What is a Building Owner under the Party Wall Act?
In the context of party wall legislation, a building owner refers to the person or entity that owns a building or structure that shares a party wall with an adjacent property. The party wall is a shared wall, usually situated on the boundary between two properties.
The building owner is responsible for carrying out certain actions and fulfilling specific obligations under party wall legislation. These obligations are intended to protect the rights and interests of both the building owner and the adjoining owner (the owner of the neighboring property). Here are some key responsibilities of a building owner:
Serving a party wall notice: Before undertaking certain construction or renovation works that may affect the party wall, the building owner must serve a party wall notice to the adjoining owner. This notice provides details of the proposed works and seeks their consent.
Obtaining party wall agreement: If the adjoining owner consents to the party wall notice in writing the building owner may proceed with the work. It is a good idea to take a schedule of condition of the adjoining owners property just in case damage is caused by the work.
Resolving disputes: If the adjoining owner dissents or does not respond to the party wall notice, a dispute arises. In such cases, the building owner may need to appoint a party wall surveyor or seek resolution through the party wall dispute resolution process outlined in the relevant legislation.
Covering costs: The building owner typically bears the costs associated with the party wall works, including the fees for party wall surveyors, any necessary structural alterations, and repairs required to the party wall or adjoining property resulting from the works.
Consulting a qualified party wall surveyor or legal professional is advisable when dealing with party wall matters.