11th October 2021
A party wall award and a party wall agreement are two different things, each with its own benefits and purposes. Here we look at the difference between the two and how to know which one you require.
Party Wall Agreement
A party wall agreement is used when someone plans to carry out building work near or on shared property boundaries. The purpose is to ensure that both parties know exactly what to expect when the work is carried out. It will outline what the work entails and how it meets legal requirements. A party wall agreement is an inexpensive way of clearing up confusion or a dispute and acts as legal evidence if future issues were to arise. It is a legally binding agreement between the person wishing to carry out the building work and the neighbours that it may affect. This is a much cheaper option than a party wall award, as it does not require a surveyor.
So, the key things to note about a party wall agreement are:
- It is legally binding
- It is an agreement between the person carrying out building work and the neighbours it affects
- It is an inexpensive, detailed outline of the planned work
- It does not require a surveyor
Party Wall Award
Once a party wall notice has been served, the neighbours have fourteen days to respond in writing. If they do not respond in this timeframe or disagree with the notice, a difference will be deemed between the parties. When this happens, both parties must enlist the service of a party wall surveyor. (section 10, party wall act). Both parties can jointly agree on one surveyor or appoint their own.
Party wall surveyors will assess all information and prepare a fair and impartial Party Wall Award. This will cover the right to carry out the party wall work and the time and nature of the work. Any other matters that relate to the proposed work will be detailed. The party wall surveyor will draw up a report known as a schedule of conditions. This is done to protect both parties. If there is a claim for damages further down the line, these legal documents can be referred to.
So, the key things to note about a party wall award are:
- Details the party wall work
- Protects the interest of both parties
- Is a legally binding document
- Requires the services of a party wall surveyor
For information on the surveyor services we provide at Taylor Freeman Kataria, contact our helpful team on 0208 5999911.