This blog is not an authoritative interpretation of the law; it is intended as a general guide.
In this blog Icon Surveyors will be considering what a Party Wall Agreement is, when one is needed and what it generally contains.
What is a Party Wall Agreement and when is one needed?
A Party Wall Agreement or Party Wall Award; is a document that provides a resolution for a building owner and an adjoining owner who have been deemed to have entered into a dispute under the provisions of the Act. Under section 10 of the Part Wall Etc. Act 1996, any parties that have entered into and/or have been deemed under certain provisions of the Act to have entered into a dispute, must appoint a surveyor to resolve the dispute. The surveyor will draw up a Party Wall Award to enable the building owner to carry out the proposed works whilst at the same time providing protection for any adjoining owner who has concerns regarding any damage or inconvenience that may result from the works being carried out.
What Does A Party Wall Agreement Contain?
Usually it will contain the names and addresses of the parties to the agreement; whether or not there is a right to execute all of the proposed works, if so, what measures need to be put in place prior to the commencement of any works taking place. An example might be an insurance policy or monies put into an account for any future damage that may occur as a direct result of the works or monies for any inconvenience caused to the adjoining neighbour. The time and manner in which the work is to be carried out; This will include the start and finish date, the hours and days on which the works are permitted to be carried out, the materials to be used, any special building or construction measures to be taken, any access to be permitted to neighbouring property by workmen or the surveyor(s). The surveyor(s) may also wish to incorporate any other matters that are incidental to or that arise from the initial dispute between the parties.
It should be noted that all costs arising from the making of the Award will usually be included as an agreed term of the Award. That being said, like any agreement the costs must be reasonably incurred. Under the provisions of the Act this may include costs for, the making and/or obtaining of the award under section 10 of the Act; reasonable inspections of the work as specified under the Award; and any other matter that arises out of the dispute.
Icon Surveyors are happy to provide a free consultation to any building or adjoining owners who may be affected by the subject matter raised in this blog.