What is a Party Wall Award?
The process and requirements of a Party Wall Award are as set out in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. A Party Wall Award is a contract made between a minimum of 2 neighbouring occupiers prior to the start 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 limit or structure. There are three primary kinds of work which require a Party Wall Property surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (building a brand-new wall on or alongside a boundary).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, rebuilding, thickening etc.).
- 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 surveyors carry out a range of expert surveying services including Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we carry out Party Wall Studies by professional and experienced 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 NEWBIES GUIDE
We appreciate that many people wanting 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 understand it can be a complicated procedure for those that have actually not experienced it in the past. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, among our senior surveyors, uses his “beginners guide” which intends to provide an outline understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 supplies a procedure to follow when developing work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to perform particular particular works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of anybody else who might be impacted by that work. The Act is developed to avoid or reduce disagreements by making sure property owners alert their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act offers a system for dealing with disputes and enabling works to continue. It also requires that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or surveyors will identify the time and way in which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls normally different buildings coming from various owners but might consist of garden walls built astride a boundary– called party fence walls. Where a wall separates two various size buildings frequently only the part that is utilized by both residential or commercial properties is a party wall, the rest belongs to the individual or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so included since the provisions of the Act are not limited to party walls, they also include party structures and party fence walls.
Area 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” suggests a wall (not being part of a building) which stands on lands of different owners and is used or built to be utilized for separating such adjacent lands, but does not consist of a wall built on the land of one owner the artificially formed assistance of which projects into the land of another owner;
” party structure” means a party wall and likewise a floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings approached solely by different entryways or different staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are specific products of work that you can only be done after informing the adjacent owners and either getting written contract 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 instance for a loft conversion.
- inserting a damp proof course, even if just to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if essential, cutting off any items preventing this from occurring.
- destroying and rebuilding a party wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjoining walls or structures by cutting a flashing into an adjoining structure.
- excavating foundations within 3 metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- 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.
Notices are also required if it is proposed to develop a new wall on the line of junction (border line). A party wall surveyor will normally have the ability to validate which work is notifiable and guidance the notice period and type of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to particular particular kinds of work and is liberal in nature. It should not be viewed as an approach of objecting to or avoiding works and it is not planned to be applied to small tasks that do not impact 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 minor works and do not require a notice.
The functions of the Act are constantly prompted by the of releasing notifications. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the concern of legitimate notices, no further action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.
Composed notice must be served on adjacent owners at least two months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners must be served a notice and there are likely to be circumstances where there is more than one adjacent residential or commercial property and more than one owner of each property (ie: if the adjacent property is split 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 impacting a ceiling or floor, will also require a notice to adjacent owners living above or below.
Valid notifications need to include the following information as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and details of the proposed work including strategies, areas and details of building and construction techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is essential to include the correct information on a notice as, if they are considered invalid, then any subsequent actions are likewise void.
Responses To Notices.
On invoice of a notice, an adjoining owner has 3 possible courses of action:.
- To grant the works going on as explained. If there is a dispute at that stage, a consenting Adjacent Owner maintains all rights under the Act consisting of the right to appoint a property surveyor later on in the process.
- To dissent and designate a surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the visit of a single ‘Agreed’ property surveyor or select their own different property surveyor.
- Issue a counter notification to set out specific conditions needed for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice ought to set out what additional or modified work the Adjoining Owner would like to be consisted of for his benefit.
Most of the times, if the adjoining does not respond within 2 week then a considered dispute is stated to have occurred and the individual performing the work must appoint a property surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjoining owners supply composed grant the works as set out within the notices, then there is no dispute to resolve and no additional requirement for party wall property surveyors or, undoubtedly, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work proceeds as detailed within no damage and the notification is caused, then no more involvement is needed.
The surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work might continue. The surveyor( s) will evaluate the strategies, notices and structural information of the works and, after considering the impact of the works, will draw up an arrangement which sets out the terms under which work can be brought out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will normally tape the condition of the appropriate part of adjoining property prior to work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act but is thought about good practice and is appropriately offered by many good surveyors). The award may also grant access to both homes so that the works can be safely carried out and the surveyor/s can check work in development.
Generally, the building owner who started the work pays for all costs of work and the sensible expenses sustained by all celebrations as a result, this will include the property surveyors charges for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We value that numerous people wishing to carry out works on their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late stage in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, provides his “beginners guide” which aims to provide an outline understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Celebration?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 supplies a treatment to follow when developing work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to bring out certain specific works, including work to the complete density of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anyone else who may be affected by that work. Written notification needs to be served on adjoining owners at least two months before beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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