With the Party Wall Act etc 1996
time waits for no-one,
be they the building owner
or the adjoining owner
for a Section 2 Party Wall Notice
If you would like to talk to a surveyor about party walls, schedules of conditions, structural surveys or building surveys on the property or any disputes that you may have with the builders, boundary disputes, etc, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat.
The Party Wall etc Act 1996
We feel that one of the very best things about The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is that it sets out time limits in which the parties involved (the building owner and the adjoining owner or owners and their respective party wall surveyors) need to act. This practice, with regard to the Party Wall Act, are given time limits for whoever makes it one of the best parts of the Act and it does mean that the party has rights that are time limited, which means they can proceed on regardless of whether you get a response or no response.
Working on existing party walls, Section 2 of the Party Wall etc Act 1996
Please see our other article on party walls if you wish to have a definition of what a party wall is.
The building owner gets additional rights going beyond ordinary common law when working on an existing party wall if all adjoining owners are given notice in writing following a specific format, giving at least two month's notice.
Specific format for a party wall notice
The specific format for a party wall notice is that it must include:-
We should add that the notice is only valid for one year, therefore you shouldn't serve it too far in advance, although, in our experience, with domestic properties party wall matters tend to be very much a last minute thing.
Adjoining owner's 14 day response, three options
The adjoining owner or adjoining owners can respond in one of three ways:-
14 days has gone by, what happens next?
If after 14 days the adjoining owner(s) has done nothing then a dispute is regarded as having arisen. We would, however, make the point that you really should have been round to see the adjoining owner or the adjoining owners surveyors just to establish what is likely to happen before it happens! We are very keen on cups of tea meetings, we find particularly with domestic situations, but also with commercial it is a really good way to take things forward without misunderstandings or minimal misunderstandings.
One month notice required
An adjoining owner or their agent (note we haven't said a party wall surveyor) who receives a notice may within month serve a counter-notice, setting out additions or modifications which they wish to have carried out. In turn, the adjoining owner(s) who receive such a notice do need to advise within 14 days that they are going to give a counter-notice.
Building owner's 14 days response to the counter-notice served against them
Equally, if a counter-notice is received from the adjoining owner the building owner has to respond within 14 days.
You may be interested in these Party Wall articles too:
Time Waits for no-one, be they the Building Owner or Adjoining Owner, Section 1 of Party Wall etc Act 1996
Independent building surveyors expert advice
If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor to specialise in party wall work please contact us on 0800 298 5424 for a surveyor to give you a call back. We are also happy to carry out third surveyor work. If you require a structural survey, a schedule of condition, a dilapidations report, specific defects report, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact us.
If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilaps Website at www.DilapsHelp.com and for Disputes and anything else relating to party wall matters please go to our Disputes Help website www.DisputesHelp.com .
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
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