Are you planning on doing construction on your property? If yes! It’s necessary to obey the Party Wall Act 1996 and serving 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 property is 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 Party Wall notice?
According to the Party Wall Act 1996, it requires a well-written ‘Party Wall Notice’ The notice is served under Section 1, 3, and 6 of the Party Wall Act 1996. 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 key 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 of excavation works
- The date when the work will start
- The date of the arrival, or as the date of mailing, whichever works best for you
- 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 serves 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: 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 neighbours’ building
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 allow the surveyor to draw up a document for you. Ensure the surveyor has the authorization before they send you a notice on behalf of the building owner. 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 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; or
- 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 party wall surveyor to resolve the issue. Or you can also seek a surveyor to represent your interest.
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.