Party Wall Notice

Property owners are often unfamiliar with party wall issues and the procedures that they should follow if they receive a notice from a neighbour.  The following are typical questions raised when a party wall notice is received:

Q. If you receive a party wall notice for works your neighbour is looking to do what should you do?

A. You should respond. The Party Wall etc ACT 1996 sets out timescales for the service of the party wall notices and the required response times from adjoining owners.  Once a party wall notice is served by a building owner doing the works the the adjoining owner has 14 days in which to respond.  Failure to do so and you as the adjoining owner will have deemed to have dissented to the works and will be requested to appoint a surveyor to act on your behalf or concur the appointment of the building owners’ surveyor who will prepare a Party Wall Award.

Q. The party wall notice says do you consent or dissent to the works, what are the implications of each?

A.  If you consent to the works, the building owner has the right to commence the works without the need to prepare a Party Wall Award.  If you dissent to the works that means that you will need to concur the appointment of the building owners’ surveyor or appoint your own surveyor to act for you.  Dissenting to a party wall notice does not give you any rights to object to the works, that is a planning issue, but sets out that you require a Party Wall Award.  The Party Wall Award sets out the works being undertaken in relation to the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and also include a schedule of condition of your property before the works commence.

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is intended to protect both the adjoining owners and building owners when works in accordance with the Act are undertaken and should you require further advice on this matter please contact us.