A Party Wall Award (also known as a Party Wall Agreement) is a document both prepared and agreed by Party Wall Surveyors, or just one Party Wall Surveyor known as the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor.
The Party Wall Award Usually Includes:
The Project Drawings
Both the existing and proposed architectural and structural drawings and specific details that relate to the Party Wall Works.
Schedule of Condition Report
This is a site inspection of the adjoining owner’s property, undertaken pre-construction works. The inspection will result in a Schedule of Condition report, documenting the condition of the adjoining owner’s property.
A thorough report is important when the Surveyor is undertaking his assessment of the property, post works confirming if damage has been caused as a result of the Party Wall Works.
Working hours are governed by local authorities, however, The Party Wall Award governs the time, the building owner’s contractor can undertake the Party Wall element of the construction works. The Party Wall Surveyor has the power to make changes from the local authority working hours when related to Party Wall Works only.
Access To the Adjoining Owner’s Property
The Party Wall Award can entitle/determine the building owner and their contractor to the legal right of access within the adjoining owner’s property. This is only granted with certain types of Party Wall Works. The Party Wall Award will carefully govern both the timing and necessary protections during the course of the agreed access.
For more information please refer to one Party Wall Case Amir-Siddique vs Kowaliw which we have discussed in our last blog...
The Manner that Works Maybe Undertaken
This could be anything, from the use of certain tool types the contractor uses on a Party Wall, to the way works are undertaken on site. These will often be a little more protective than building regulations allow, in an effort to bring down the risk of damage to the adjoining owner’s property.
This could be the inclusion of contractor insurance, a sum of money held on account known as Security for Expenses, this is used in the event the building owner stops working. Security for Expenses will allow the adjoining owner to utilise the funds on account for protection. The Party Wall Award also includes a form of financial protection for the adjoining owner.
The Party Wall Award will detail the necessary steps required to be taken if damage were to occur within the adjoining owner’s property. Importantly for the adjoining owner, the Award ensures that if a dispute were to occur, the matter is dealt with by the appointed Surveyors who will be duty-bound to resolve it. This saves the adjoining owner from having to go through both costly and timely civil procedures to recover the repair cost.
Party Wall Awards are usually served via post; however, they can also be served digitally to the owners. Upon receipt of the Party Wall Award, the building owner will have the legal right to commence the Party Wall Works to their property.
Legally speaking, there are not two Party Wall Awards that are the same, each Party Wall Award is drafted to carefully accommodate and consider the requests of the respective owners and the properties.
If you plan to undertake building works and would like to learn more about Party Wall Award or Party Wall Agreement, feel free to give our qualified and experienced Party Wall team a call now who will be happy to assist you.