What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is a contract made between at least 2 neighbouring occupiers prior to the commencement of construction/building work which is to be undertaken to a party border or structure, or where works are being undertaken in close distance to a party limit or structure. There are three main types of work which require a Party Wall Property surveyor to carry out a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (developing a new wall on or together with a boundary).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, rebuilding, thickening and so on).
- Surrounding Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing building).
In London and throughout the UK, our knowledgeable commercial building surveyors perform a variety of expert surveying services consisting of Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building 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.
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is an allowing Act, insofar as it approves the owner of a home the legal right to undertake particular works that may otherwise constitute trespass or nuisance.
However, it also looks for to secure the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially adverse impacts that such works may have by imposing a requirement that all adjacent owners be provided prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act provides for a compulsory conflict resolution procedure mediated by a statutorily selected property surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the implementation of any proposition so informed.
Specifically, such notification must be served where the owner of a property (known as ‘the structure owner’) intends to carry out any building and construction work described in Areas 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Keep in mind 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 put up a new wall at a limit that is not currently built on.
- Area 2 concerns existing party structures, that include party walls, partitions and floors (that different buildings or parts of structures), party fence walls (basically a border wall between lands in separate ownership which is developed astride a border) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent home.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations as much as 6 m far from a building or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The details that Sees should provide in respect of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notifications are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notification associating with Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is important to note that the validity of any notice not supplying all the pertinent details or served in the incorrect manner, could be open up to challenge in Court.
There is no basic kind of Notice although many individuals utilize those published by the RICS or versions added to the explanatory pamphlet provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Nevertheless, offered all the information required by the pertinent area of the Act is present, an easy letter would be similarly valid.
Depending upon the situations of any offered project there may be more than one adjoining owner on whom notice requirements to be served in regard of the very same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner may be besides an immediate neighbour. It is constantly more effective to talk about the desired works with adjoining owners prior to serving them with official written notice – a proposal well explained might ease issues adequate to prevent a dispute occurring and prevent the need to designate surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the need to serve notice might be prevented:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory pamphlet says that some works on a party wall may be so minor that service of notice under the Act would be normally considered not required and give as examples works unlikely to impact the structural strength or support functions of a party structure or trigger damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical wiring or inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen cabinets, and the like.
- Functions under Area 2 of the Act provided that composed authorization is acquired from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The three kinds of Notice are understood, 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 should be served at least 2 months before the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other 2 notices should be served a minimum of one month prior to work starting.
The necessary info which Sees must contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- An indication of the structure owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notice:
- The name and address of the building owner.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indicator of the structure owner’s propositions.
- A declaration as to whether or not the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or safeguard the structures of the structure or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying plans and sections revealing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the building owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to set up a building or structure, its website.
Most of the pro-forma notices in use include the following information as a matter of course no matter the kind of notification:
- The date of the notice.
- If various), the name and addresses of both the building and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the properties being worked on/affected.
- A statement regarding the beginning of works relative to the proper notification period.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to react within 14 days, an advisory note explaining what takes place.
Area 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjacent owner does not permission in writing to works informed by the structure owner under Sections 3 and 6, both parties should either agree on the consultation of a single surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each select their own property surveyor, to determine by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a task is straightforward, this might just involve factor to consider of the time and way in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex schemes, thought will need to be offered to a commensurately greater number of factors and undoubtedly designated 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 very same treatment is utilized to solve any subsequent disagreements between neighbouring owners that might emerge in relation to the informed works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjoining owner does not stop the statutory process. A dispute can develop by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in regard of some matter occurring 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 duration of 14 days after having been served with a Notification under either Section 3 or Area 6, the Act deems a dissent to have occurred in any event.
There is no deemed dissent arrangement in Area 1 of the Act. A legitimate disagreement can still emerge, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works alerted under that section but just as relates to actual dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for disputing Area 2 and Section 6 works are rarely defined prior to the appointment of surveyors and oftentimes not even then.
Where dissent has actually developed, whether real or considered, both owners are legally required to appoint a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a bachelor, a surveyor each and if requested to make such a consultation by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, instantly provides the owner making the demand the statutory authority to designate a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two surveyors are appointed, they are obliged to agree upon the choice, in composing, of a 3rd surveyor who may be hired by either of the surveyors or either of the parties to figure out the disputed matters and make the necessary award. The third surveyor is never designated by anybody but the Act offers the person so picked the very same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd property surveyors are most typically called upon where the two property surveyors have actually reached a deadlock in their considerations over some particular point and frequently this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the costs of the surveyor designated by the adjacent owner. Hardly ever will a third surveyor be asked to draw up an award in respect of the whole works but may join with one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the need arises.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, but it must not be the same individual that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be performed, who will pay the fees for the preparation of the award and inspection of the works to ensure that they comply with the works, and who will spend for the works. They will normally be needed to pay the fees and the expense of the works if the work is solely for the advantage of the structure owner.
Celebrations have 14 days to attract the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act enables access to the adjoining home for the purposes of carrying out the works whether the adjacent owner allows or not, nevertheless they need to be offered 2 week notification.
NB: The intro of The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 implies that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other files can be served by electronic interactions.
The info that Notices should provide in respect of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those sections but 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 property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works notified under that area but just as regards real dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for challenging Section 2 and Section 6 works are rarely specified prior to the consultation of surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has emerged, whether actual or deemed, both owners are legally obliged to appoint a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not jointly concur on a single person, 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 demand being served.
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