Navigating the world of party walls can be a complex task, especially when it comes to understanding and serving the correct party wall notice. In this detailed guide, we provide an in-depth look at the various types of party wall notices, the proper way to serve them, and what they entail for both Building and Adjoining Owners under the Party Wall Act 1996 in the UK.

Understanding Party Wall Notices

Party Wall Notice are legal documents that must be served by a property owner intending to undertake certain types of notifiable work on or near a party wall or boundary. A party wall notice is essential for informing Adjoining Owners about the planned work and for protecting the rights of both parties involved.

Types of Party Wall Notice

There are three types of Party Wall Notice;

Notice of Adjacent Excavation (Section 6): This notice is required for any excavations within three or six metres of an adjoining property and to a depth lower than the neighbour’s foundations measured horizontally from any part of the structure of the Adjoining Owner. It should include plans and sections showing the extent of the proposed excavation including dimensions, and should be served to the Adjoining Owner at least one month before the intended start date of the excavations.

Party Structure Notice (Section 3): Required for works directly to a party wall or party structure, such as cutting into a wall to insert a beam or cutting away from the party wall to remove chimney breasts. This notice should detail the proposed works and how they will be carried out, and should be served to the Adjoining Owner at least two months before the intended start of the works.

Line of Junction Notice (Section 1): Served when building a new wall astride or adjacent to the boundary line with a neighbouring property. It must specify the position of the intended wall, and should be served to the Adjoining Owner at least two months before the intended start of the works. The Building Owner will require the Adjoining Owner’s consent to build a Party Wall astride the boundary.

Serving the Notices

The process of serving a Party Wall Notice is governed by specific legal requirements, emphasising timing, content, and delivery method. First of all, notices must be issued at an appropriate time, typically one to two months prior to the commencement of the intended work, with the exact timing dependent on the nature of the notice.

Each notice is required to contain critical information, including the type of notice being served, both property owner’s names’ and addresses, a detailed description of the proposed work, the sections of the Party Wall Act the works fall under and the date notice was served. We usually recommend that the notice also specifies that scheduled start date of the proposed works. As for delivery, these notices can be personally handed over, sent by post, or conveyed by a professional Party Wall Surveyor.

Response to Notices

Adjoining Owners have four avenues of response to a Party Wall Notice. Firstly, they can consent to the notice, allowing the work to proceed as initially planned. In such instances, it’s wise to secure this party wall agreement in writing.

The Adjoining Owners also have an option to consent subject to a Schedule of Condition. A Schedule of Condition is a detailed report that outlines the condition of the likely areas affected in the Adjoining property prior to the commencement of the notifiable works.

Alternatively, if the neighbour expresses dissent, both parties may opt to appoint a single ‘Agreed Surveyor’, or each may choose their own independent and impartial Surveyor to formulate a Party Wall Award. Lastly, should there be no response within the initial 14-day statutory notice period and the subsequent ten additional days; it is treated as a dissent, necessitating the same procedure of party wall surveyor appointment as in the case of an explicit dissent.

Implications of a Party Wall Notice

For Building Owners, serving a correct Party Wall Notice is not only a legal mandate but also a key step in preventing legal disputes. This notice serves as a foundational framework, facilitating the execution of works both legally and efficiently. Additionally, it aids in pre-empting potential claims of damage by documenting the state of adjoining properties before the commencement of work.

Conversely, for Adjoining Owners, these notices offer a critical chance to either consent to or dissent from the proposed works, thereby ensuring the protection of their property. It guarantees that the work will adhere to legal requirements and provides the option to appoint a surveyor to monitor the process of the party wall award, should they deem it necessary.

Trusted Surveyor for Party Wall Notice

At The Party Wall Guru, we specialise in the preparation and issuance of Party Wall Notice for clients in London and the East of England. Our team of Chartered Surveyors, with over a decade of industry experience, ensures that your legal obligations under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 are met with precision.

We offer a comprehensive service that includes expert notice issuance, accompanied by detailed plans and drawings, to accurately communicate your construction intentions. Additionally, we provide free consultations and guidance to navigate the complexities of the party wall act and maintain a smooth communication channel with your neighbours.

Our RICS-regulated approach prioritises compliance and efficiency, ensuring minimal inconvenience. Our reliable support extends throughout the process, from initial advice to final party wall agreement, guaranteeing your satisfaction and peace of mind. To get in touch, phone us on 020 8058 9883 or email us at surveyors@thepartywallguru.com.