This blog is not an authoritative interpretation of the law; it is intended as a general guide.
This blog will consist of two parts, in the first part Icon Surveyors will be considering, what a statutory notice under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is, and, what steps need to be taken by a building owner and/or an adjoining to affect the validity of a statutory notice. In the Second part of this blog, Icon Surveyors will discuss the legal requirements for the valid service of a statutory Notice or other required or authorised document.
A statutory notice is simply a legal document derived from a statutory obligation to notify the recipient of a specific event.
There are three types of statutory notice that must be served and one type that is authorised to be served under the provisions of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, this depends on the type of works being proposed. These are;
- A Line of Juncture Notice, under section 1 of the Act
- A Party Structure Notice, under section 3 of the Act
- A Counter- Notice , under section 4 of the Act; and
- A Notice of Adjacent Excavation, under section 6 of the Act.
Any onus to serve a statutory notice under the Act is usually that of a building owner who intends to exercise their right to carry out any of the permitted works under section 2 of the Act. There is one exception, that being service of a Counter-Notice under section 4 of the Act.
How a Building Owner must serve a notice
A building owner must firstly ensure that the notice s/he is required to serve contains all of the requisite information that must be conveyed to an adjoining owner as specified by relevant provisions pertaining to the notice to be served. If a building owner fails to do this, Service of the Notice may be rendered invalid. Thus, the building owner would be deemed not to have fulfilled their statutory duty to serve a notice under the Act. This in turn might cause any proposed works to be delayed as well as adding further costs.
How an Adjoining Owner must serve a notice
As previously stated there is one exception as to a building owner’s obligations under the Act to serve any of the above referenced Party Wall Notice’s. The exception is that of a Counter Notice under section 4 of the Act. A party is not legally obliged to serve this type of notice under the Act, but rather, is authorised to do so. This type of notice is usually served by an adjoining owner who wishes to ensure certain conditions or amendments are made to the initial notice before giving the building owner consent to carry out the proposed works. A building owner may respond to such a notice with a further counter notice.
Icon Surveyors are happy to provide a free consultation to any building or adjoining owners who may be affected by the subject matter raised in this blog.