How to draft a valid party wall notice
Posted on 21st February 2023 at 08:37
What information should be included in a notice?
There are essentially three types of notices if you are the building owner and carrying out work that is governed by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
Section 1- Line of junction notice
This notice is served in one of two scenarios. The first is that you wish to build a new wall on the 'line of junction'. The line of junction is the point where your land ends, and yours neighbours land starts. It is an invisible line on the ground which has no thickness.
You can serve a notice under s.1(2) if you are proposing to build a new party wall. A party wall is a wall built partly on both neighbours land. The notice must detail the correct names of all the adjoining owners and the building owners, and the details of the relative properties. You can find out the names by carrying out a land registry search and paying the fee. This will confirm who is the registered legal owner. The notice must be served at least one month before you intend to build the wall and it is prudent to state this period in the notice. The notice must also state your desire to build the wall, and the describe the intended wall. What this means is that you should ideally show the wall on a drawing/plan to show the position/extent, and then describe the length, height, what the wall will be made of, the finish i.e. render, brickwork etc. Basically, as much information you can about the wall. Just stating a "single storey extension" does not cut it. The recipient wants to know what they are agreeing to.
If you are intending to build a new wall on the line of junction but wholly on your own land, the same information as above is required and again it must be served 1 month before you intend to start the work.
Section 3- Party Structure notice
This notice is served if you intend to carry out work to an existing party wall or party fence wall. The difference between the two can be found elsewhere on this site.
Specific rights to carry out various works to an existing party wall are given under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and are detailed in s.2 of the Act.
The s.3 notice must include the correct names of all the adjoining owners and building owner, and the details of the relative properties. You must also include the 'nature and particulars' of the proposed work.' This is where most s.3 notices fail. Stating a global description of the work, such as "single storey extension and associated internal work" does not satisfy this requirement. If you are using the party wall to support a new beam, you would state words such "cut into the party wall to accommodate a concrete padstone and steel beam at first floor ceiling level". The nature and particulars need to be descriptive, and requires you read at least section 2 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. The notice must also state the proposed start date which must be at least 2 months from the date of the notice.
Section 6- Adjacent Excavation and Construction notice
This notice is served if you proposed to excavate within the prescribed distances and depths in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. Those distances and depths can be found elsewhere on this site or in s.6 of the Act.
Again, the notice must include the correct names of the adjoining owners and building owners, and the relative properties. It must also include the following:
The proposed start date which must be at least one month from the date of the notice.
A statement which confirms if you 'propose to underpin or otherwise strengthen or safeguard the foundations of the building or structure of the adjoining owner'. Without this statement of intent, the notice is automatically invalid.
Plans and sections showing the (a) the site and depth of any excavation you propose to make and (b) if you intend to erect a building or structure, its site.
If you cannot find out the names of the adjoining owners by reasonable means, you can address notices to 'the owner'.
Section 15 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 states the alternative methods for serving an notice. If this is not carried out correctly, the notice may be deemed to have not been validly served. I will discuss these methods in a future blog.
Tagged as: excavation notice, invalid notice, line of junction notice, party structure notice, serving notice
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