Irrespective of whom the Party Wall Notice is served by i.e. an Owner, Surveyor, or a Solicitor, the Notice’s statutory timings will need to be adhered to when waiting for a response.
The most relevant case law clarifying this as well as illustrating this principal is Freetown v Assethold Ltd.
These principals apply to any Party Wall Notice, served under the remit of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
Freetown v Assethold Ltd outlines a Party Wall Notice, is legally deemed received “in the ordinary course of post”.
In our opinion, the interpretation is clear. The Royal Mail (www.royalmail.com) confirms they deliver post between Monday and Saturday. However, they also clarify their service will be affected by the following public holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Early May Bank Holiday
- Spring Bank Holiday
- Summer Bank Holiday
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
This effectively means, both the above public holidays and Sundays will need to be taken into account when taking action in the event of not receiving a response to your Party Wall Notice.
These days must be added to the statutory Party Wall Notice period set out within the remit of the Party Wall Act, ensuring the recipient has been afforded their fair, reasonable and legal time to respond.
With all legal Acts, you will always find different opinions. However, given the clarity and case law, this won’t be one of them. If a Party Wall Notice cannot be delivered 7 days a week, why should a recipient be expected to receive the Notice 7 days a week?
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