What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is a contract made 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 distance to a party boundary or structure. There are three primary types of work which need a Party Wall Surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (developing a brand-new wall on or alongside a boundary).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening etc.).
- Nearby Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing structure).
In London and throughout the UK, our skilled commercial building surveyors perform a range of professional surveying services consisting of Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we perform Party Wall Studies by experienced and professional 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.
THE PARTY WALL ACT 1996- A NEWBIES GUIDE
We appreciate that many people wishing to carry out deal with their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late stage in the pre-construction process. We likewise understand it can be a challenging process for those that have not experienced it before. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior property surveyors, offers his “beginners guide” which aims to offer a summary understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a procedure to follow when building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near to neighbouring structures, and new walls at borders. The Act permits owners to carry out particular specific works, consisting of work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time safeguarding the interests of anyone else who might be impacted by that work. The Act is designed to prevent or reduce disagreements by making sure property owners notify their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act provides a mechanism for resolving conflicts and making it possible for works to proceed. It also requires that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or surveyors will figure out the time and method which those works are performed.
What is a party wall?
Party walls normally separate structures coming from different owners but could consist of garden walls built astride a boundary– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 different size buildings typically just the part that is utilized by both properties is a party wall, the rest comes from the individual or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so consisted of since the arrangements of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they also consist of party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act defines each:
” party fence wall” implies a wall (not belonging to a structure) which stands on lands of various owners and is used or constructed to be used for separating such adjoining lands, however does not consist of a wall constructed on the land of one owner the synthetically formed assistance of which projects into the land of another owner;
” party structure” implies a party wall and likewise a floor partition or other structure separating structures or parts of structures approached solely by separate staircases or separate entryways;
What is covered by the Act?
There are specific items of work that you can just be done after alerting the adjoining owners and either receiving written contract of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works include (however are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for instance for a loft conversion.
- inserting a moist proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if needed, cutting off any things preventing this from taking place.
- demolishing and reconstructing a party wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjoining walls or structures by cutting a flashing into an adjacent building.
- excavating foundations within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations.
- excavating structures within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and listed below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
If it is proposed to construct a brand-new wall on the line of junction (boundary line), notifications are likewise required. A party wall surveyor will generally be able to verify which work is notifiable and suggestions the notice period and kind of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to certain particular kinds of work and is permissive in nature. It should not be seen as a technique of objecting to or avoiding works and it is not planned to be applied to small tasks that do not affect the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is normally agreed that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are small works and do not require a notice.
The functions of the Act are always instigated by the of issuing notifications. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the concern of legitimate notices, no more action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.
Composed notice needs to be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months before beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjoining owners need to be served a notification and there are most likely to be circumstances where there is more than one adjoining home and more than one owner of each property (ie: if the adjoining property is split into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Works to a party wall, or those affecting a ceiling or floor, will also need a notice to adjacent owners living above or below.
Valid notifications need to include the following information as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work including strategies, sections and details of construction approaches.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
It is essential to include the correct details on a notice as, if they are considered void, then any subsequent actions are likewise void.
Actions To Notices.
On invoice of a notification, an adjacent owner has three possible courses of action:.
- To consent to the works proceeding as described. If there is a dispute at that stage, a consenting Adjacent Owner keeps all rights under the Act including the right to appoint a surveyor later on in the process.
- To dissent and appoint a surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the visit of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or designate their own different surveyor.
- Issue a counter notice to set out particular conditions needed for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice ought to set out what extra or modified work the Adjoining Owner would like to be included for his advantage.
If the adjacent does not respond within 14 days then a considered dispute is stated to have happened and the person carrying out the work must select a property surveyor to act on the adjacent owners behalf.
If adjacent owners supply composed consent to the works as set out within the notices, then there is no disagreement to deal with and no more need for party wall property surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work profits as detailed within no damage and the notification is caused, then no further participation is necessary.
The surveyors then work together to concur the terms under which work might continue. The property surveyor( s) will evaluate the strategies, notifications and structural details of the works and, after thinking about the impact of the works, will draw up a contract which sets out the terms under which work can be brought out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will typically record the condition of the relevant part of adjacent property prior to work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act however is considered excellent practice and is duly provided by the majority of excellent surveyors). The award might also approve access to both homes so that the works can be safely carried out and the surveyor/s can inspect operate in progress.
Typically, the building owner who began the work spends for all expenses of work and the reasonable costs sustained by all parties as a result, this will consist of the property surveyors costs for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that many individuals wishing to carry out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late stage in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, uses his “novices guide” which intends to offer a summary understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a treatment to follow when building work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and brand-new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to bring out particular specific works, including work to the complete density of a party wall, whilst at the very same time securing the interests of anybody else who may be affected by that work. Written notification needs to be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months prior to starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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