gives permission or not, nevertheless they should be given 2 week notification.
NB: The intro of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 indicates that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other documents can be served by electronic communications.
The details that Discovers need to provide in respect of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notification relating to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A valid dispute can still develop, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works informed under that area but just as concerns actual dissent on particular grounds. An adjacent owner’s factors for contesting Section 2 and Area 6 works are rarely specified prior to the appointment of property surveyors and in numerous cases not even then.
Where dissent has emerged, whether actual or considered, both owners are legally obliged to designate an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single person, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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