Home renovations can be a fun and let you be creative, they give you the chance to make your home the way you want it. Though this is a fun task, there are less fun parts such as serving a Party Wall Act Notice. There is nothing more testing to a neighbour’s patience than when the other one is carrying out building work. This can be seen as a disruption in some people lives which is why you must complete the relevant steps to ensure legal obligations are fully discharged.
Firstly you must service a Party Wall Notice to the neighbours on both sides (if relevant works are being carried out); this must be served at least two months before the works start as it could affect an existing Party Wall. The notice has to be submitted one month before for any excavation or construction of a new wall along the boundary.
How to submit a Party Wall notice to your neighbours
It is important to speak to your neighbours when you start planning the building works, this is more personal than a letter through the letterbox. Speak to them about your plans and listen to their concerns as this can save you a lot of money If they can agree to appoint a single agreed Party Wall Surveyor. The Party Wall Notice can be given in the form of a letter obtained or served by a Party Wall Surveyor with all the necessary information. The notice can also be stuck to the front door of the property if the owner doesn’t live there and you don’t have a forwarding address. it is really important that the notices are valid therefore it is recommended that you obtain a Party Wall Surveyor advice.
If the neighbour consent to the work, it is important that you offer a schedule of condition. This is written and photographic evidence of your neighbour’s property carried out by an independent Party Wall Surveyor when you serve the notice because it protects you from false claims of damage.
Here are the notices that will go along with the schedule of condition:
- Legal names, address and particulars of the works along with plans (where required).
- The consent to the notices for the neighbour’s to complete.
- The architectural drawings that show the proposed works.
What to do if the neighbours have not responded to the notices
If your neighbour(s) doesn’t agree with the works then they can appoint a Surveyor either your Surveyor or their own independent Surveyor. The Surveyor’s costs are usually a burden on the party that carries out the work unless the works are of a mutual benefit such as repairs to the party wall.
It makes more financial sense if you agree on the same single Surveyor, this will save some money and you will not have to pay two separate fees for two different Surveyors. When picking a Party Wall Surveyor you need to look for the ones that are offering a fixed fee. There shouldn’t be any check or restraint on the agreed Surveyors actions or decisions. However, in more complex cases such as basement conversion it is common to have two Surveyors appointed due to the nature of the risk.
If the neighbour doesn’t respond to the notice after 14 days, you will need to serve a reminder which is a 10 day notice. If you still have not had a reply you can appoint a Party Wall Surveyor for the neighbour to ensure that matters can move forward. The two Surveyors will then complete the survey of the property and continue to proceed to completing the Party Wall Award.
Is your neighbour proposing to carry out construction works? Do you require advice on serving Party Wall Notices? Seven One Associates has Party Wall Surveying specialists that can help you with all your Party Wall related matters.