What You Must Know About Party Wall Agreements

Party Wall Agreements explained – everything you need to know when planning  your renovation | Livingetc

In today’s property surveying blog post, we will examine Party Wall Surveying concerns. This post will provide a comprehensive examination of Party Wall Awards and their implications, which we feel are crucial for building owners and bordering owners to be aware of.

The Party Wall Award is the concluding legal document for Party Wall Surveying. Often referred to as a Party Wall Agreement, an Agreement and an Award are identical.

Party Wall Agreements are only valid if the processes and protocols outlined in The Party Wall etc. Act of 1996 are adhered to.

The Party Wall Award itself signifies the end of the Party Wall Surveyor’s role in the Party Wall matter, as the Award is the vessel and document that gives the building owner the legal right to carry out their planned works, as well as the full protection and benefits of The Party Wall etc Act 1996 to the adjoining owner.

The purpose of this section is to familiarise you with the standard components of a Party Wall Award so that you are completely prepared to navigate the Party Wall process.

Legal Recital

In the first place, the Party Wall Agreement is a legal document; in fact, it is one of the few legal papers that may be drafted by a Property Surveyor as opposed to legal specialists such as Solicitors or Barristers.

This will distinguish the Party Wall Award from your normal contract. In general, we feel that the substance of the Award will be significantly more practical when it contains elements that are less legal and more comparable to directions for the building owner and their contractors to follow. Dilapidations And Schedules Of Condition From Survey 1

Owner Verifications

The Party Wall Award will specify who the potential owners are, including both the owner of the building and the surrounding owners.

In addition, it is to confirm the potential owner’s service address so that, in the event of a dispute, the necessary information is immediately available.

Party Wall Experts

The Party Wall Award will also include the names and contact information for the necessary Party Wall Surveyors.

This will vary depending on the sort of Party Wall Award that has been agreed upon, but will often involve the building owner’s Party Wall Surveyor, the neighbouring property owner’s Party Wall Surveyor, and a third-Party Wall Surveyor.

Again, the principle underlying this is to guarantee that the winner and readers of the Award have a simple means of contacting the relevant parties.

Notably, the Third Surveyor must always be made known to the prospective purchasers, the building owner, and the bordering owner well in advance of the actual service of the Award.

Verification of Agreed-Upon Works

The Party Wall Award will also specify permitted building owner improvements.

This will likely be limited to the portions of the work that fall within the scope of The Party Wall Act etc., 1996.

The reasoning and goal behind this are to guarantee that the Party Wall Award exclusively addresses the construction works that the Act authorises it to address, and that its causes and clauses are restricted to these specific building works.

This is an often-misunderstood aspect of the Party Wall Award, as many owners wrongly assume it applies to the whole property.

The Party Wall Award can only cover the Party Wall aspect of the works, therefore if a building owner was planning a loft conversion, the only notifiable (Party Wall Works) elements would be the removal of the roof covering and the installation of the steel beams into the Party Wall.

All additional works resulting from the loft conversion are not covered by the Party Wall Award. https://www.surveyone.co.uk/about/

Plan for Condition Reports

The Party Wall Award should also contain a copy of the Schedule of Condition Report prepared by the Party Wall Surveyor.

Prior to the building owner’s work starting, a schedule of condition reports will be performed. The Report will focus on the adjacent owner’s property, travelling from room to room internally and elevation to elevation externally, to ensure a comprehensive record of the property’s state prior to the commencement of construction.

While the Schedule of Condition will be a written document, potential Party Wall Surveyors are likely to have hundreds, if not thousands, of images on file.

The Schedule of Conditions Report is, in our opinion, a crucial component of the Party Wall Process and Award.

It protects the neighbouring property owner in the event of any damage, as well as the building owner in the case of any invalid damage claim.

Construction Hours Worked

The Party Wall Award will also stipulate the hours that the building owner is authorised to work on construction projects.

As stated, before in this blog post, this work will be limited to the Party Wall components of the building work, thus this restriction will also be limited to those components.

Again, this indicates that the working hours will not dictate the site-wide operations, but rather the Party Wall works themselves.

Work on the entire site will be regulated by the local authority’s working hours, which are accessible via a simple Google search or by visiting your local authority’s website.

Architectural Drawings

The Party Wall Award will also include building blueprints, which will clearly and concisely outline how the idea works. However, as stated before in this blog article, these are likely to be limited to the Party Wall aspects of the actual work.

In many instances, the Party Wall aspects of the works will be limited to a handful of drawings, hence it is quite improbable that a substantial number of drawings will be included in the Award.

Alternately, a Party Wall Surveyor may include just the designs that explicitly pertain to the intended works, so streamlining the Party Wall Award and making it as simple to comply to as feasible.

Once a Party Wall Award has been agreed upon, the building owner has the legal authority to begin planned construction.

As per Section 10(17) of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, both the building owner and the adjoining owner would have the opportunity to appeal the Award itself.

An often-misunderstood aspect of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and service of the Party Wall Award is that the 14-day appeal process outlined above is a legal obligation and the building owner must suspend or halt planned construction during this time.

We can guarantee that this is not the case; once the building owner receives the Party Wall Award from the Party Wall Surveyor or Party Wall Surveyors, he or she has the legal authority to begin the construction immediately.

Party Wall Surveying processes, despite their apparent simplicity, are inherently complicated. They are the ideal combination of legal insight and practical property expertise.

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