- Party Structure Notice – where support is required onto the party wall. A Party Structure Notice may also be served relating to certain work to the floor separating two apartments.
- ‘Line of Junction Notice’ – This is for works to be carried out up to the junction between respective neighbours (note if this is a wall then the foundations can lawfully reach beyond the line of junction i.e. be formed on the neighbours’ land).
- 3 Metre or 6 Metre Notice – This relates to works within a certain distance of the neighbour’s structure and to a certain depth.
Within 14 days of the service of the notice the “adjoining owner” (neighbour to the property where the building works is to be carried out):
- can appoint their own surveyor
- can accept the building owner’s appointed surveyor as the “agreed’ surveyor to act on the behalf of each party
- can agree (consent) to the works in which case there is – no award and no further costs associated with the Party Wall Act
If the notice is ignored then, after a period of 14 days, a ‘dispute’ is deemed to have arisen and the building owner’s appointed surveyor may issue a further (10 day) notice requesting a response to the initial notice.
In the event that there is no response, then the building owner’s surveyor is obliged to appoint a surveyor on behalf of the adjoining owner. This cannot be the building owner’s surveyor.
The award includes a photographic schedule of condition which records the condition of the neighbouring property before work commence.
The award which is subsequently agreed and signed, between respective surveyors, includes a 14-day period for either party to challenge the award, through the courts, but it is reasonable for works to commence upon service of the award.
The key components within the award are:-
- It creates a formal environment under which the works will be carried out (they can be commenced within a year of the signature of the award)
- The adjoining owner is provided with the contractor’s insurance details
- The contractor is provided with a copy of the award
- It provides details of designs, design drawings etc
- It provides a mechanism for further awards to be served for any changes.
- It provides a mechanism to resolve disputes (a third surveyor is named within the award to arbitrate if a dispute between the two surveyors arises)
- It allows an independent structural engineer to be brought in, if deemed necessary, at the cost of the building owner
- It conditions the builder to carry out work in a safe, work-like manner in accordance with council working hours and for the contractor to work within the limits of their site providing suitable protection for debris and dust etc, for the works associated with the award
- It allows the distribution and agreement of method statements for works
- It can determine compensation e.g. for ‘enclosing’ ie building tight to a neighbour’s extension built as a party wall or taking advantage of a raised party wall when building a mansard loft conversion.
- It allows provision for reasonable access where necessary for the works to be carried out by the building owners’ contractor on the adjoining owners’ land
- It allows access for the adjacent owners’ surveyor to visit the site
- It requires the works to be carried out to comply with town planning and building regulations
- It provides inspection as required at the end of the construction period
Unless there are exceptional circumstances, it is normal for the building owner to pay the fees for the agreed surveyor or both surveyors’ fees.
For any further queries on party wall matters, feel free to talk to us. We’ll be happy to help. We offer a range of services including project management.