​How to serve documents under the party wall act

Building work can be a nightmare for the occupant of the house and especially the neighbours, the constant banging and drilling can be hard on anyone. Owning a property in the current market seems to be getting harder and harder, which means that people are trying to expand their homes. 


As families get older and require more space and privacy, people have little choice but to build on top of their existing home. This can be a loft extension, basement, rear and side extension.


In some instances, the neighbours loft conversion party wall is proposed, in simple terms, the building owner carrying out the loft conversion proposes to build a dormer on the rear elevation of their property. The side walls of the dormer rather than being built in typical stud walls with hanging roof tiles or clad are enclosed upon an existing raised wall built previously by the adjoining neighbour. This may constitute enclosure and may be subject to compensation to the adjoining owner, however, equally, there would be a representative saving in construction costs. Contact Seven One Associates for further information.


The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is an act passed by Parliament which dictates service of party wall notices a legal requirement for notifiable building work, it provides a framework for resolving disputes in relation to party wall, party fence walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings. If you need to find a party wall surveyor to check the neighbour’s extension party wall feel free to get in touch with Seven One Associates.


There are often disputes between property owners, a large proportion of appeals against party wall awards are because the notices and other documents have not been correctly addressed or not being correctly served. The Party Wall etc. Act can be quite particular in this regard, therefore, it is important to ensure the notices are correct and subsections are cited correctly to avoid delay in commencement of building works. It is worth noting that many generic online template notices are served incorrectly as these are not amended to tailor the said works. 


Section 1 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 relates to works up to the line of junction also referred to as the Boundary Line. Section 1 contains eight subsections, it’s important to ensure the correct and appropriate subsection are cited for the works. The most common subsection quoted under this section is Section 1(5) which relates to the foundations being placed wholly on the Building Owner’s side, however, this is depended on the proposed plans and relevant detail drawings must be provided.

Section 2 & 3 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 relates to works on the Party structure, commonly used for works which involve insertions into the party wall, for example, the installation of structural steel beams for a loft conversion. There are 13 subsections under Section 2 and its important that all relevant subsections are cited for the notices to be deemed valid. 


Section 6 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 relates to excavation near an adjoining property, this is typically a three-meter notice for a typical foundation or a six-meter notice for piled foundation types. However, this notice must include the relevant detail drawing in order for it to be deemed a valid notice.
Get in touch with Seven One Associates for a free consultation and official party wall notice service quoting this blog post.

Section 15 of the Act relates to the method that the notices can and must be issued:
- You can serve a party wall notice by post which is the best and most commonly used method to service. If you do decide to post the notice it would be advisable to obtain proof of postage (not necessarily proof of delivery).

- You can also serve a party wall notice by hand which is also a common practice.

- You must ensure in both scenario that the notices are being sent to the correct address, it is advisable to carry out a land deed search to obtain the correct correspondence address. In many properties may be tenanted or owned by organisations, the correct correspondence must, therefore, be listed on the notices. It would be advisable to serve notices to both the adjoining works address and that list on the land title deed if different.

- If the owners of the adjoining property cannot be traced and the property is vacant. Under the Act you can still serve the notices via post or you may even fix the notice to a conspicuous part of the property such as the door or window whereby it can be seen clearly.

- In the case of a limited company, PLC, LLP or any other type of corporation you must deliver it to a secretary at the registered company address which you can find on companies house or send it via post to the address of the company.

Not sure on how to serve documents under the party wall act? Need to find a party wall surveyor? Contact SevenOne Associates to get help and support today!

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