What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an agreement made in between at least two neighbouring occupiers prior to the beginning 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 3 main types of work which need a Party Wall Surveyor to conduct a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a brand-new wall on or alongside a boundary).
- Party Structure Works (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 throughout the UK, our knowledgeable business building surveyors carry out a variety of expert surveying services including Party Wall Surveys (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we carry out Party Wall Studies by professional and knowledgeable 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 a making it possible for Act, insofar as it approves the owner of a home the legal right to carry out specific works that might otherwise make up trespass or nuisance.
Nevertheless, it also seeks to secure the interests of adjacent owners from any potentially unfavorable results that such works may 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 treatment moderated by a statutorily appointed property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the execution of any proposal so informed.
Particularly, such notification must be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (referred to as ‘the building owner’) plans to undertake 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 erect a new wall at a border that is not already built on.
- Section 2 issues existing party structures, that include party partitions, floorings and walls (that different structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (basically a border wall in between lands in different ownership which is built astride a boundary) and, in some instances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations approximately 6 m away from a structure or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The info that Sees need to provide in respect of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those areas but the requirements of a Notice connecting to Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is necessary to note that the credibility of any notice not supplying all the pertinent info 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 published by the RICS or variations appended to the explanatory brochure released by the Department for Communities and City Government. However, offered all the details required by the appropriate section of the Act is present, a basic letter would be equally valid.
Depending upon the situations of any provided task there might be more than one adjoining owner on whom observe needs to be served in respect of the very same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner may be other than an immediate neighbour. It is constantly more effective to go over the desired works with adjacent owners before serving them with official composed notification – a proposition well explained may reduce issues sufficient to prevent a dispute arising and avoid the necessity to appoint surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the need to serve notice may be avoided:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory booklet says that some works on a party wall may be so minor that service of notice under the Act would be normally regarded as not necessary 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 inserting power sockets, and screws to support racks, kitchen cupboards, and so forth.
- Works under Area 2 of the Act offered that composed authorization is gotten from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The three kinds of Notification are understood, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Section 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice should be served a minimum of 2 months before the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other 2 notices need to be served at least one month prior to work starting.
The necessary details which Notices should include 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 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 or not the building owner proposes to underpin or otherwise enhance or protect the foundations of the structure or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying plans and sections showing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to erect 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 notification:
- The date of the notification.
- If various), the name and addresses of both the building and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the properties being worked on/affected.
- A statement as to the start of works relative to the proper notice duration.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to react within 14 days, an advisory note explaining what happens.
Section 10 of the Act specifies that where an adjacent owner does not approval in writing to works informed by the structure owner under Areas 3 and 6, both celebrations should either agree on the appointment of a single surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Surveyor), or each select their own surveyor, to identify by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a project is straightforward, this may just involve factor to consider of the time and way in which those works are to be performed. In more complex plans, thought will have to be provided to a commensurately greater number of factors and undoubtedly appointed surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in regard of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The exact same treatment is utilized to deal with any subsequent conflicts between neighbouring owners that might arise 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 adjacent owner does not stop the statutory procedure. A dispute can occur by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the structure owner an objection in regard of some matter emerging out of or incidental to the works – the means of making that objection are not important, but if he stays quiet, neither dissenting nor consenting for a duration of 2 week after having been served with a Notification under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act deems a dissent to have actually arisen in any event.
There is no considered dissent arrangement in Section 1 of the Act. A valid dispute can still arise, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works alerted under that section however only as relates to real dissent on specific grounds. An adjacent owner’s factors for contesting Section 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the consultation of surveyors and in a lot of cases not even then.
Where dissent has arisen, whether actual or deemed, both owners are legally obliged to appoint an agreed 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, automatically gives 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 2 surveyors are appointed, they are obliged to agree upon the choice, in writing, of a 3rd property surveyor who might be called upon by either of the property surveyors or either of the celebrations to determine the disputed matters and make the required award. The third surveyor is never ever appointed by anybody but the Act offers the individual so chose the very same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most typically called upon where the two property surveyors have reached an impasse in their considerations over some particular point and frequently this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the costs of the property surveyor appointed by the adjacent owner. Seldom will a third surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the whole works but might join with one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need arises.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, however 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 costs for the preparation of the award and evaluation of the works to ensure that they comply with the works, and who will spend for the works. If the work is solely for the benefit of the structure owner, then they will generally be needed to pay the charges and the cost of the works.
If they disagree with the award, celebrations have 14 days to appeal to the county court.
The Act permits access to the adjoining home for the purposes of carrying out the works whether the adjacent owner permits or not, however they should be provided 14 days 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 communications.
The info that Sees must offer 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 relating to Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still emerge, and surveyors be appointed in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works notified under that area however only as relates to real dissent on specific grounds. An adjoining owner’s reasons for disputing Section 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever defined prior to the visit of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has developed, whether real or considered, both owners are legally obliged to select a concurred surveyor or, if they can not jointly concur on a single person, a property surveyor each and if asked for to make such a consultation by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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