A party wall notice is a formal notification that informs a neighbour about the works that you intend to carry out on a shared wall or boundary. In the UK, the serving of a party wall notice is a legal requirement before the commencement of any construction works. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to serve a party wall notice correctly in the UK.
Identify the Party Wall
Before serving a party wall notice, it is crucial to identify the party wall or boundary that is shared with your neighbour. A party wall is a wall that separates two properties and is shared by both property owners. It can also refer to a garden wall, fence, or any other structure that separates two properties. Identify the party wall or boundary that you intend to work on and ensure that it falls under the requirements of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
Serve the Notice
Once you have identified the party wall, the next step is to serve the party wall notice. The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 requires that the notice is served to all affected neighbours at least two months before the commencement of works. The notice can be served by either the property owner or their appointed party wall surveyor. The notice should include details of the proposed works, the expected start date, and the duration of the works.
Include the Necessary Information
The party wall notice should include all the necessary information about the proposed works. This includes the full name and address of both the property owner and the neighbour, a detailed description of the works, and the expected duration of the works. It is also essential to include any drawings or plans of the proposed works to give the neighbour a clear understanding of the project.
Agree on a Party Wall Surveyor
If the neighbour agrees to the proposed works, they can give their consent, and the works can commence. However, if they have concerns about the project, they can appoint their own party wall surveyor to assess the proposed works and ensure that their interests are protected. If the neighbour appoints a party wall surveyor, you will also have to appoint a separate surveyor. The two surveyors will then work together to agree on a party wall agreement, which outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties during the construction works.
What if the Neighbour Does Not Respond to the Notice?
If the neighbour does not respond to the party wall notice within the specified time, they are deemed to have dissented, and a dispute arises. In this case, both parties will have to appoint separate party wall surveyors to resolve the dispute. The surveyors will then issue a party wall award, which outlines the works that can proceed and the conditions that must be met before, during, and after the construction works.
Serving a party wall notice correctly is crucial to avoid disputes, and legal complications during construction works. By identifying the party wall, serving the notice on time, including all the necessary information, and agreeing on a party wall surveyor, you can ensure that your project runs smoothly and without any legal issues. If you are unsure about any aspect of serving a party wall notice, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a qualified party wall surveyor.
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