If your residential or commercial property shares a wall with another building, the prospect of completing any project that involves work on the party can raise a lot of questions. If you’ve started your research, you may have encountered the term ‘Party Wall Award’. But what exactly does it mean? Here’s all you need to know.
What Is A Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award, often referred to as a Party Wall Agreement, is a document that is used to protect the joint-owners of the party award ahead of any proposed works to either side of the structure. It is a legal document, which sets out the rights and responsibilities of the owner & it consists of three main parts;
- The document, which will detail how the work is to be completed
- Photos and a file to showcase the condition of the adjoining property
- Drawings to detail how works will be completed
Who Produces the Party Wall Award?
Given the significance of the documented agreement, it needs to be supplied by professionals. The two property owners can decide to use an “agreed surveyor” who works on behalf of both parties. Alternatively, the two owners may choose to have an independent surveyor – in which case the two surveyors will work to reach an agreement.
Further details that may be included within the Award include but are not limited to;
- Working hours
- Public liability insurance details
- Adjoining property owner’s surveyor fee
- Time limits for when the work should start
- Access arrangements
Why Should I Have A Party Wall Award in Place?
If you are the owner of the building that is about to start a new project, the Party Wall Award agreement provides insight and reassurances regarding the neighbouring property. It provides recorded details of any damage (existing cracks, etc.) to the other side of the party wall, which can protect you on a financial front. Moreover, it allows you access to the adjoining property to complete the work – as long as it is within the terms of the agreement.
For homeowners and entrepreneurs of the adjoining property, the document serves to reduce any inconvenience from your perspective. It sets out the times that your neighbour can complete the works while also ensuring that your property will not be compromised. Should any problems surface, the document will detail the solution without requiring civil claims.
Is A Published Party Wall Award the End of Things?
Not necessarily. Both parties have a two-week window to contest the proposed Party Wall Award, meaning you do not have to settle for the surveyor’s outcomes. When making an appeal, though, it’s important to propose an alternative outcome.
All contractors should see the Award ahead of starting any work. Finally, it should be noted that disputes could still arise regarding any reported damage, irrespective of which party is in the right. Nonetheless, the Party Wall Award is a very valuable thing to have.
Moreover, as per the 1966 Party Wall Act, it is a legal requirement in most cases where works affect the adjoining owner. For further information as the owner of either building, get in touch with our experts today.