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Benefits of having a Party Wall Award

Nov 29, 2022

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It’s time another instalment of Stokemont’s blog series, as always, we hope this provides you with some beneficial information and answers any queries you may have!

The focus of the post will be on Party Wall Surveying and the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and more specifically on the benefits of having a party wall award.

First, what is a party wall award?

When a building owner is undertaking works within close proximity to an adjoining owner, they may be required to serve a party wall notice upon the relevant adjoining owner(s).

If a building is intending to either build a new up to or astride the boundary, carry out works directly to a party wall or structure, or undertake excavations within 3m of an adjoining property then they are required to serve a party wall notice upon the adjoining owner.

The adjoining owner is able to respond to the party wall notice with any of the following 3 response options:

  1. Consent – this option will allow the building owner to proceed with the construction works with no further party wall procedures in place.
  2. Dissent & appoint an ‘Agreed Surveyor’.
  3. Dissent & appoint an independent Surveyor.

If the adjoining owner opts for either option 2 or 3 set out about, then the surveyor(s) will visit the adjoining property to carry out a Schedule of Condition. Following on from this, the surveyor(s) will then create a party wall award which concludes the party wall procedures.

Essentially, a party wall award sets out what construction works are taking place and governs the works.

Within a party wall award the following is usually included:

  • The scope of the works will be clearly stated
  • The process which will be followed in the event of damage will be stated
  • The permitted construction working hours will be set out
  • The temporary access arrangement will be stated
  • Methods of construction to further reduce the risk of damage
  • The details of the appointed surveyor(s)
  • Procedures that need to be followed when there are changes to the proposals

What are the benefits of a Party Wall Award?

The party wall award brings benefits to the adjoining owner including offering them full legal protection against their neighbour’s construction works. In the event of damage, they will have surveyors input to ensure that the remedial works are carried out.

Furthermore, the award will also significantly reduce the likelihood of nuisance and damage to the adjoining property as construction method guidelines will be set out.

The Schedule of Condition which forms part of the award will also benefit the adjoining owner as it will ensure that there is a legal record of the condition of the property prior to the commencement of the works, that way if there are any changes to the condition it can assist with ensuring that the property is put back to its pre-works state.

Many building owners struggle to see why they would consider serving a party wall notice as they do not believe it will benefit them and just adds further costs to their proposed works.

However, the party wall award also brings benefits to the building owner.

The Schedule of Condition will ensure that the building owner is not blamed for damage that already existed within the adjoining property before the commencement of the works.

A key benefit of the party wall award is that it will grant the building owner with access onto the adjoining owners land or roof space to complete their works. Without a party wall agreement, the adjoining owner does not have to grant access to the building owner.

Please feel free to get in contact with one of our highly experienced party wall surveyors by clicking here.

Our team here at Stokemont would be more than happy to assist you through the party wall procedures.

If you are a building owner planning on undertaking construction works and are unsure if you are required to serve a party wall notice, please send through the plans for you proposed works and we would be thrilled to review those and offer you further advice.

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