Do we Need a New Award?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

Our neighbour is having an extension built that does not effect our shared party wall.  A party wall award was prepared and signed and we had no reason to worry  until the builder told us that they had made a ‘variation’ and now they were going to insert a steel beam into the party wall.  This is a change to the agreed works but we have not heard from the Surveyor for the owner or our Surveyor.   Have they the power to do this or should there be a new award?

Answer

Presumably the original award related  to excavation work under section 6 of the Act. The building owner would be required to serve a new notice (A Party Structure Notice) to insert a steel beam in to the party wall – that work comes under section 2(2)(f) of the Act. Your surveyor would then get to take a look at the proposals and agree additional safeguards if required.

The additional agreement could be recorded in an addendum award or an exchange of letters between the surveyors. The original award would have reserved the right for the surveyors to make additional awards.