If you receive a Party Wall Notice, your neighbour intends to conduct construction work that may affect your property. The Party Wall Act 1996 was introduced in the UK to provide a framework for resolving disputes that may arise due to such work, so you must take this notice seriously and respond appropriately. Here are three things to do after receiving a Party Wall Notice.
Read the Notice Carefully
Whenever receiving a Party Wall Notice, read it carefully. It should provide details of the work that your neighbour intends to carry out and how it may affect your property. It should also specify the date the work is due to commence.
Understand the implications of the work being carried out. For example, if your neighbour intends to excavate foundations close to your property, there is a risk that your property may be damaged. Similarly, if your neighbour intends to build an extension close to your property, there may be issues around access and privacy.
Reading the notice carefully and noting any concerns will prepare you for the next items.
Respond to the Notice
Once you have read the Party Wall Notice, you should respond to it in writing within 14 days. There are three possible responses:
- Consent to the work.
- Dissent to work.
- Serve a Counter-Notice.
If you consent to the work, the work can proceed as planned. However, if you have concerns about the work being carried out, you should dissent to the work. This means that you object to the work being carried out, and you can appoint a surveyor to act on your behalf.
If you choose to serve a Counter-Notice, you are proposing an alternative to the work being carried out. For example, if your neighbour intends to excavate foundations close to your property, you may propose that they carry out the work at a different time when the soil is less likely to be unstable.
According to the Party Wall Act, responding within the 14-day timeframe is important. Please do so to ensure the work is carried out with your consent.
Appoint a Surveyor
If you have concerns about the work being carried out, it is advisable to appoint a surveyor to act on your behalf. This will protect your interests throughout the process.
Two types of surveyors can be appointed:
- Agreed surveyor.
- Separate surveyors.
An agreed surveyor is appointed when you and your neighbour agree to appoint a single surveyor to act on your behalf. This option can be cost-effective, as you will only be paying for one surveyor.
Separate surveyors are appointed when you and your neighbour cannot agree on the appointment of a single surveyor. In this case, you will both need to appoint your surveyor. This can be more expensive, as you will pay for two surveyors.
The surveyor will assess your property and advise on protecting your interests during the construction work. They will also prepare a Party Wall Award, a legal document establishing your and your neighbour's rights and obligations.
Icon Surveyors Can Help If You Receive a Party Wall Notice
If you receive a Party Wall Notice, always read it carefully and respond within the 14-day timeframe. If you have concerns about the work being carried out, you should appoint a surveyor to act on your behalf. Following these steps ensures that your interests are protected throughout the construction process.
Our expertise in Building Surveying, Party Wall Surveying, Boundary Surveying, and Valuation allows us to provide Residential Surveying services across England & Wales. While we are Building Surveyors at heart, our vast experience and knowledge make us specialists in Party Wall Surveying. Our Surveyors are dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for your property matter, and we work hard to provide the necessary assistance to achieve that result. Call 020-7493-9087 so we can help you deal with the Party Wall Act.