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 between at least 2 neighbouring occupiers prior to the start 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 kinds of work which require a Party Wall Surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (constructing a new wall on or together with a boundary).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, reconstructing, thickening and so on).
- Surrounding Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and throughout the UK, our experienced industrial building property surveyors carry out a range of professional surveying services consisting of Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we carry out Party Wall Surveys by knowledgeable and expert Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
A party wall (occasionally parti-wall or parting wall surface, additionally understood as typical wall surface or as a demising wall) is a separating dividers between two adjoining buildings that is shared by the occupants of each residence or company. Commonly, the contractor lays the wall surface along a property line dividing 2 terraced homes, to make sure that one half of the wall surface’s density pushes each side. This sort of wall is normally architectural. Party wall surfaces can likewise be created by two abutting walls developed at various times. The term can be likewise used to define a department in between different devices within a multi-unit apartment complex. Really commonly the wall in this situation is non-structural but developed to satisfy well-known criteria for sound and/or fire security, i.e. a firewall software.
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it effects the garden
At first sight, it is easy to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden building and construction, however it does impact the building of border walls even if not part of buildings and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and offers you rights and obligations whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing deal with an appropriate structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not affect any requirement for Preparation Permission for any work undertaken. Having Preparation Approval does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act comes into effect if someone is preparing to do work on a relevant structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply mean the wall between 2 semi-detached residential or commercial properties, as far as gardeners are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the limit line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the properties however is not part of any structure.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring home.
For information of how the Party Wall Act impacts building operate in general, have a look at this page.
As with all work impacting neighbours, it is always much better to reach a friendly arrangement rather than turn to any law. Even where the work requires a notice to be served, it is much better to informally talk about the intended work, consider the neighbours comments, and amend your strategies (if appropriate) before serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notice and consent.
The general principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an impact upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or might trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be informed. Guidance should be sought from a local Structure Control Office or expert surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or destroy border wall.
- To increase the height or thickness of a party limit wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go listed below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
A notice must be released to all impacted neighbouring parties if the prepared work on a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notice needs to consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the residential or commercial property carrying out the work.
- The address of the home.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will typically be just a single sentence describing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notice is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notification is being served.
- If the work includes excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position and so on
If the planned work is a brand-new limit wall up to or astride the limit line the process of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person intending to perform the work needs to serve a written notification at least one months prior to the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party providing details of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party should respond in writing giving authorization or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 2 week of getting the notice, the impact is to put the notice into dispute. Nevertheless no formal contract is needed for a wall as much as the boundary line, the neighbour just needs not to object in composing.
- No work might start on a wall astride the border line till all neighbouring parties have agreed in writing to the notice (or a modified notification).
See below regarding what occurs in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notice requires to be served at least one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring parties need to provide written agreement within 14 days or a conflict is considered to have occurred.
See below concerning what occurs in case of a dispute/objection.
If a disagreement arises, what happens.
If arrangement can not be reached between neighbouring celebrations, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to determine a unbiased and fair Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party designates their own Property surveyor to represent the private celebrations.
The person who is performing the work will typically have to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor needlessly – in the opinion of the Surveyor. It must be kept in mind that any Property surveyor must act within their statutory duties and propose a objective and reasonable Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the private Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which needs to be neutral and fair to all parties.
- When an Award has actually been made, all parties have 14 days to interest a County Court against the Award.
When you have contract.
As soon as you have agreement, all work must abide by the notice. All the agreements ought to be kept to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the home may want to develop that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We have actually just offered a brief outline of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work however take a look at the Communities and Local Government site for a more extensive explanatory brochure consisting of example letters for notices and responses.
- If a notification shows up all of a sudden, talking about designated work with neighbours is complimentary and can avoid misunderstanding which may develop.
- Your regional Building Control Office might be able to offer totally free recommendations relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific scenarios.
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