What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an arrangement made between at least two neighbouring occupiers prior to the start of construction/building work which is to be carried out to a party limit or structure, or where works are being carried out in close distance to a party border or structure. There are 3 main types of work which need a Party Wall Property surveyor to carry out a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (developing a brand-new wall on or together with a boundary).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening and so on).
- Nearby Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing building).
In London and across the UK, our experienced commercial structure property surveyors carry out a range of expert surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we carry out Party Wall Studies by skilled and professional Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
A party wall (sometimes parti-wall or parting wall, additionally referred to as usual wall or as a demising wall surface) is a separating dividers between 2 adjacent structures that is shared by the passengers of each residence or service. Usually, the contractor lays the wall along a property line separating two terraced houses, so that one half of the wall surface’s density exists on each side. This kind of wall is generally architectural. Party walls can additionally be developed by 2 abutting walls developed at different times. The term can be also used to describe a department in between different devices within a multi-unit house facility. Very typically the wall in this instance is non-structural however created to fulfill established standards for sound and/or fire defense, i.e. a firewall program.
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 construction, however it does affect 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 entered into force in 1997, so it is now law and offers you rights and duties whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on a pertinent structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to border fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Planning Permission for any work undertaken. Similarly, having Preparation Permission does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters into effect if somebody is planning to do work on a relevant structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply suggest the wall in between 2 semi-detached properties, as far as gardeners 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 properties however is not part of any building.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act affects building operate in general, take a look at this page.
As with all work impacting neighbours, it is always better to reach a friendly contract instead of turn to any law. Even where the work requires a notice to be served, it is better to informally go over the desired work, think about the neighbours remarks, and amend your plans (if proper) before serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notice and approval.
The general principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an impact upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or might cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be alerted. Recommendations must be sought from a local Structure Control Office or professional surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or demolish boundary 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 structures of the neighbouring structure.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go listed below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
A notification needs to be released to all affected neighbouring celebrations if the planned work on a limit wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notification should consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the home carrying out the work.
- The address of the home.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will typically 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 notification is being served.
- If the work includes excavations, a drawing revealing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a new limit wall approximately or astride the limit line the process of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual intending to carry out the work should serve a written notice a minimum of one months prior to the desired start of the work to every neighbouring party giving details of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party should react in composing giving approval or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 14 days of receiving the notice, the effect is to put the notice into dispute. No formal arrangement is needed for a wall up to the limit line, the neighbour simply requires not to object in writing.
- No work may commence on a wall astride the border line up until all neighbouring parties have actually concurred in writing to the notification (or a modified notice).
See listed below concerning what occurs in case of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification requires to be served at least one month prior to the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations must offer written contract within 14 days or a disagreement is considered to have actually happened.
See listed below concerning what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
What occurs if a conflict occurs.
If contract can not be reached in between neighbouring parties, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to determine a objective and reasonable Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party appoints their own Surveyor to represent the specific parties.
The individual who is carrying out the work will usually have to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Property surveyor. However it should be noted that any Surveyor must act within their statutory duties and propose a reasonable and neutral Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the private Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which needs to be reasonable and unbiased to all parties.
- Once an Award has been made, all celebrations have 14 days to appeal to a County Court against the Award.
When you have agreement.
All work should comply with the notice when you have arrangement. All the agreements need to be maintained to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the residential or commercial property might want to establish that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve just offered a brief overview of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work however have a look at the Communities and Local Government site for a more extensive explanatory brochure consisting of example letters for notifications and reactions.
- If a notice shows up suddenly, discussing intended work with neighbours is free and can prevent misconception which may develop.
- Your local Building Control Office might be able to offer complimentary advice concerning the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular scenarios.
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