If you are proposing to undertake works that are deemed ‘notifiable’ under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, you are required, by law, to serve prior notice upon your neighbour (the ‘Adjoining Owner’). Notifiable works may include:
Notice must be served at least one month prior to the proposed commencement of works involving adjacent excavations or building at the line of junction and two months prior to commencement of works to a Party Wall or Party Fence Wall.
If the Adjoining Owner ‘dissents’ to notice, or fails to respond within 14 days of the notice being served (known as a 'deemed dissent'), then a ‘dispute’ is deemed to have arisen under the Act requiring determination in accordance with Section 10. This means the parties must either concur in the appointment of a single Agreed Surveyor, or each appoint their own Surveyor to resolve the dispute by way of an Award.
The Award effectively authorises the Building Owner's right to execute the works stated therein. The Award, therefore, sets out the nature of the works along with the rights and duties of the respective parties. The Award will also determine which party is to pay for the works and the fees of the appointed Surveyor(s). The Award will usually also contain a Schedule of Condition to evidence the condition of the Adjoining Owner’s property prior to commencement of any works; this may be needed for later referral. The Building Owner will be responsible for repair of any damage arising, or compensation in lieu of remedial works and the Award will make provision for this.
The Award is served on both parties who then each have 14 days to appeal the Award in the County Court should they wish to do so. If no appeal is made, the Awards become irrevocably legally binding and cannot then be questioned in any court.
WARNING! You must not commence notifiable works without serving prior notice on the Adjoining Owner - you may risk being served with an injunction to stop the works until such time you comply with your statutory duties under the Act.
To appoint a Party Wall Surveyor, please download the correct pro-forma Letter of Appointment below then complete, sign and return it to our registered address: