In this week’s blog post I am going to be looking at the rights that a Party Wall Award provides a building owner and how soon works can commence once the Party Wall Award has been agreed and served.
So, you’ve gone through the required procedures that the Party Wall etc Act 1996 requires, commonly this will mean:
- The Party Wall Notices have been served.
- The Schedule of Condition inspection has taken place.
- The Party Wall Award has been Agreed and Served.
Can I now proceed with my planned construction works?
Under the Party Wall etc Act 1996, once the Party Award or also commonly known as an a Party Wall Agreement has been agreed, this officially provides the building owner with the legal rights to proceed with their construction works.
The purpose of the Party Wall Agreement is to ensure that the respective owners have sufficient legal protection in place, while also ensuring that the Party Wall Surveyor or Surveyors have considered the building owner’s works from the perspective of the adjoining owner’s property.
The Party Wall Award also plays the part of governing the time and manner of works to be taken place, along with other fine details such as reducing the capacity for potential damage, setting out procedures in the event that damage is caused, while also ensuring that site or property-specific points have been fully taken into account by the Party Wall Surveyor, or Surveyors.
Once all is agreed and the Party Wall Award has been served, there is then a 14 day period for either owner who a party to the Award to appeal it under Section 10(17) of the Party Wall etc Act 1996:
“Either of the parties to the dispute may, within the period of fourteen 14 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”
One of the most common misconceptions I have found is that owners believe the 14 day appeal period means that the building owner needs to wait for that time to pass before commencing the works.
I can confirm this is not the case, the building owner has the legal right to commence the work as soon as the Party Wall Award has been agreed and served.
If you have any further queries about Party Wall Awards that hasn’t been discussed in this post, please get in contact with one of our Party Wall Surveyors, we would be more than happy to give you 30 minutes free impartial advice which will hopefully help narrow the dispute and at the very least give you another Surveyor’s opinion on the matter.