Party Wall Award Services
- What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is an agreement between two parties, addressing building works that are deemed notifiable under the Act.
The agreement between two parties who own or have a legal interest on impacted buildings and structures. This is separate from obtaining planning permission and building regulations approval.
Obtaining a Party Wall Award is a legal requirement between a building owner and an owner of an affected neighbouring structure.
The Award will typically comprise of a description of the works, detailing of the works that are deemed notifiable under the Act, agreed methods of construction to minimise impact and maintain integrity, and a schedule of condition recording the existing condition of structures that may be affected as part of these works.
The framework that Party Wall Awards are generated against is set under The Party Wall etc Act 1996. The intention of this Act is to prevent and resolve disputes in relation to works carried out to party walls, boundary walls and excavations carried out near neighbouring buildings.
- Do I require a Party Wall Agreement?
If you are a building owner or a person with legal interest in land and you are proposing to carry out works that are deemed notifiable under the Act, you must give all adjoining owners notice of your intentions prior to the commencement of works in the appropriate manner addressed under the Act.
Not all developments require a Party Wall Agreement. If you are in doubt do not risk it, as this is a legal requirement and the building owner (not the builder) is required by law to address all obligations under the act. Call MSK Design and ask to speak to a Party Wall Surveyor.
- What are notifiable works under the Act?
Notifiable works under the Act in summary are works that are either:
- cutting into
- bearing onto or
As shared or local neighbouring structure.
A range of typical works scenarios that are deemed notifiable are as follows:
- Installing new beams bearing into shared walls (party walls) often found with loft conversions and extensions
- Excavating new foundations local to shared walls (party walls) neighbouring buildings and structures that may be undermined
- Basements local to neighbouring structures
- Removing chimney breasts on shared walls (party walls)
- Underpinning shared walls (party walls) or within close proximity to structures that may be undermined
If you are in doubt, call MSK Design and ask to speak to a Party Wall Surveyor.
- What do I do if I need a Party Wall Agreement?
The responsibility to implement this process is upon the person carrying out the works, and not the person who is being impacted.
If you are due to commence building works and require a Party Wall Award, a notice will need to be served upon all affected parties. Please note that there are different types of notices that can be served, if the notice is not served correctly, you may fail to address your obligations under the Act.
At MSK Design, our Party Wall Surveyors will ensure that the correct notices are served upon your neighbours with the correct level of detailing, to ensure that delays are not incurred leading into commencement of building works.
Please note that this process can take days or months depending on the complexity of the works, and how cooperative you neighbour is.
We do not recommend waiting until you have appointed a builder to start this process, if you intend to commence works within the next 12 months, we recommend starting the process once you have a complete set of construction drawings ready.
- I need to issue a Party Wall Notice, who can issue Party Wall Notices?
We recommend using an experienced Party Wall Surveyor that understands the legal framework of the Party Wall Act, to ensure that all involved parties are properly notified under the Act.
At MSK Design, our Party Wall Surveyors are Members of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors, who have attained a level of proficiency to guide you through your obligations under the Act.
We have heard of many cases where building owners and builders have issued their own Party Wall Notices to save costs, without using an experienced Party Wall Surveyor. Without fully understanding the intricacies of the Act, if a notice is served incorrectly, you will fail to address your obligations under the Act, and this is a legal requirement with the potential to lead into disputes that can have huge financial consequences.
If you are a client of ours or someone that is seeking for an experienced Party Wall Surveyor to address your obligations under the Act, we can manage this process with the experience to ensure that you are covered correctly under the Act.
- What happens once a notice is served?
We always recommend speaking to your neighbours before serving a notice. This is a formal document, and it often received more positively if they are expecting it.
Once issued, adjoining owners can either agree or disagree with what is proposed.
Where an adjoining owner disagrees, the Act provides a mechanism for resolving disputes.
- My neighbour is carrying out building works and I have just received a Party Wall Notice, what do I do?
If you have received a notice and need guidance on what to do, we would be happy to help. Call MSK Design and ask to speak to a Party Wall Surveyor.
At MSK Design, our Party Wall Surveyors are experienced in construction developments. Our services will seek to safeguard your home and interests with a level of representation that understands the construction industry.
The first step would be to ensure that you have been served with the correct notice. Once this has been confirmed, we can be appointed under the notice response to manage your interests on your behalf.
- Party Wall Award services provided by MSK Design
At MSK Design, we provide Party Wall Award services to everyone, whether you are a homeowner, owner of commercial property or a property developer.
If you need guidance on how to address you Party Wall obligations and do not know where to start, call MSK Design and ask to speak to a Party Wall Surveyor.