What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an arrangement made between at least two neighbouring occupiers prior to the commencement of construction/building work which is to be carried out to a party border or structure, or where works are being undertaken in close proximity to a party border or structure. There are three primary types of work which need a Party Wall Surveyor to conduct a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (developing a new wall on or together with a border).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening and so on).
- Surrounding Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and throughout the UK, our skilled business structure property surveyors carry out a series of professional surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we carry out Party Wall Studies by knowledgeable and professional Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
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 specific works that may otherwise make up trespass or annoyance.
It likewise seeks to safeguard the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially unfavorable impacts that such works might have by enforcing a requirement that all adjoining owners be provided prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act attends to a mandatory dispute resolution procedure mediated by a statutorily selected property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the implementation of any proposition so notified.
Specifically, such notice must be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (known as ‘the building owner’) intends to carry out any construction work explained in Areas 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Note that it is only those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is limited to the following:
- Area 1 uses where it is proposed to erect a new wall at a border that is not currently built on.
- Area 2 concerns existing party structures, that include party floors, partitions and walls (that different buildings or parts of structures), party fence walls (basically a limit wall between lands in different ownership which is developed astride a border) and, in some instances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Area 6 can apply to excavations approximately 6 m away from a building or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The details that Discovers must provide in regard of works covered the above sections is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is very important to keep in mind that the credibility of any notification not supplying all the pertinent information or served in the incorrect manner, could be open to challenge in Court.
There is no basic type of Notification although many people use those released by the RICS or versions added to the explanatory pamphlet provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Supplied all the details needed by the relevant section of the Act is present, a basic letter would be similarly valid.
Depending on the circumstances of any given job there might be more than one adjoining owner on whom see requirements to be served in regard of the exact same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner might be besides an immediate neighbour. It is constantly preferable to talk about the intended works with adjoining owners before serving them with formal composed notice – a proposal well discussed may ease issues sufficient to prevent a disagreement occurring and prevent the requirement to select surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be avoided:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory brochure states that some works on a party wall might be so minor that service of notice under the Act would be typically considered not required and give as examples works unlikely to affect the structural strength or support 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, cooking area cupboards, and the like.
- Functions under Section 2 of the Act supplied that composed permission is gotten from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.
The 3 types of Notification are understood, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Section 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification should be served at least two months prior to the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other 2 notifications must be served a minimum of one month prior to work starting.
The obligatory info which Notices need to include are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- A sign of the building owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notice:
- The name and address of the structure owner.
- The nature and details of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- A sign of the structure owner’s proposals.
- A declaration as to whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or safeguard the structures of the structure or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying strategies and areas showing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the building owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to set up a structure or structure, its website.
Most of the pro-forma notifications in use include the following info as a matter of course regardless of the type of notification:
- The date of the notification.
- The name and addresses of both the building and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the properties being worked on/affected if different).
- A statement as to the start of works relative to the proper notification period.
- An advisory note describing what takes place if the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to respond within 14 days.
Area 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjacent owner does not consent in writing to works notified by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both parties need to either settle on the consultation of a single surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each appoint their own surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute between the celebrations.
Where a project is straightforward, this might just involve factor to consider of the time and way in which those works are to be performed. In more complex schemes, believed will need to be offered to a commensurately greater number of aspects and undoubtedly appointed property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter gotten in touch with any work to which the act relates.
The same procedure is utilized to solve any subsequent disputes in between neighbouring owners that may emerge in relation to the informed works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjacent owner does not halt the statutory procedure. A disagreement can arise by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the structure owner an objection in respect of some matter occurring out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are trivial, however if he stays silent, neither dissenting nor consenting for a period of 14 days after having been served with a Notice under either Section 3 or Area 6, the Act deems a dissent to have actually developed in any event.
There is no considered dissent arrangement in Section 1 of the Act. A valid conflict can still occur, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works informed under that section but just as concerns real dissent on specific grounds. An adjoining owner’s factors for challenging Section 2 and Area 6 works are rarely defined prior to the visit of surveyors and in most cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually developed, whether actual or considered, both owners are lawfully obliged to designate an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a bachelor, a property surveyor each and if asked for to make such an appointment by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, immediately offers the owner making the request the statutory authority to select a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two property surveyors are designated, they are required to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a third property surveyor who might be called upon by either of the property surveyors or either of the parties to figure out the challenged matters and make the needed award. The 3rd property surveyor is never appointed by anyone however the Act gives the individual so picked the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most typically called upon where the two surveyors have actually reached a deadlock in their deliberations over some particular point and often this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the costs of the property surveyor designated by the adjoining owner. Seldom will a 3rd surveyor be asked to prepare an award in respect of the whole works however might accompany one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need occurs.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, but it needs to not be the same individual that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the charges for the preparation of the award and assessment of the works to ensure that they adhere to the works, and who will spend for the works. They will generally be needed to pay the fees and the cost of the works if the work is solely for the benefit of the structure owner.
Parties have 2 week to appeal to the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act allows access to the adjacent home for the purposes of carrying out the works whether the adjoining owner gives permission or not, however they should be offered 2 week notification.
NB: The intro of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 means that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other documents can be served by electronic communications.
The info that Observes should supply in respect of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notification relating to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A valid conflict can still develop, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works alerted under that area however only as regards real dissent on particular grounds. An adjacent owner’s factors for contesting Section 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the visit of property surveyors and in numerous cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually occurred, whether actual or deemed, both owners are legally obliged to appoint an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not jointly concur on a single individual, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such an appointment by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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