When planning to carry out construction work on or near a shared wall, it is crucial to understand the legal requirements of the Party Wall Act 1996. The Act provides a framework for resolving disputes between neighbours by establishing procedures for giving notice and obtaining consent before starting the work.
This blog post will discuss the importance of understanding when to consent to a Party Wall Notice.
A Party Wall Notice is a written document the building owner serves to the adjoining owner(s) before starting any work that might affect a shared wall. The notice provides information about the proposed work and asks for the adjoining owner's consent.
The purpose of the notice is to ensure that the adjoining owner is aware of the work and can raise any concerns or objections before the work starts.
The timing of giving consent to a Party Wall Notice is critical. The adjoining owner has 14 days to respond to the notice. If the adjoining owner does not respond within this period, it is deemed that they have dissented, and a dispute resolution procedure will be initiated.
If the adjoining owner has concerns or objections about the proposed work, they can request that a Party Wall Surveyor is appointed to facilitate an agreement between the parties.
In this case, the building owner must appoint a surveyor to represent their interests, and the adjoining owner must appoint their surveyor. If the parties cannot agree on the appointment of a surveyor, either party can apply to the court for a position.
The surveyors' role is to prepare a Party Wall Award, a legally binding agreement that sets out the rights and obligations of the parties regarding the proposed work.
The award will include the following:
- Details of the proposed work.
- The condition of the wall before and after the job.
- Any safeguards to be put in place to protect the adjoining owner's property.
The award will also specify the surveyors' costs, which the building owner usually pays.
Before giving consent to a Party Wall Notice, the adjoining owner should consider the following factors:
1. The Proposed Work – It is important for the adjoining owner to carefully review the proposed work and assess whether it may cause any damage to their property or impact their enjoyment of it. Additionally, they should ensure that the work complies with building regulations and planning permission requirements to avoid any potential legal issues.
2. The Condition of the Wall – Before the start of the work, the adjoining owner should inspect the condition of the wall to ensure that any damage caused by the work can be accurately assessed. This can help prevent disputes over the extent of the damage and facilitate the process of resolving any issues that may arise.
3. The Safeguards to Be Put in Place – The adjoining owner should ensure that appropriate safeguards are implemented to protect their property during the work. This may include measures such as installing protective barriers or covering sensitive areas to prevent damage from dust, debris, or other hazards associated with the work.
4. The Party Wall Surveyor – When appointing a party wall surveyor, it is crucial for the adjoining owner to verify that the surveyor has the necessary qualifications and experience in party wall matters. This can help ensure that the surveyor is able to accurately assess the situation and provide impartial advice to all parties involved.
Consenting to a Party Wall Notice is crucial in construction work on or near a shared wall. Responding promptly to the notice and considering all the factors before giving consent is essential.
By understanding when to consent to a Party Wall Notice and considering all the relevant factors, the parties can avoid unnecessary delays and disputes and ensure that the work proceeds smoothly.
If you need a results-driven and certified surveyor in North London, look no further than Icon Surveyors. Our building surveying specialists have a wealth of knowledge in party wall surveying, boundary surveying, building surveying, and valuation. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you with your party wall needs in London!