The Party Wall Award is generally considered as the conclusion of the Party Wall Agreement process and importantly once served means that the building owner is free to commence their Party Wall Works.
Through the eyes of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, once the Party Wall Award has been agreed, the “dispute” between the owners has been resolved and the Surveyor’ has completed his statutory duties.
However, the Act does take into account that the owners may not agreeable with the outcome of that and Award and therefore gives them the right to appeal the Award.
Formally dealt with in Section 10(17) of the Act:
“Either of the parties to the dispute may, within the period of fourteen days beginning with the day on which an award made under this section is served on him, appeal to the county court against the award and the county court may—
(a) rescind the award or modify it in such manner as the court thinks fit; and
(b) make such order as to costs as the court thinks fit”.
Both the building owner and the adjoining owner have the right to appeal the Party Wall Award for any reason, however they must do it within 14 days of the Award’s Service. A Party Wall Award is considered served when the Surveyor places it in the postbox for post.
Appealing the Party Wall Award is a straightforward procedure and is achieved via the County Court. As with any legal matter, it would be advisable to obtain legal advice before lodging such appeal.
However, the Act does allow an owner to appeal the Award directly with the Courts, therefore if you want to appeal the Award you will only need to present your case to the Court.
It is worth noting that once the appeal is made, if it is later overturned, you could find your self liable for the other owner’s costs as well as the potential delayed cost of the construction work. Therefore, before proceeding to appeal a Party Wall Award, we would first suggest speaking to Party Wall Surveyor and discussing your concern with them, more often that not, they may be able to alleviate the concern.