What Do I Do If Someone Has Been Served a Party Wall Notice?
After being served a Party Wall Notice, the adjoining owner has 14 days to respond, and they have three options:
1. Consent to the works: If the adjoining owner is comfortable with the proposed works and has no objections, they can provide consent. This means no further action is required, and there will be no Party Wall Award served. However, it is advisable for the adjoining owner to consider requesting a Schedule of Condition report to document the condition of their property before the works commence. This can help in case any damage disputes arise later.
2. Dissent to the works and appoint an Agreed Surveyor: If the adjoining owner disagrees with the proposed works or has concerns, they have the option to appoint an Agreed Surveyor. The Agreed Surveyor acts impartially and will prepare all the necessary documents. The surveyor, who can be chosen by both parties, will visit the property and carry out a Schedule of Condition report before the works begin. A Party Wall Award will be prepared and served to both the building owner and the adjoining owner.
3. Dissent to the works and appoint an independent surveyor: If the adjoining owner disagrees with the works but does not wish to appoint an Agreed Surveyor, they can choose to appoint their own independent surveyor. The independent surveyor will act on behalf of the adjoining owner and will work with the building owner’s surveyor to complete a joint Schedule of Condition report. The surveyors will then collaborate to produce a Party Wall Award, which will be reviewed by the independent surveyor chosen by the adjoining owner. Ultimately, a Party Wall Award will be served to both parties.
It is important for the adjoining owner to carefully consider their options and seek professional advice from experienced party wall surveyors. These surveyors can guide the adjoining owner through the process, ensure compliance with the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and protect their interests throughout the construction work.