Serving Party Wall Notice In London

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Are you planning on doing construction on your property? If yes! It’s necessary to obey the Party Wall Act 1996 and serve a party wall notice to your neighbour. As per the Act, if the owner needs to renovate his property that involves the boundary wall, then he must send a written notice to his adjoining neighbour for consent. Without the adjacent neighbour’s approval, the intended construction cannot take place. 

First, you must determine the legal owners of all the affected properties. If any of the affected properties are occupied by tenants with more than one year’s tenancy agreement, you must notify the tenants and the owner. When you have all the details of the affected owners and tenants, you can serve a party wall notice. In this article, we will discuss the service of party wall notice. 

What is the Party Wall Act?  

The Party Wall Act is a UK law that was enacted in 1996 to regulate the construction, alteration, and maintenance of party walls, boundary walls, and excavations near neighboring properties. The purpose of the Act is to provide a framework for resolving disputes between neighbors and to ensure that the rights of both property owners are protected during construction works. 

Under the 1996 Act, a “party wall” is a wall that separates two buildings and is on the property line between them or a wall that is entirely on one owner’s property but is used by both owners to separate their buildings. The Act also covers party structures, such as floors and ceilings between flats, as well as garden walls, fences, and retaining walls that sit on the boundary line. 

Purpose of the Party Wall Act 

The purpose of the Act is to make sure that the interests of both property owners are protected during construction and that any disagreements are settled quickly and fairly. If a property owner wants to build or make changes to their home that might affect the party walls or boundaries, they should learn about the Act. 

What is a Party Wall notice?  

The Party Wall Act 1996 requires a well-written Party Wall Notice’ The notice is served under Sections 1, 3, and 6 of the 1996’s Act of Party Wall. This notice needs to be given to the neighboring property owners between two months and one year before work begins.  

It is preferable to serve a party wall notice as soon as possible within a year of getting it to prevent delays. First, speak to them face to face before taking any action. That will help keep misunderstandings and conflicts to a minimum. 

What elements should the party wall notice include? 

The party wall notice should contain ample clarity and a straightforward explanation of the work to allow a neighbour to consider what you want to do and how it will affect their property/house.  

The Party Wall notices must entail the below-mentioned details: 

  • Contact info –the contact details, names, and addresses of all parties involved. 
  • Description of the work –the nature and full details of the proposed work, it may be helpful to add plans, and you must do regarding excavation works. 
  • The date when the work will start. 
  • The date of the arrival or the date of mailing, whichever works best for you. 
  • Also, mention what you want to build and when you are ready to start. 

Kinds of Party Wall Notice 

Below are the three different kinds of building work that requires you to serve notice to adjoining owners: 

Party structure notice: If you are doing work that may affect an existing party wall or floor separating parts for the building. And if you are planning a loft conversion, and you need to cut into a party wall to insert the end of a beam, you must serve the notice on the adjoining owner. 

Line of junction notice: Unlike party structure notice, this type of notice is for building a new wall up to or off the party wall notice. 

Adjacent Excavation Notice: This type of notice is served when you plan for excavations within 3 or 6 meters of your neighbours’ building owner. 

Other typical works affecting the party wall that require a notice include; injecting a damp proof course installed in a party wall, underpinning, demolishing, removing projections thickening, and rebuilding a party wall.  

Who serves party wall notices? 

The building owners must serve both party wall notices. You must allow the surveyor to draw up a document for you. By doing so, the surveyor has the authorization before they send you a notice on behalf of the building owner. Luckily, you can always hire a professional surveyor to avoid delays and mismanagement. 

What occurs after serving party wall notice? 

When you give the party wall notice about the proposed work, your adjoining owner has three options; 

  • Give consent–allowing your neighbour to proceed with the construction work. 
  • Ignore the notice; in this respect, a dispute resolution process occurs –your neighbour may consult a party wall surveyor if you don’t respond to the given notice. 
  • If there is no response –an argument seems to arise if the adjoining owner has taken no action within 14 days since the notice is served. Your neighbour will appoint a surveyor to resolve the issue. Or else you can also seek a surveyor to represent your interest. 

What Happens When Your Neighbour Gives Consent? 

If your neighbor agrees to your party wall notice, then you can proceed with your proposed building work as planned. However, it’s important to keep in mind that your neighbor’s agreement does not necessarily mean that they have waived their rights to dispute the work or seek compensation for any damage caused. 

Typically, after receiving your party wall notice, your neighbor will have 14 days to respond. If they agree to the proposed work, they will provide their consent in writing, which is known as a “party wall agreement.” This agreement will specify the details of the work to be carried out, the start date, and any other conditions that have been agreed upon. 


What to Do If The Neighbour Ignores or Disagrees the Notice? 

If your neighbor does not respond to your party wall notice within the 14-day period, or if they disagree with the proposed work, then a dispute may arise, and you may need to appoint a surveyor to help resolve the matter. And when your neighbour is ready, there will be a party wall agreement.  

An important thing to note here is that you should keep a copy of the party wall agreement for your records, as well as provide a copy to your contractor if you have hired one. You should also keep in touch with your neighbor throughout the work to ensure that there are no issues or concerns that need to be addressed. 

A Great Tip 

So if you are planning a renovation project or an extension and the planned work has been established under the Party Wall Act 1996, serving the Party Wall Notice is a requirement to make the process easy and save you from unnecessary delays. For such purposes, it would be best to take a consultation with a surveyor to make things easier for yourself. 

party wall agreement

Benefits of Hiring a Party Wall Surveyor to Serve a Party Wall Notice 

Hiring a party wall surveyor can provide several benefits, such as carrying out building work on or party wall along with serving a notice. Here are some of the key advantages of hiring a surveyor to serve party wall notice: 

  1. Expert Advice: A surveyor is a qualified and experienced professional who can provide expert advice on the current situation, the scope of work, and the potential impact on the neighbouring property. 
  1. Legal Compliance: A surveyor can ensure that you comply with the requirements of the Party Wall Act, such as providing the correct notice, obtaining the necessary permissions, and resolving any disputes that may arise. 
  1. Protection of Your Property: The surveyors can advise on measures to protect your property during the construction works, such as monitoring for damage and preparing a schedule of conditions. 
  1. Resolution of Disputes: The surveyor can mediate between neighbours to resolve any disputes that may arise, ensuring that the construction work can proceed as smoothly as possible. 
  1. Cost-Effective: While it may seem like an additional expense to hire a surveyor, it can actually save you money in the long run by helping to prevent disputes, delays, and expensive legal action.

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