Can Neighbour Refuse Party Wall Agreement
A Party Wall Notice is a formal written document that is served by a property owner to their neighbouring property owner(s) before starting any construction work that could potentially affect the shared wall, boundary, or structure. The notice informs the neighbours of the proposed works and outlines the potential impact of the construction on their property.
When you serve the party wall notice, the adjacent owner has 14 days to respond to the notice. When he does not answer in the given 14 days, you send another message at that time, giving an additional ten days’ notice.
What Should You Do If Your Neighbour Ignores the Party Wall Notice?
If, after serving the party wall notice under Section 10(4), the adjoining owner still doesn’t respond, there are a few things that you can do in this situation.
Talk to your neighbour
Try to talk to your neighbour and find out why they are ignoring the notice. Sometimes, there may be a misunderstanding or miscommunication that can be resolved by talking things through.
Send a reminder
If talking to your neighbour does not work, you can send them a reminder about the Party Wall notice. This may prompt them to take action and respond to the notice.
Engage a surveyor
If your neighbour continues to ignore the Party Wall notices, you may need to engage a surveyor to help resolve the situation. The surveyor can act as a neutral third party to help you and your neighbour agree on the work that needs to be done and ensure that it is done in a way that does not damage your property.
After serving section 10 (4), notice there is still the chance to consent from an adjoining owner. On the other hand, if there is no reply from the adjacent owner, it is permissible for you to do the proposed work without having further discussion with the neighbour under the party wall act.
What Happens When You Don’t Serve a Notice or Work Without Sending Your Neighbour
By not serving a party wall notice, you would be disobeying a ‘Statutory Duty.’ If a neighbour says they suffered harm because of your construction work, they will provide proof of the damage in its present state and can claim as large an amount as they want to. It would be tough to identify damage incurred by the work with the schedule of the condition report. Therefore, your neighbour may decide to make false statements for flaws that occur beforehand.
However, if there has been a breach of statutory duty, the court will probably view and apply the’ Reverse Burden of proof.’ This practice ensures that the argument of the neighbour is presumed to be correct unless otherwise shown. Therefore, you will be required to pay for any amount of repairs that you are not responsible for.
It is always best to hire a qualified surveyor to draw out an award, as then any issues over the damage which might arise will be resolved at a later date.
Best Thing To Do in These Situations
If your neighbor responds to the Party Wall Notice and expresses concerns or objections about the proposed construction work, hiring a Party Wall Surveyor would be the best course of action to resolve any disputes and ensure that the work is carried out in compliance with the law.
Here are some reasons why hiring a Surveyor is important in this situation:
Act as a neutral third party
A Surveyor can act as a neutral third party to resolve any disputes between you and your neighbor. They can provide advice on the law and help to ensure that the construction work is carried out in compliance with building regulations.
Prepare a Party Wall Award
If an agreement cannot be reached between you and your neighbor, the Surveyor can prepare a Party Wall Award. This is a legally binding document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties and ensures that the work is carried out safely and in compliance with the law.
Protect the property
A Surveyor can also help to protect your property by ensuring that any work carried out by your neighbor is done safely and without causing damage to your property.
Provide expert advice
Surveyors are experts in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and can provide you with advice and guidance on the law and how it applies to your specific situation.
The Party wall act provides a surveyor process (a decided surveyor or separate surveyors for both parties involved). Even if your neighbours refuse the party wall Act, you can proceed with construction work.
Read More about Party Wall:
- How Long Does a Party Wall Agreement Last?
- Retrospective Party Wall Agreement UK
- Serving Party Wall Notice
- What happens when there is no party wall agreement?
- Party Wall Disputes
- Party Wall Surveyor Wimbledon