What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an arrangement made in 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 distance to a party border or structure. There are three main types of work which require a Party Wall Property surveyor to perform a Party Wall Award and these are:
- Line of junction (building a brand-new wall on or along with a border).
- Party Structure Works (works to an existing party wall such as cutting into, restoring, thickening etc.).
- Adjacent Excavation (excavations to a lower level within either 3m or 6m of an existing building).
In London and across the UK, our skilled commercial building surveyors perform a variety of expert surveying services consisting of Party Wall Studies (Party Wall Awards). At Commercial Structure Surveyors we conduct Party Wall Surveys by expert and experienced Party Wall Surveyors throughout the UK.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
A party wall (periodically parti-wall or parting wall surface, likewise referred to as usual wall or as a demising wall surface) is a splitting dividers between two adjacent structures that is shared by the residents of each house or company. Commonly, the home builder lays the wall surface along a home line separating two terraced houses, to ensure that one fifty percent of the wall’s thickness pushes each side. This kind of wall surface is typically structural. Event walls can also be created by 2 abutting wall surfaces built at various times. The term can be also utilized to define a division in between separate systems within a multi-unit apartment or condo facility. Very commonly the wall surface in this instance is non-structural however developed to satisfy well established standards for noise and/or fire security, i.e. a firewall program.
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it effects the garden
At first sight, it is simple to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden construction, however it does affect the construction of boundary walls even if not part of buildings and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered force in 1997, so it is now law and provides you rights and duties whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on an appropriate 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 carried out. Likewise, having Preparation Consent does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act comes into impact if somebody is preparing to do deal with an appropriate structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply mean the wall in between two semi-detached homes, as far as gardeners are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the boundary line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the properties however is not part of any building.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring property.
For information of how the Party Wall Act impacts building operate in general, have a look at this page.
Just like all work affecting neighbours, it is constantly much better to reach a friendly contract instead of resort to any law. Even where the work needs a notification to be served, it is much better to informally talk about the designated work, consider the neighbours comments, and modify your plans (if appropriate) before serving the notification.
What garden work needs a notification and permission.
The basic concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have a result upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or may trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall must be notified. Recommendations should be sought from a regional Structure Control Office or expert surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To destroy and/or rebuild/build a party border wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party boundary wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
A notice must be issued to all impacted neighbouring celebrations if the prepared work on a limit wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notice 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 residential or commercial property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will usually be simply a single sentence detailing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear declaration that the notice is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notification is being served.
- If the work involves excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position etc
If the planned 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 individual intending to perform the work must serve a written notice 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 ought to respond in composing giving permission or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 14 days of receiving the notification, the result is to put the notification into conflict. Nevertheless no formal contract is required for a wall up to the limit line, the neighbour just requires not to object in writing.
- No work may start on a wall astride the boundary line till all neighbouring parties have agreed in writing to the notice (or a revised notification).
See listed below regarding what takes place in case of a dispute/objection.
If the planned work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification requires to be served at least one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations must offer written arrangement within 2 week or a dispute is deemed to have actually happened.
See listed below concerning what happens in the event of a dispute/objection.
If a dispute occurs, what happens.
If agreement can not be reached between neighbouring celebrations, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to identify a reasonable and unbiased Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Property surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party selects their own Property surveyor to represent the individual celebrations.
The person who is carrying out the work will normally 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. Nevertheless it should be noted that any Property surveyor should act within their statutory duties and propose a unbiased and reasonable Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Property surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the specific Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which must be reasonable and unbiased to all celebrations.
- When an Award has been made, all parties have 2 week to appeal to a County Court versus the Award.
Once you have arrangement.
Once you have arrangement, all work must adhere to the notice. All the arrangements should be retained to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the home might want to develop that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve just provided a quick outline of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work but have a look at the Neighborhoods and Local Government website for a more extensive explanatory brochure consisting of example letters for responses and notifications.
- Going over desired deal with neighbours is totally free and can prevent misunderstanding which might arise if a notification arrives all of a sudden.
- Your local Structure Control Office may have the ability to provide totally free suggestions relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular circumstances.
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