Under the Act, an 'Adjoining Owner' is anyone who is an owner of land, buildings or rooms adjoining those of the 'Building Owner'.
When undertaking excavations under Section 6, a property is deemed to be adjoining if it is within the relevant distance (3m or 6m) even if it is not actually adjoining.
The adjoining property may have a freehold owner, a long leasehold owner and a tenant at the same time. Depending on their lease terms you may need to serve more than one notice. This situation can be complicated and you should take professional advice.
If you have received a Notice you should reply in writing within 14 days of receiving it. You may:-
If you do not respond to a Section 1 Notice about an intended new wall built up to (but not astride) the line of junction, the work can commence after the one month notice period.
If you do not respond, in writing, within 14 days to a notice about an intended new wall built astride the line of junction, the Building Owner must build the wall entirely on his own land and the work can commence after the one month notice period.
If you do not respond to a Notice to an existing Party Wall (Section 2, served under Section 3), or a Notice about excavations (Section 6) within a period of 14 days, a dispute is deemed to have arisen and a surveyor or surveyors must be appointed.
If you have dissented, a surveyor must be appointed to resolve the dispute.
You may agree with the Building Owner to appoint a single surveyor known as the 'Agreed Surveyor', or
The Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner appoint separate surveyors.
The surveyor(s) undertake a Schedule of Condition of your property, with your permission, and serve the Party Wall Award.
If you disagree with the Award you may appeal it in court within 14 days.
The Building Owner proposing the work generally pays the Adjoining Surveyor's costs.
Please contact us if you would like any advice on how to respond to Notices or if your neighbour has started work without issuing you a Notice.
Please find links to further resources and the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.
We can help you understand how to comply with the Act.
Understand your rights under the Act and how to respond to Notices.