In this blog, Icon Surveyors will discuss the difference between a Party Wall Agreement and a Schedule of Conditions is?
Icon Surveyors will also consider when one or both of them are needed?
What is a Party Wall Agreement?
In the simplest of terms,
A Party Wall Agreement sometimes referred to as a Party Wall Award is a statutory document drawn up by a surveyor that stipulates certain terms and conditions that a building owner and/or adjoining owner must abide by in order for works Under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, to be carried out.
The Party Wall Agreement is usually compiled in three sections, these encompass; the Agreement itself and contain a description of the permissible works; a Schedule of Conditions which contains a written report with accompanying photographic evidence of the pre-work condition of the properties that may be affected by the works, and; Drawings together with any additional information such as planning permissions or an architect's illustrations.
What is a Schedule of Conditions?
In the simplest of terms,
A Schedule of Conditions is a document that contains a written and photographic record of the condition of a property prior to the commencement of any proposed works. This document is usually contained in a Party Wall Agreement/Award.
When might a Party Wall Agreement or Schedule of Conditions be Needed?
In short, both documents will be legally required, if, and only if, a dispute as determined under the provisions of the Party Wall Act is deemed to have arisen.
A Party Wall Agreement is, under section 10 of the Party Wall Act, a mandatory requirement for parties that are considered under the Act to have fallen into a ‘dispute’. It is intended to be a form of ‘Dispute Resolution’, thus, a mechanism that includes precautionary measures and protections against disputes that have arisen, so that an adjoining owner remains protected and a building owner may commence with their right to carry out any works under the Act. As can be determined from the preceding paragraph; a ‘Schedule of Conditions’ usually forms a part of the Party Wall Agreement.
Icon Surveyors would always recommend that any party seeking to carry out works under the provisions of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, with or without the appointment of a surveyor ensures that they have at minimum a written and photographic recording of the condition of all affected properties prior to the commencement of any proposed works. Though such a record will go some way to protecting any proposed building and/or adjoining owner(s), it will not be as robust or reliable as that of a ‘Schedule of Conditions’ prepared by an experienced surveyor.
Icon Surveyors are happy to provide free consultation on party wall matters to any building or adjoining owners who may be affected by the subject matter raised in this blog.