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Property Surveying Blog

November 26, 2018

What is a Party Wall Award?

Written by Sadek Miah

The Party Wall etc Act 1996

In this blog post I will be explaining what a Party Wall Award is, what is usually included within a Party Wall Award and the purpose of it.

A Party Wall Award, sometimes referred to as a Party wall Agreement, is a legally binding document provided by either one or two Party Wall Surveyors, acting on behalf of their respective appointing owners (the building owner or the adjoining owner).

Essentially, the Party Wall Award is drafted and served either an Agreed Surveyor, or by two Party Wall Surveyors when having received a Party Wall Notice from the building owner, an adjoining owner dissents to the Party Wall Notice.

The Party Wall Award itself governs the building owner’s notifiable works that are to take place and legally protects both owners in the event of issue occurring such as construction damage.

The body of the Party Wall Award is usually comprised of 3 main sections:

  1. The Award containing the relevant clauses specific to the works that are to take place
  2. The Schedule of Condition Report
  3. Drawings of the proposed construction, usually in the form of structural drawings

Aside from the 3 main sections of the Award, there are a number of clauses and details that are always included such as an outline of the works that are to take place, a general time frame that the works will last, the working hours that are permitted, agreed Party Wall Surveyor fees (if applicable) and any access arrangements during period the works take place (if applicable).

While there are a number of standard templates for a Party Wall Award available, there are no set clauses that apply to all Party Wall Awards, instead they are often tailored to the specific notifiable works that are to take place on site.

The Schedule of Condition Report itself outlines descriptive features of the adjoining owner’s property and records the condition in great detail before the building owner’s construction works have started. The full condition of the property will then be recorded, which in turn would protect both the building owner and the adjoining owner if a dispute for losses or claims for damage arises.

The drawings are included to outline the changes that are to take place from the existing structure of the property.

The purpose of the Party Wall Award is to govern the works and ultimately protect both the building owner and the adjoining owner if damages are to occur to the property.

If claims of damages are made by the adjoining owner, the Party Wall Surveyor or Party Wall Surveyors can then use the Schedule of Condition Report as evidence to determine whether damages have in fact taken place, and also is they are a result of the Party Wall works.

Here at Berry Lodge, we specialise in Party Wall Surveying, If all your questions were not answered here, or if you require a Party Wall Surveyor to help you serve a Party Wall Notice or agree a Party Wall Award, give us a call to receive 30 minutes of free Party Wall Advice.