My neighbour has served a Party Wall Notice on me - What should I do?
Your neighbour may serve a notice on you if they are planning to carry out some demolition, excavation, loft conversion or work on the line of junction between your properties.
If you receive a notice from your neighbour you should reply to it in writing within 14 days. You can do this yourself or appoint a professional adviser such as a party wall surveyor to respond on your behalf.
You can agree (consent) or disagree with the proposal. You have 14 days to agree or disagree, in writing, to a notice
If you disagree and cannot resolve the matter between yourselves, a party wall surveyor will be appointed.
The Building Owner's Party Wall Surveyor can act for both parties as the "agreed surveyor" or the adjoining owner can appoint his own party wall surveyor. The costs will normally be settled by the building owner who is having the work done. The "agreed surveyor" is not working for either owner as an agent. He is there to help the owners reach agreement under the powers of the Act.
If you receive a notice about work to an existing party structure (wall, ceiling, floor etc.), or a notice about excavations within 3 or 6 metres of your foundations (very common with extensions), and you have not responded in writing within 14 days, a dispute is deemed to have arisen. A Party Wall Surveyor will be appointed on behalf of the adjoining owner in addition to the the building owners surveyor. In this instance, one surveyor cannot act as an "agreed surveyor".
What happens if you don't respond to the party wall notice(s)? That will be answered in next week's post.