Section 4 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996

Section 4 of the Party Wall Act 1996 - "Counter Notice"

Section 4 governs the service of the counter notice by an adjoining owner. He may require the work to be done differently or in a manner which mitigates adverse effects on his property. A building owner must take the requirements on board unless they are felt unnecessary, injurious to him or otherwise to cause difficulty. In that case the matter is in dispute and is resolved under the disputes process”.

[The Earl of Lytton]

Section 4(1) provides that an adjoining owner who does not wholly agree with a party structure notice that has been served by a building owner is entitled to serve the building owner with a counter notice requiring that the building owner may only carry out the notified works in accordance with the specified conditions of the counter notice.

Subsection 4(1)(a) provides that any proposed works by a building owner in respect to a party fence wall are carried out in and/or on the wall or structure to the convenience of the adjoining owner, whether that be on chimney copings, breasts, jambs or flues or piers and recesses.

Subsection 4(1)(b) provides that an adjoining owner who consents in writing to any proposed works being carried out in respect of special foundations can require the building owner to place the foundations at a greater depth than is being proposed. The adjoining owner may also require that the foundations are constructed in a way that will ensure it is sufficiently strong enough to bear the load of any columns of any intended building of the adjoining owner. Note that this subsection provides an adjoining owner with future protection in that they can demand foundations be constructed weight bear the load of ………” any intended building of the adjoining owner.”

Subsection 4(2) provides that an adjoining owner must serve a building owner with a counter notice within 1 month of the date the notice was served. It must specify the required works to be executed by the building owner and must be accompanied by plans, sections and particulars of the required works.

Subsection 4(3) provides that unless the demands of the adjoining owner would cause injury, unnecessary inconvenience or delay in the party structure notice works being executed, a building owner must comply with the requirements of the counter notice.

Should any part of section 4 of the Party Wall Act affect any of our readers, please feel free to contact Icon Surveyors, we 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.

Icon Surveyors

We are a team of party wall surveying experts based throughout London and the surrounding areas. Here, we share informative property survey blogs created by industry experts.