Under the Party Wall Act of 1996, you are required to give notice to the relevant neighbour if you are planning a building design that will have an impact on a party wall with a neighbouring property. Unfortunately, some property owners disregard the importance of this important piece of law, even though it was placed to protect the interests of all owners of the impacted building.
Whether you get along well with your neighbours and don’t anticipate any issues, or you’re concerned about starting an argument with annoying neighbours, or you’re just trying to save money, be aware that failing to give notice might have serious consequences.
Therefore, it is preferable to hire a party wall surveyor and give appropriate notice before beginning construction.
Working within a fair channel can help you in defending yourself from any exaggerated claims from the area. You may create an accurate schedule of the adjacent property and any potential harm by hiring a party wall surveyor that has experience in party wall surveying. By doing so, you and your neighbour will be able to do the necessary tasks while avoiding future dangers.
What Happens when Party Wall Notice is not Served?
- If you don’t give notice, your neighbour may accuse you of being a fraud, and you have nothing to prove your innocence. Without a schedule of conditions, you have no defence against the neighbour’s false claims of damage.
- If you don’t provide your neighbours with a party wall notice, you risk opening yourself to exaggerated accusations of damage. Without a schedule of conditions, you must demonstrate the contrary, and under common law, you are required to repair any harm you have caused.
- If you fail to serve a party wall notice when it’s required, your neighbour will have the right to question other elements of your design, such as the calibre of the people doing the work. Give your neighbour no reason to interfere with your business, doing so will only harm your work further delaying it.
- If you don’t provide neighbour a party wall notice before the start of the workshop, you run the possibility of going to court. Your neighbour is free to hire a solicitor and file an order to halt your plan in its tracks.
All these problems are not only a hassle but also expensive matters if the issue is taken to the court. Above all when the court is involved in these trivial matters then the construction work also comes to a halt. All your planning to enjoy Christmas barbeque has come to an end.
What if the neighbour refuses Party Wall Agreement
If a neighbour considers that the proposed work needs planning permission, then they can still object to it on these bases and contact the area planning authority. Dissenting is the act of declining the consent in party wall agreement.
If your neighbour disregards this notice or fails to respond within the specified time constraints, you can start the dispute resolution procedure by requesting in writing that you appoint a party wall surveyor within 10 days.
Your neighbour must respond to a party wall notice in writing within 14 days to confirm the work. They also have one month to provide a counternotice. After providing party wall notice you too have 14 days to write a response to the counternotice. If no answer is entered within the required timeframes, you can start the procedure for resolving disagreements and cannot presume that silence equals acceptance of the work.
It is your duty as a neighbour to serve a Party Wall notice before beginning any type of renovation. It would protect you from legal and judicial vigilance. Not serving a Party Wall notice can result in a fine, which can be a hefty amount.