Section 13 of the Party Wall Act: Account for Work Carried Out
“Section 13 of the party wall act refers to accounting procedures for costs of works. …….. There is deliberately no means of summary enforcement as it is felt that this could fetter the jurisdiction of the courts. Most owners and adjoining owners in experience thus far discharge their obligations voluntarily. The normal county court procedures remain for cases where they do not. An unappealed party wall award would be strong prima facie evidence that it was reasonable. Experience shows that there are very few complications in this area.”[The Earl of Lytton]
Section 13(1) provides for a building owner’s recuperation of expenses of which an adjoining owner is liable under the Act. The building owner has a period of 2 months from completion of any of the works to serve the adjoining owner(s) with an account of the particulars and incurred expenses together with any deductions the adjoining owner or any other person is entitled to. When issuing such accounts the building owner has a specific duty to ensure that the apportioned costs are valued at fair average rates and prices in accordance with the nature of the work, the location, and the costs of labour and materials at the time of the build. In other words, a building owner can’t charge London prices for work that was carried out in a location where materials and labour are both plentiful and cheaper.
Section 13(2) provides that an adjoining owner is entitled to serve a notice of objection on a building owner within one month of receipt of service of the accounting notice.
Section 13(3) provides that an adjoining owner who does not serve a notice of objection under subsection 13(2), is deemed to have accepted the accounts as stated in the building owner’s accounting notice.
If you are planning to carry out any construction work near the neighbour’s party wall and are confused about what type of party wall notice should be served upon the adjoining owner, feel free to reach Icon Surveyors anytime. We offer 30 minutes of free Party Wall Advice service.
Note*: This blog is not an authoritative interpretation of the law; it is intended as a general guide.