What is a Party Wall Notice?
A Party Wall Notice is a written notification, sent to Adjoining Owners, before works that are covered by the Party Wall etc Act 1996 are carried out. This covers certain proposed works to a party wall, to a party fence wall, or to a party structure (which includes horizontal floor / ceiling structures separating two different properties). The Act also covers certain types of excavation, at specified distances and depths to properties that are up to 6 metres away from the boundary of a property.
Before works take place, notices must be served, and the Adjoining Owner(s) given time to respond. The response timeframes are set down in the Act, and ‘consent’ cannot be presumed if there is no response to a Notice.
The Act is worded in such a way that the Notices need to be specific to the property where works will be carried out, and in some instances, include section drawings of excavations proposed, and their location relative to the party wall, and/or neighbouring property.
Owing to the level of pertinent information that needs to be included for a Notice to be considered valid (and therefore lessen the risk of any challenges or delays), it is prudent for the Notices to be drafted and served by someone who is experienced in dealing with party wall matters.
A party wall Notice cannot be served retrospectively, even if works covered by the Party Wall Act have been commenced or completed. This is another reason to arrange for Notices to be served at an expedient point, to lessen the risk of delays to building works, costly arguments or allegations of damage
At Harding Chartered Surveyors, we’re a team of independent and impartial RICS surveyors that can carry out party wall matters. If you have any questions or need advice don’t hesitate to call us on 020 3598 6730.