5th March 2020
If you have received a notice under the party wall act 1996, it is likely to be telling you that a neighbour or adjoining owner intends on carrying out some construction work. The neighbour becomes the ‘building owner’ under this act. You have several options here. Ignoring this notice will have implications, so it is crucial to be fully informed of your options and what they entail. Here we look at these options:
Agreeing and signing – This is obviously the simplest of the options, but you should be completely clued up on the timescale and extent of all work to be carried out before agreeing. Once the work begins, there will not be much room for any further action on your part.
Conditions – You may recognise the work needs to be completed, but you want the party wall to include something else—this means serving a ‘counter-notice’. If your property or land stands to benefit from this work, then you may have to contribute financially. Your request must be considered and reviewed by the building owner who should seek legal advice.
Dissent – This will not stop the works from going ahead but can delay them. Agreed or separate surveyors will be appointed to look into the issue with the party wall notice. This will usually be at no cost to yourself, but in some circumstances, you may have to contribute.
Agreed surveyor – An agreed surveyor is a great option for simple work such as a rebuild or repair, chimney stack maintenance etc. Each party will need to have trust in this agreed surveyor, and this is not a suitable option for more complex work.
Separate surveyors – This is a popular option with more complex projects. Each party appoints their surveyor, and the surveyors work together to determine an agreement. This will protect your legal interest in the construction.
Talk to you neighbour – A friendly chat will not bypass the Party Wall Notice or any legal elements, but it can help to be clear about what the work entails and is a good way to break the ice on the subject. If you are on friendly terms, you can ask specific details about the job, and it may help to make the process easier.
If you have received a Party Wall Notice and are unsure of how to proceed, contact TFK Surveyors today to see how we can help.