Service of Party Wall Notices - Section 15 of the Party Wall Act
“Section 15 of the party wall act governs the service of party wall notices. Importantly, if an adjoining owner fails to respond to the initial notice the dispute procedures come into play as a failsafe mechanism. Therefore in future, there will be no presumption of the agreement by default.”[The Earl of Lytton]
Section 15(1) provides for the method of service that may be used when serving a party wall notice or document that is required under the Party Wall Act. There are several ways by which service can be achieved; it can be delivered in person, by way of a post by sending it to the usual or last known residence or business address of the owner. However, it must be an address that is situated in the United Kingdom. If the building owner is a company, the notice should be addressed to the secretary or clerk of the company and either delivered in person or posted to the company’s registered address.
Section 15(1A) provides for service by way of electronic communications. Before service can be deemed to have been accepted using this method, a building owner must first acquire the consent of the adjoining owner, their agent and/or servants. Such consent must not have been withdrawn and must be sent to an electronic address that has been specified by the adjoining owner their agents and/or servants.
Section 15(1B) provides that a statement made by an adjoining owner, their agents and/or servants giving consent to being served with notices or documents by way of electronic communications may be withdrawn by the maker of the statement at any time by giving notice to the person to whom the statement of consent was given.
Section 15(1C) provides the meaning of an electronic address which includes any number or electronic address, for example, a phone number to send a text or an email address to send party wall notice via an email. This subsection also provides what electronic communication is; this can be found under the provisions of the Electronic Communications Act 2000. In addition, it is worth noting what ‘specified’ for the purposes of subsection 15(1A) means. It means a statement made for the purposes of consenting to or withdrawing from service by way of electronic communications.
Section 15(2) provides an alternative method of service of party wall notices or documents on an absent owner of premises. It must be addressed to “the owner” (naming them) and delivered in person to anyone that is on the premises or by fixing it to a conspicuous part of the premises.
Here at Icon Surveyors, we pride ourselves on our Party Wall Surveying expertise. Our Party Wall Surveyors are proud to have represented thousands of property owners. Whether it be a private client, a local authority, charity or even some of the United Kingdom largest companies, we have assisted them all.
If you are stuck in such a Party Wall Surveying matter you would like to discuss with our team of Party Wall Surveyors, get in touch with us and we will happily assist.
Note*: This blog is not an authoritative interpretation of the law; it is intended as a general guide.