If you been served with a notice under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
If you have received a notice regarding the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 Act it means your neighbour is doing work that may affect your property. The Party Wall Act is not a vehicle to try and thwart your neighbour’s plans and prevent the proposed work going ahead. The time for objecting to any work is at planning stage where you can have your say and the local planning authority will either grant permission or refuse to. Once permission is granted there is nothing in the Party Wall Act that can prevent the work going ahead based on your overall objection to the development.
In fact, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is an enabling Act. What this means is that the Act is in place to make sure that your neighbour can carry out the work without interference BUT at the same time safeguarding your property from the effects of that work.
You have 14 days to either consent or dissent to the works. If you dissent, you do not have to stipulate a reason, you simply have to state that you dissent. Alternatively you can just ignore the notice in which case it will be taken you have dissented.
Importantly, a Line of Junction notice works slightly different from the other two notices. Here you have to state what is in actual dispute. Unless you do, there is no dispute. Ignoring the notice will not be taken that you have dissented.
Having expressed dissent to a notice either one party wall surveyor, agreed between the owners, will be appointed or alternatively one surveyor for each owner will determine the dispute and take steps to ensure that all procedures are followed and the proposed work is carried out in such a way to cause as least inconvenience to the adjoining owner. Their work may involve appointing an independent structural engineer or checking method statements.
So that both parties are aware of what has been determined by the surveyors, a document called an ‘award’ is drafted. Once signed and by the surveyors and served on both owners this becomes binding where the only course open to the parties is to appeal the award in the County Court within 14 days if they believe it to be unjust or procedurally incorrect.
If on the other hand you consent to the proposed work, then the work goes ahead without the input of party wall surveyors. You are not signing away your rights by consenting. All the provisions of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 will still protect you. Once the Act has been invoked by a notice, both parties have the protection of the Act and in particular to call upon the dispute resolution procedures.
Get advice about the notice you have been served from a Party Wall Surveyor: