Party wall notice
Are you planning on doing construction on your property? If yes, it’s necessary to obey the law; as per the act, if the owner needs to renovate his property that involves the boundary wall, he must send a written notice to his adjoining neighbour for consent. Without the adjoining neighbour’s approval, the intended construction cannot take place. In this article, we will discuss the service of posting party wall notice.
First, you must determine the legal owners of all the affected properties. If any of the affected properties is occupied by tenants with more than one year’s tenancy agreement, you must notify the tenants and the owner. You can serve a notice when you have all the details of the affected owners and tenants.
What are “Party Wall” notices?
The notice is served under Sections 1, 3, and 6 of the Party Wall Act 1996. This notice needs to be given to the owners of the neighbouring properties between two months and one year before work begins.
It is preferable to serve a 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.
Importance of the Party Wall Notice According to the Party Wall Act 1996
The Party Wall Act 1996 is a piece of legislation in the United Kingdom that provides a framework for resolving disputes between neighbours relating to party walls, boundary walls, and excavations near neighbouring buildings. The act is designed to protect the rights of property owners and ensure that any work carried out on a party wall is done safely and responsibly.
One of the most important parts of the Party Wall Act is that the owner(s) of the property next to the party wall must be given a party wall notice before any work can be done on the party wall. The notice must be served at least two months before the proposed start date of the work, and it must outline the nature and scope of the proposed work as well as any potential risks or disruptions to the adjoining property.
How Does a Notice Help Both Adjoining Owners?
You can’t say enough about how important it is to serve a party wall notice because if you don’t, the person doing the work on the property could be sued. The notice allows the adjoining owner to raise any concerns or objections they may have and appoint a surveyor to protect their interests.
In addition to protecting the rights of adjoining owners, the Party Wall Act also helps to ensure that any work carried out on party walls is done in a safe and responsible manner. This is done by making it necessary to hire a party wall surveyor to keep an eye on the work and make sure it’s done in accordance with the act.
What key elements should the notice include?
The 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 or house.
The notices must include the below-mentioned details:
- Contact information—the contact details, names, and addresses of all parties involved
- Description of the work—the nature and full details of the proposed work, why it may be useful to add plans, and what you must do regarding excavation works.
- The date when the work will start
- The date of the shipment’s arrival or the date of mailing, whichever works best for you
- Mention what you want to build and when you are ready to start.
Types of Party Wall Notices
Below are the three different kinds of building work that require you to give notice to adjoining owners:
- A party structure notice: If you are doing work that may affect an existing party wall or floor separating parts of the building, or 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.
- A line of junction notice: this type of notice is for building a new wall up to or off the party wall.
- Adjacent Excavation Notice: When you plan for excavations within 3 or 6 meters of your neighbor’s building,
Other common works affecting the party wall that require a notice include injecting damp-proof course into a party wall, underpinning, demolishing, removing projections, thickening, and rebuilding a party wall.
Who serves the notice?
The property owner or their designated agent, such as a builder or architect, who is carrying out the proposed work on the party wall, must serve the party wall notice in accordance with the Party Wall Act 1996. It is important to note that the notice must be served on all affected adjoining property owners, which includes any property owner whose property shares a boundary with the property carrying out the work and any property owner who is separated from the work by a party wall or party fence wall.
What to do if There are Multiple Adjoining Property Owners?
If there is more than one adjoining property owner, each owner must be served a separate notice. It is recommended that the notice be served by registered mail or by hand delivery in order to ensure that it is received by the adjoining property owner(s). The notice should include a detailed description of the proposed work, including the start date and duration of the work and any potential risks or disruptions to the adjoining property. It is also recommended that the notice be served at least two months before the proposed start date of the work in order to allow sufficient time for the adjoining property owner(s) to respond and appoint a surveyor if necessary.
Other Types of Legal Documentation Required in the Party Wall Matters
Legal paperwork is very important when there are problems with a party wall because it helps make sure that everyone knows their rights and responsibilities under the Party Wall Act 1996. The two most important legal documents in party wall matters are the party wall agreement and the award.
Party Wall Agreement
The party wall agreement is a legal contract between the owner of the property doing the work and the owners of the properties next door that will be affected by the work. The agreement outlines the nature and scope of the proposed work as well as any measures that will be taken to protect the adjoining property, such as the appointment of a surveyor. The agreement may also include provisions for the payment of any costs associated with the work, such as surveyor fees or repair costs.
Importance of a Party Wall Agreement
The importance of the party-wall agreement lies in its ability to provide a clear and unambiguous record of the agreed-upon terms between the parties. This can help to avoid disputes or misunderstandings that may arise during or after the work is completed and can also provide a basis for legal action in the event that one party breaches the terms of the party wall agreement.
Party Wall Award
Following the resolution of any disputes that may arise during the work, the appointed surveyor issues the party wall award, which is a legally binding document. The award sets out the rights and obligations of each party, as well as any measures that will be taken to protect the adjoining property. The award may also have rules about how to pay for any costs related to the work and how to compensate the owner of the property next door for any damage or trouble caused by the work.
The importance of the Party Wall Award
The party wall award is important because it can settle any disagreements that come up during the work in a way that is clear and legal. The award is binding on both sides, and if one side doesn’t follow its rules, the other side can take legal action against them.
What occurs after serving notice?
When the notice about the proposed work is given, your adjoining owner has three options:
- Give your consent, allowing your neighbour to proceed with the construction work.
- If you don’t respond to the notice, your neighbour may hire party wall surveyor to settle the dispute.
- If the neighbouring owner doesn’t do anything within 14 days of receiving the notice, there seems to be a problem. Your neighbour will appoint someone to resolve the issue. Or you can also seek a surveyor to represent your interests.
If you are planning a renovation project or an extension, and the planned work has been established under the permit, serving the notice is a requirement to make the process easy, and it can save you from unnecessary delays.