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BUILDING OWNER - WHAT DO I DO NOW?
If you are planning works that may fall under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 the first thing you need to do is serve Notice on all eligible parties.
For works that affect a party wall you are required to give two calendar months’ Notice before those works commence. For foundation or excavation works, one calendar month’s Notice is required.
Serving Notice yourself is perfectly acceptable under the Act but please be aware that if the Notices are incorrect in any way and a dispute arises they may be deemed invalid and the process may have to start de novo.
If you would like Party Walls Limited to serve Notice on your behalf, please contact us.
Our prime advice to a Building Owner is to talk to the neighbours. We appreciate that not everyone gets on with their neighbours, but whether you have a good relationship or not, an initial visit or informal chat, taking around a copy of your plans and discussing your proposals is always the best way to start proceedings.
From our experience we find that this simple act of neighbourliness can assist in you and your neighbour agreeing on matters swiftly.
Remember, any works to your property can be disruptive to your neighbours, albeit unintentional.
If your neighbours choose to appoint their own independent Surveyor please bear in mind that this is rarely a vindictive act to cost you additional fees but is their right under the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
Contact us on 020 8877 0365.
adjoining OWNER - WHAT DO I DO NOW?
If you have received a Notice about proposed works that your neighbours plan to carry out to their property, you are required to respond in writing, within 14 days from the date on the Notice.
There are two main ways you can respond:
Consent to the Notice
This simply put means that you agree for your neighbours to continue with their proposed works without a Party Wall Award being produced. You are still protected by the Party Wall etc Act 1996 if a dispute should arise.
We do advise owners who consent to the Notice to request that a Schedule of Condition be undertaken, by a Surveyor, of those parts of their property that could be affected by the proposed works. This will provide a record of the current condition of the adjacent areas prior to works commencing so that in the unlikely event of damage being caused it can be easily identified.
Dissent to the Notice
This option means that you would like a Party Wall Award prior to the works commencing.
You now have two options: you may concur in the appointment of an Agreed Surveyor or you may appoint an Adjoining Owner Surveyor:
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is devised in such a way that a Surveyor appointed by any party, whether developer or neighbour, is required to act impartially to administer the rights and duties of both owners. We regularly act as an Agreed Surveyor as the process can be quicker and more cost-effective.
Adjoining Owner Surveyor
You may appoint a Surveyor of your choice. Most commonly your Surveyor’s reasonable fees, in all normal circumstances, will be met by the Building Owner.
Choosing to ‘dissent’ to the Notice should not be confused with disagreeing with the proposed works. If you disagree with the proposed works you should contact your local planning authority. Dissenting to the Notice simply means that you want a Party Wall Award produced before the works commence.
Not responding will not delay the proposed works.
If you would like help in responding to any Notice served, please contact us on 020 8877 0365.