23/09/2019 by Foysol Ahmed
How to follow the correct Party Wall procedures
When you are looking to undertake some building work, the first thing people usually do is to discharge the relevant planning approval. But what you must not forget is your obligations under the Party Wall etc. Act. Don’t be put off by the paperwork needed to get a Party Structure Notice and all relevant consent.
If you are going to complete some building work to a Party Wall or are going to excavate within 3 meters of a neighbour then it is possible that you may need a Party Wall notice to be served. The different types of works include excavating to lay foundations in which case a Party Wall agreement for rear extension or perhaps a Party Wall agreement loft extension.
Time to serve the notice
The next part is to make sure that you serve the Party Wall Notice to any neighbours that will be affected by the works. You must give them 14 days to reply to your notice, they will have a chance to dispute the works or agree (consent).
Once the notice has been served and the 14 days have passed, if the neighbours haven’t responded to your notices then they are deemed to be in dissent. They will then need to appoint a Surveyor that will proceed to produce a formal Party Wall Award. If they completely ignore the notice then you’ll need to appoint a Surveyor to serve a final ten-day letter, if no response is received then you will be able to appoint a Surveyor on their behalf to progress to a formal Party Wall Award.
Party Wall Notices must be accurate and correctly state the subsection which applies to your proposed works including the appropriate drawings included to satisfy the notices. Any error can nullify the entire process which will mean that you need to start all over again.
Time to appoint a Surveyor
When it is time to hire a Surveyor you need to ensure that you have someone who specialises in Party Wall legislation. This will ensure that the process is completed as quickly and diligently as possible in order for your building work to go ahead as scheduled.
The Party Wall agreements can add a considerable amount to your final building costs depending on how many owners are affected by the works and if they opt to appoint their own Surveyors. It is recommended to serve notices via your appointed Surveyor in order to ensure as many affected owners either consent or concur to your Surveyor being appointed on an agreed Surveyor’s basis.
It is your neighbour’s right under the Party Wall agreement to appoint a Surveyor of their choice if they want. This means that you don’t really have a say in which surveyor is appointed. This means that reasonable costs are usually met by the party that is getting the building works completed and is agreed by your Surveyor.
Should you fail to follow the appropriate Party Wall procedure and progress with works without formal consent or a Party Wall Award then the neighbours can apply for injunctions that can temporarily stop your work from progressing. This can lead to cost significant legal and consequential costs.
Do you need to serve a Party Wall Notice? Want to know how to serve the correct and appropriate Party Wall Notice? Contact us to find out more and get assistance with your project.