You might have received a party wall notification if you reside in close proximity to the proposed construction site. In this circumstance, you will need to determine whether or not you can function without party wall inspectors.
It is standard practice for professionals to suggest that building proprietors have a conversation with their neighbours before presenting formal notice. In response to a notice, neighbours who have the impression that they have been consulted and informed are less apt to hire a surveyor. Because of this, unnecessary surveyor costs may be avoided, which is particularly useful for smaller projects.
Party Wall: Understanding the Role of Consent and Agreement
The rights of the Adjoining Owner are substantially altered when one of the owners consents to a party wall notification. When a neighbour gives permission to a notification, it means that they are okay with the work being done without the necessary protections that the Party Wall Act provides.
Before beginning work, be sure to take note of the Adjoining Owner's Schedule of Condition (SOC). The summary provides an overview of how the property of the neighbour currently stands. However, even with this measure, there is still a chance of disagreements regarding whether or not the procedure caused any damage.
What to Know About Post-consent Dispute Resolution
In these situations, disputes may develop. A dispute could involve damage after the works have been consented to and a Schedule of Conditions (SoC) has been carefully completed.
If the Adjoining Owner had objected to the notice, surveyors would have been hired to examine the land of the neighbours using the original SoC after the construction was completed. This would have happened only if the Adjoining Owner had objected to the notice. The expense of providing this service is borne by the building's owners.
Nevertheless, giving one's assent to the party wall notice does not make the conditions of the notice apply. No surveyors were working on the job. It would be the responsibility of the Adjoining Owner to pay for the final inspection to be conducted by a qualified surveyor who would assess and verify any damage.
The permission of the Building Owner is needed for the Adjoining Owner in order for them to appoint Party Wall Act surveyors to resolve a dispute over expenses or damages.
The Party Wall Act does not immediately apply to disagreements that have been resolved through consensus.
In the event that the Building Owner decided to make use of the Act, surveyors would have the ability to negotiate a settlement on damage costs and liability and produce a Party Wall Award that would be legally binding in order to settle the dispute.
The Building Owner is not obliged to implement this option, despite the fact that it is the alternative that is both the most cost effective and the most practical.
If the Building Owner declines to use the Party Wall Act, then the Adjoining Owner's only choice is to file a lawsuit against the Building Owner.
Expenses Related to Party Walls
As with anything, engaging with a Party Wall notice not only takes time and effort but it also takes money. The procedure needs the assistance of a surveyor who is both an expert witness and a surveyor licensed to practice law. All costs would be covered by the adjoining owner.
If the building owner's court case is unsuccessful, the adjoining owner is liable for paying the building owner's legal and assessor costs.
Party Wall: Making the Decision to Consent
Now, it is time to decide whether you must consent to the terms of the Party Wall Notice or not.
Remember, even though the Building Owner will save some money on surveyor fees and keep good relations with neighbours if the Adjoining Owner grants permission, the Building Owner's liability is significant.
You should offer your consent if the work being done is relatively small and you do not anticipate any potential damage disputes.
If you are the owner of a property and are considering renovations and require assistance with Party Walls, you should get in contact with professionals. Without seeking the counsel of professionals regarding the best method to secure properties, trouble may be underway.
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