Party Wall FAQs - Building Owner
If you are planning to have work carried out, you may need to serve Notice under the Act. Why do I need to do this, how do I do it? The following may answer some of your questions;
Why Do I Have to Serve Notice?
Under the Act, as the ‘Building Owner’ carrying out the work, you are obligated to serve Notice on your neighbour(s) – known as Adjoining Owner(s) - for works that are outlined in the following sections of the Act;
Section 1 - constructing a wall along the boundary (Line of Junction)
Section 2 - works to a wall or structure that separates your two properties
Section 6 - excavating for foundations etc. within a certain distance of structures on your neighbour’s property
The Act states that you must serve these formal legal documents, the Notices, (and in some cases provide drawings) at a set period of time before you wish to carry out the works, enabling the Adjoining Owner time to consider what is being proposed and how it could affect their property.
The Adjoining Owner then has 14 days to make a written response to the Notice(s).
What Options Do They Have?
What happens next is solely the decision and legal right of the Adjoining Owner. They will be presented with four options and below is a brief explanation of each;
What Happens If They Don’t Reply?
Under the Act, the Adjoining Owner has a statutory period of 14 days to respond in writing to the Notice, indicating their wishes in this matter. If they fail to do so, the Act states that they have automatically ‘dissented’ and a dispute is raised. Your surveyor will then appoint a second Party Wall Surveyor to act on their behalf if they do not appoint a surveyor within a further 10 days – this enables the matter to move ahead under a reasonable time frame.
Who Pays For The Surveyors Time?
Unfortunately, in the vast majority of cases, the Building Owner (you) will have to pay the surveyors fees, including the costs of carrying out the Schedule of Condition and preparation of any Award.
The only time this could change is if the Adjoining Owner is deemed to have taken up more of the surveyor’s time that they feel is ‘reasonable’ for resolving the matter at hand, or if the Adjoining Owners Surveyor is deemed to have acted unreasonably or incompetently.
What Will I Have To Pay?
As the Adjoining Owner may choose one of several options, providing an exact final cost at this stage is not possible. However, we will always provide you with a breakdown of the costs of each element and you will only be charged for the work that is actually required.
Still unsure? Feel free to contact us for free, impartial advice