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 an agreement made in between at least 2 neighbouring occupiers prior to the start of construction/building work which is to be carried out to a party border or structure, or where works are being carried out in close proximity to a party boundary or structure. There are three main kinds of work which require a Party Wall Surveyor to perform 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, restoring, thickening etc.).
- Surrounding Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and across the UK, our knowledgeable business structure surveyors perform a series of professional surveying services consisting of Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by experienced and expert Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is a making it possible for Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a home the legal right to carry out particular works that might otherwise constitute trespass or nuisance.
It likewise seeks to safeguard the interests of adjacent owners from any possibly unfavorable effects that such works might have by imposing a requirement that all adjoining owners be provided prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act attends to a necessary conflict resolution treatment moderated by a statutorily designated property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the application of any proposal so alerted.
Specifically, such notification should be served where the owner of a property (known as ‘the structure owner’) means to carry out any building 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:
- Area 1 uses where it is proposed to put up a new wall at a border that is not currently built on.
- Area 2 issues existing party structures, which include party walls, floorings and partitions (that different buildings or parts of structures), party fence walls (basically a limit wall between lands in separate ownership which is built astride a limit) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent residential or commercial property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations approximately 6 m far from a structure or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The information that Sees need to provide in regard of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is essential to note that the validity of any notice not supplying all the relevant information or served in the incorrect way, could be open to challenge in Court.
There is no standard form of Notification although many people use those released by the RICS or variations appended to the explanatory booklet released by the Department for Communities and Local Government. However, supplied all the details needed by the appropriate section of the Act is present, a simple letter would be equally valid.
Depending upon the situations of any provided job there might be more than one adjacent owner on whom observe needs to be served in respect of the same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner might be besides an immediate neighbour. It is constantly more suitable to go over the desired deal with adjoining owners prior to serving them with formal written notification – a proposition well discussed may alleviate issues sufficient to prevent a dispute arising and prevent the need to appoint surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be prevented:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory pamphlet states that some deal with a party wall might be so minor that service of notification under the Act would be generally considered as not needed and give as examples works not likely 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 placing power sockets, and screws to support racks, kitchen cabinets, and so on.
- Functions under Section 2 of the Act offered that composed permission is gotten from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The 3 kinds of Notification are understood, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Area 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice need to be served a minimum of two months before the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other 2 notifications need to be served a minimum of one month prior to work commencing.
The necessary details which Notices should include are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- An indication of the structure owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- The name and address of the building owner.
- The nature and details of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indicator of the structure owner’s proposals.
- A statement as to whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or safeguard the foundations of the building or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying strategies and areas showing: a) the site and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to put up a building or structure, its site.
Most of the pro-forma notices in use include the following details as a matter of course despite the kind of notice:
- The date of the notice.
- If various), the name and addresses of both the structure and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the residential or commercial properties being worked on/affected.
- A statement as to the start of works relative to the suitable notice duration.
- An advisory note explaining what occurs if the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to react within 14 days.
Section 10 of the Act states that where an adjoining owner does not consent in writing to works notified by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both celebrations must either agree on the visit of a single property 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 parties.
Where a project is straightforward, this may only involve factor to consider of the time and way in which those works are to be performed. In more complex schemes, believed will have to be given to a commensurately greater number of aspects and certainly selected surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The same treatment is utilized to deal with any subsequent conflicts between neighbouring owners that may emerge in relation to the informed works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjacent owner does not stop the statutory process. A dispute can emerge by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in respect of some matter emerging out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are trivial, however if he stays silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a duration of 14 days after having been served with a Notification under either Section 3 or Section 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 legitimate conflict can still occur, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works informed under that section however just as regards real dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for disputing Section 2 and Section 6 works are seldom specified prior to the visit of surveyors and in most cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually occurred, whether real or considered, both owners are lawfully required to appoint an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not jointly settle on a bachelor, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a visit by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, instantly gives the owner making the request the statutory authority to appoint a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This procedure is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 surveyors are selected, they are required to agree upon the choice, in writing, of a third surveyor who may be hired by either of the surveyors or either of the celebrations to figure out the disputed matters and make the required award. The 3rd property surveyor is never designated by anyone but the Act gives the person so selected the same statutory powers as the two surveyors.
Third surveyors are most typically called upon where the two surveyors have actually reached a deadlock in their deliberations over some specific point and often this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the charges of the surveyor appointed by the adjoining owner. Seldom will a third surveyor be asked to prepare an award in regard of the whole works but might accompany one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the requirement occurs.
There is no definition of who can be a property surveyor, however it ought to 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 costs for the preparation of the award and examination of the works to guarantee that they abide by the works, and who will pay for the works. If the work is solely for the benefit of the structure owner, then they will normally be needed to pay the charges and the expense of the works.
Celebrations have 2 week to attract the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act permits access to the adjacent home for the purposes of performing the works whether the adjacent owner permits or not, nevertheless they should be given 14 days notice.
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 interactions.
The info that Notices must supply in respect of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notice relating to Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A legitimate dispute can still emerge, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works notified under that area but just as concerns real dissent on particular grounds. An adjoining owner’s reasons for challenging Section 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever defined prior to the appointment of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually emerged, whether actual or considered, both owners are lawfully obliged to select a concurred surveyor or, if they can not collectively concur on a single individual, a property surveyor each and if asked for to make such a consultation by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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