Section 5 Deals with Disputes Arising Under Sections 3 and 4
“Section 5 of the Party Wall Act contains the general provisions that if matters are not settled between the parties a dispute is deemed to have arisen.”[The Earl of Lytton]
“If an owner on whom a party wall notice or counter notice has been served does not serve a notice indicating his consent to it within the period of fourteen days beginning with the day on which the party structure notice or counter notice was served, he shall be deemed to have dissented from the notice and a dispute shall be deemed to have arisen between the parties.”
Section 5 provides that any party who fails to respond to a party wall notice or counter notice within 14 days of receipt of it will be deemed to have entered into a dispute with the other party. This is rather confusing. That is to say, if section 4 (2)(b) is to be complied with, an adjoining owner should have a month from the day of service to respond. However, section 5 stipulates that any owner in receipt of notice be it a party structure or counter notice has 14 days to indicate their consent.
Thus, on a literal reading of this section, a counter notice is deemed to be dissent and a dispute will have arisen between the parties. However, if the building owner consents to the counter notice within 14 days of receiving it, the dispute will have been remedied without having to rely on the mediation process as prescribed by section 10 of the Act.
Should any part of this section of the Act affect any of our readers, please feel free to contact Icon Surveyors, who would be more than happy to discuss any matters of concern you may have.
Note*: This blog is not an authoritative interpretation of the law; it is intended as a general guide.