PARTY WALL AWARDS
The Party Wall Award, sometimes called a Party Wall Agreement, is produced where a consent to notifiable works is not given by a neighbour, an Adjoining Owner.
The Act says ...
12. An award may determine —
A. the right to execute any work;
B. the time and manner of executing any work; and
C. any other matter arising out of or incidental to the dispute including the costs of making the award; but any period appointed by the award for executing any work shall not unless otherwise agreed between the building owner and the adjoining owner begin to run until after the expiration of the period prescribed by this Act for service of the notice in respect of which the dispute arises or is deemed to have arisen.
13. The reasonable costs incurred in —
A. making or obtaining an award under this section;
B. reasonable inspections of work to which the award relates; and
C. any other matter arising out of the dispute, shall be paid by such of the parties as the surveyor or surveyors making the award determine.
A Party Wall Award is the document prepared by the two appointed surveyors, or the Agreed Surveyor, and should settle the dispute that has arisen in accordance with Section 10 of the Act. In some cases the Award may be made by the third surveyor
As can be seen the Award will determine many matters and is binding upon the parties. However, the Award can only deal with matters arising from the notifiable works and cannot deal with matters unconnected with Act granted rights.
If one of the parties to the Award feels it has been improperly made then an Appeal may be considered.
The Act says ...
16. The award shall be conclusive and shall not except as provided by this section be questioned in any court.
17. Either of the parties to the dispute may, within the period of 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 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.
The parties may appeal the Award in the County Court under Section 10 (17) if such action is commenced within 14 days of service, but legal advice should first be taken. This can be costly and time consuming.
As an alternative to the Appeal procedure it is now possible to make use of an alternative resource. An explanation can be found here — www.partywallmediation.co.uk/information-for-owners
The Party Wall Mediation Scheme has been set up jointly between the Pyramus & Thisbe Society, the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors, (the two organisations that support best practice in the administration of party wall matters) and His Honour Edward Bailey. While sitting at Central London County Court, Judge Bailey was for many years primarily responsible for hearing appeals against Party Wall Awards. He became an honorary member both of the Pyramus & Thisbe Society and the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors. After his recent retirement from the Bench, Judge Bailey was invited by Alex Frame of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors to set up a mediation scheme for the benefit of building and adjoining owners utilising the specialist skills and knowledge of party wall surveyors and lawyers practising in this field. Conscious that mediation offers distinct advantages over litigation, Judge Bailey was pleased to do so and made the proposal to both the Faculty and the Pyramus & Thisbe Society, who embraced the idea and joined forces to create The Party Wall Mediation Scheme. The Party Wall Mediation Scheme offers mediators who undertake virtual mediations via Zoom/ Teams — further details can be found here — partywallmediation.co.uk