If you live in the UK and plan to make alterations to your property, you may encounter a Party Wall notice. A Party Wall notice is a legal document that formally informs your neighbours of any proposed work on a shared wall, fence, or boundary that may affect them. This notice ensures that all parties know the work to be carried out and that any potential disputes can be resolved quickly and fairly.
Here's what you should do if you've received a Party Wall notice:
Understand the Notice
After receiving a Party Wall notice, read and understand it. The notice will outline the proposed work and the period in which the work will take place. It will also inform you of your rights and responsibilities as a neighbour. Read the notice carefully and seek legal advice if you need clarification on your obligations under the Party Wall Act.
Respond to the Notice
Once you have read and understood the Party Wall notice, you will need to respond to it. You have several options:
1. Consent to the Proposed Work: If you agree to the proposed work, you must sign a Party Wall agreement, which sets out the terms and conditions. Ensure the agreement covers all aspects, including the type, duration, and payable compensation or damages.
2. Dissent from the Proposed Work: You may dissent the notice by appointing a surveyor to represent your interests. The surveyor will make sure the work is carried out to minimise damage to your property and that you are compensated for any damages that may occur.
3. Do Nothing: If you do not respond to the notice within 14 days, you will be deemed to have dissented from the proposed work. This means that negotiations will need to take place to address your concerns before the work can proceed.
Appoint a Surveyor
If you dissent from the proposed work, you need to appoint a surveyor to act on your behalf. You can either appoint your own surveyor or agree to the appointment of an agreed surveyor. The surveyor will liaise with the other surveyor(s) to protect your rights and interests. However, bear in mind that you will be responsible for paying the surveyor's fees.
Agree on a Party Wall Award
Once the surveyors have been appointed, they will work together to agree on a Party Wall award. This legal document sets out the terms and conditions of the proposed work, including any compensation or damages that may be payable. Once the award has been agreed and signed by all parties, the work can commence.
The Party Wall Act can seem complex and intimidating, but it is designed to protect the rights of all parties involved in building work that affects shared walls or boundaries. By following the proper procedures and appointing the right people, you can ensure that your interests are protected and that the work proceeds smoothly. If you're unsure about any aspect of the Party Wall Act, seek the advice of a qualified surveyor or solicitor.
At Icon Surveyors, we have a team of experienced Party Wall surveyors in London who can guide you through the entire process, from serving Party Wall notices to drafting Party Wall awards. We pride ourselves on providing clear and concise advice to our clients and ensuring that all parties involved in the building work are treated fairly and respectfully.
Call us today at 020 7493 9087 for a free, instant quote!