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 undertaken to a party boundary or structure, or where works are being undertaken in close proximity to a party boundary or structure. There are 3 primary types of work which require a Party Wall Property surveyor to carry out a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a new wall on or along with a limit).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, rebuilding, thickening etc.).
- Nearby Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and across the UK, our knowledgeable commercial building surveyors carry out a range of expert surveying services including Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Building Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Studies by professional and experienced Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
A party wall (periodically parti-wall or parting wall surface, also known as typical wall or as a demising wall surface) is a splitting partition in between two adjoining structures that is shared by the occupants of each house or company. Generally, the home builder lays the wall along a home line separating two terraced houses, so that one half of the wall surface’s density lies on each side. This sort of wall surface is typically architectural. Event walls can additionally be formed by 2 abutting wall surfaces developed at different times. The term can be likewise used to explain a division between separate units within a multi-unit home complex. Very typically the wall surface in this case is non-structural yet developed to meet established standards for sound and/or fire defense, i.e. a firewall software.
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it effects the garden
At first sight, it is easy to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden building, nevertheless it does impact the building of boundary walls even if not part of buildings and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered force in 1997, so it is now law and provides you rights and responsibilities whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on a pertinent structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to border fences.
The Party Wall Act does not affect any requirement for Planning Permission for any work undertaken. Also, having Preparation Consent does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters into effect if someone is preparing to do deal with a relevant structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply imply the wall between 2 semi-detached homes, as far as garden enthusiasts are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the border line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the homes however is not part of any structure.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring residential or commercial property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act affects building work in basic, have a look at this page.
As with all work impacting neighbours, it is always better to reach a friendly contract rather than turn to any law. Even where the work requires a notification to be served, it is much better to informally go over the designated work, think about the neighbours remarks, and amend your plans (if proper) before serving the notice.
What garden work requires a notification and authorization.
The basic principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an impact upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or might cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall need to be alerted. Suggestions ought to be sought from a local Structure Control Office or expert surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or demolish border wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party limit wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring structure.
If the prepared work on a limit wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification needs to be issued to all impacted neighbouring parties. The notification should consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the property carrying out the work.
- The address of the home.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will normally be just a single sentence describing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear declaration that the notification is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notice is being served.
- If the work involves excavations, a drawing revealing the depth, position and so on
If the prepared work is a new boundary wall approximately or astride the border line the procedure of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person meaning to perform the work should serve a written notice a minimum of one months prior to the desired start of the work to every neighbouring party giving information of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party ought to respond in composing giving approval or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 14 days of receiving the notification, the impact is to put the notice into disagreement. However no formal contract is required for a wall approximately the limit line, the neighbour simply needs not to object in composing.
- No work may commence on a wall astride the limit line till all neighbouring parties have actually concurred in writing to the notification (or a revised notice).
See listed below regarding what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification needs to be served at least one month before the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations must provide written arrangement within 2 week or a dispute is considered to have occurred.
See below regarding what occurs in the event of a dispute/objection.
If a disagreement develops, what takes place.
If arrangement can not be reached in between neighbouring parties, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to identify a objective and fair Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all parties).
- Each party selects their own Surveyor to represent the private celebrations.
The person who is carrying out the work will normally need to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Surveyor. Nevertheless it ought to be kept in mind that any Surveyor must act within their statutory responsibilities and propose a neutral and fair Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all parties).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the specific Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which must be fair and neutral to all celebrations.
- When an Award has actually been made, all parties have 14 days to appeal to a County Court against the Award.
Once you have arrangement.
All work needs to comply with the notification when you have agreement. All the contracts ought to be retained to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the home may wish to develop that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We have actually only given a brief outline of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work but have a look at the Communities and Local Government website for a more extensive explanatory pamphlet consisting of example letters for notices and actions.
- Going over desired deal with neighbours is free and can avoid misconception which might emerge if a notice shows up unexpectedly.
- Your local Structure Control Office might have the ability to give totally free recommendations concerning the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific situations.
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