Party Wall etc Act 1996

 

Resolution of disputes

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Please give the details of the address where the work is being carried out.

Chartered Building Surveyors

A building owner must give notice to any adjoining owners if he intends to carry out work that is covered by section 1 (Construction of a new wall or building at the boundary), section 2 (Repair, alteration, adaptation or adjustment to a party structure belonging to two or more owners) or section 6 (Excavations within prescribed distances and depths from an adjacent structure belonging to another owner) of the Act.   If he does not, you may be able to obtain an injunction to stop the work until proper notice is served and run.  Most notices must be given one month before work commences, but a notice under section 3 must be given two months in advance.

 

Whilst the use of "standard" forms is common, the Act is not prescriptive about this and so long as the correct information is given, a less formal notice or letter is perfectly legitimate.

 

Notices do not require your response.  If you do not respond to a notice under section 1 then the building owner may continue with the work provided that he builds entirely within his own land, although he has the right to place ordinary foundations under your land and if he gives fourteen days notice under section 8, he can enter upon and remain on your land during normal working hours to carry out the building work he has notified you about.

 

If you do not respond to a notice under section 3 or section 6 a dispute is deemed to have arisen between you and the building owner and both of you must appoint a surveyor, either agreeing on one surveyor or each of you choosing a surveyor.   If you do not make the appointment, the other party can make an appointment on your behalf.

 

Under the provisions of section 11, except in certain specified conditions, fees for appointed surveyors are paid by the building owner.  Any appointed surveyor must and can only act to determine a dispute by an award which must address three things which are -

  1. The rights of the building owner to carry out the work (such as making sure that the correct notice was served and that it is allowed to run for the specified period before the work begins);
  2. The time and manner of the work (such as ensuring that the obligations and rights set out in sections 7, 8 and 9 are observed); and
  3. any other matter arising out of or incidental to the dispute including the costs of making the award (such as arrangements to access the adjoining property where necessary to carry out the work, making good after necessary and planned disturbance to the adjoining owner's property, etc).

 

It is not lawful to obstruct the building owner, his servants, agents and workmen from executing work that has to be carried out from the adjoining land or premises for which the building owner has a right to do.  Obstruction is an offence under the Act and a person so obstructing is liable to a fine of up to £1,000, and may also face a claim under civil proceedings for losses arising from a delay to the progression of the work.

 

Request for a written fee proposal for

Appointment as a Surveyor

 

by Adjoining Owner