Party Wall Damage, What are my Options?
If you believe that your property has suffered damage as a result of party wall works carried out by a neighbouring property owner, you have several options to address the situation. Here are some steps you can consider:
1. Informal Discussion: Start by communicating with the neighbouring property owner in a calm and reasonable manner. Explain your concerns and provide evidence of the damage you believe has occurred. It’s possible that they may not be aware of the issue or may be willing to resolve the matter amicably.
2. Review the Party Wall Agreement: If a party wall agreement was in place before the works commenced, carefully review the agreement to understand the rights, responsibilities, and dispute resolution mechanisms outlined. The agreement may specify the process for resolving any damage claims.
3. Engage a Party Wall Surveyor: Consider hiring a qualified party wall surveyor to assess the damage and provide an independent evaluation. The surveyor can determine the extent of the damage, identify the likely cause, and provide an expert opinion on the necessary repairs or remedial actions.
4. Serve a Party Wall Notice: If damage has occurred and you haven’t yet served a Party Wall Notice, you may still be able to do so within the applicable timeframe. The notice should inform the neighbouring property owner of the damage and request that they take appropriate action to rectify it.
5. Mediation or Dispute Resolution: If direct communication or negotiation with the neighbouring property owner is not successful, you may consider engaging in mediation or alternative dispute resolution processes. These methods can help facilitate a resolution without resorting to costly and time-consuming legal proceedings.
6. Legal Action: If all attempts to resolve the matter fail, you may need to consult a solicitor or seek legal advice to understand your options for pursuing a legal claim. Legal action could involve seeking compensation for the damage, an injunction to stop further works, or other remedies available under the relevant party wall legislation or general property law.
It’s important to document the damage thoroughly, including taking photographs and keeping records of any correspondence or discussions related to the issue. Seeking professional advice from a party wall surveyor or legal expert is advisable to ensure that your rights are protected, and you take appropriate steps to address the party wall damage.