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 at least 2 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 carried out in close proximity to a party limit or structure. There are 3 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 brand-new wall on or along with a border).
- Party Structure Functions (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, rebuilding, 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 experienced business building property surveyors carry out a range of expert surveying services consisting of Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Studies by expert and experienced 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 approves the owner of a residential or commercial property the legal right to carry out specific works that might otherwise constitute trespass or problem.
Nevertheless, it also seeks to protect the interests of adjacent owners from any potentially adverse results that such works might have by imposing a requirement that all adjacent owners be offered prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act attends to an obligatory conflict resolution treatment moderated by a statutorily appointed surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the application of any proposal so informed.
Particularly, such notice should be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (called ‘the structure owner’) intends to undertake any construction work explained in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Keep in mind that it is just those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is limited to the following:
- Section 1 uses where it is proposed to set up a new wall at a border that is not currently built on.
- Area 2 concerns existing party structures, that include party partitions, walls and floorings (that separate structures or parts of buildings), party fence walls (essentially a boundary wall in between lands in different ownership which is developed astride a limit) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent home.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations up to 6 m away from a structure or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The info that Discovers need to offer in respect of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notice connecting to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is necessary to note that the credibility of any notice not offering all the appropriate information or served in the incorrect way, could be open to challenge in Court.
There is no basic type of Notification although many individuals use those released by the RICS or variations appended to the explanatory brochure provided by the Department for Communities and City Government. Nevertheless, supplied all the details needed by the relevant section of the Act exists, an easy letter would be equally legitimate.
Depending on the circumstances of any provided project there may be more than one adjoining owner on whom observe requirements to be served in respect of the very same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner may be aside from an immediate neighbour. It is constantly more effective to talk about the intended works with adjoining owners before serving them with official written notification – a proposition well explained may minimize concerns enough to prevent a dispute arising and prevent the necessity to designate surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the need to serve notice may be avoided:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory brochure says that some deal with a party wall might be so small that service of notice under the Act would be generally regarded as not needed and give as examples works not likely to impact the structural strength or assistance functions of a party structure or cause damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical wiring or placing power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen cabinets, and so on.
- Functions under Section 2 of the Act provided that composed consent is obtained from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The 3 types of Notice are understood, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Section 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice must be served a minimum of 2 months before the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other two notices need to be served at least one month prior to work commencing.
The compulsory details which Sees need to contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- An indication of the structure owner’s desire to build a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- The name and address of the structure owner.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the building owner’s proposals.
- A statement as to whether or not the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or protect the foundations of the structure or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying areas and plans showing: a) the site 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 consist of the following info as a matter of course despite the type of notice:
- The date of the notification.
- If different), the name and addresses of both the building and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the homes being worked on/affected.
- A statement regarding the commencement of works relative to the proper notification duration.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to react within 14 days, an advisory note describing what occurs.
Area 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjacent owner does not approval in writing to works alerted by the building owner under Areas 3 and 6, both celebrations must either agree on the visit of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Surveyor), or each designate their own surveyor, to identify by award matters in dispute between the celebrations.
Where a project is straightforward, this might just include consideration of the time and way in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex plans, believed will need to be given to a commensurately greater number of aspects and undoubtedly designated property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The exact same treatment is utilized to solve any subsequent disputes in between neighbouring owners that may develop in relation to the alerted works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjacent owner does not stop the statutory process. A dispute can occur by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in respect of some matter developing out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are not important, however if he stays quiet, neither dissenting nor consenting for a period of 14 days after having been served with a Notice under either Section 3 or Section 6, the Act deems a dissent to have actually occurred in any event.
There is no considered dissent provision in Section 1 of the Act. A valid dispute can still emerge, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works notified under that section however only as regards real dissent on particular premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for disputing Section 2 and Section 6 works are rarely specified prior to the consultation of surveyors and in a lot of cases not even then.
Where dissent has occurred, whether actual or deemed, both owners are lawfully obliged to select an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single person, a property 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. Failure to comply, automatically provides the owner making the demand the statutory authority to designate a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 surveyors are selected, they are obliged to agree upon the choice, in writing, of a 3rd property surveyor who might be hired by either of the surveyors or either of the celebrations to identify the contested matters and make the needed award. The 3rd property surveyor is never ever designated by anybody however the Act offers the person so picked the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most frequently hired where the two surveyors have reached an impasse in their considerations over some particular point and frequently this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the charges of the property surveyor designated by the adjacent owner. Rarely will a 3rd surveyor be asked to prepare an award in regard of the whole works but might accompany one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the need occurs.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, however it must not be the same individual that will supervise the works.
The award will set out the works that can be performed, who will pay the charges for the preparation of the award and examination of the works to guarantee that they comply with the works, and who will pay for the works. If the work is exclusively for the advantage of the structure owner, then they will typically be required to pay the charges and the expense of the works.
Parties have 14 days to appeal to the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act enables access to the adjacent property for the functions of performing the works whether the adjoining owner permits or not, however they should be provided 2 week notification.
NB: The intro of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 suggests that from 6 April 2016, notices and other documents can be served by electronic interactions.
The information that Notices need to offer in regard of works covered the above sections is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notification relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A legitimate disagreement can still arise, and surveyors be selected in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works alerted under that area but just as relates to real dissent on particular premises. An adjacent owner’s factors for challenging Area 2 and Section 6 works are seldom defined prior to the appointment of surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually developed, whether real or deemed, both owners are legally required to designate an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not jointly agree on a single individual, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such a visit by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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