As a building owner, if you intend to carry out any work covered by the Act you must inform the relevant adjoining owners before starting work.
You inform them by serving one or more Notices.
Notices must be served either one or two months in advance, depending on the type of work you are proposing.
It is important to ensure the Notices contain the requisite information. Templates can be found via the links below and on our Free Advice page.
The Act defines an Adjoining Owner as anyone who is an owner of land, buildings or rooms adjoining those of the building owner proposing the work.
For Section 6 works, excavations, a property is deemed to be adjoining if it is within relevant distances even if it is not actually adjoining.
The adjoining property may have a freehold owner, or a leasehold owner, all of whom may be an 'Adjoining Owner' under the Act.
The Act requires ALL adjoining owners to be served Notices.
The person receiving the Notice may give his consent in writing, dissent in writing or do nothing.
If the Notice is dissented then a 'dispute' has arisen and a surveyor or surveyors must be appointed to resolve the dispute.
If, after 14 days from the service of the Notice, no response has been received, a dispute is deemed to have arisen.
A 'dispute' does not mean there is an argument between neighbours, it means entitlements to undertake the work, rights of access, controls whilst undertaking the work and mechanisms for making good or compensating for damage are formalised by an impartial surveyor through a Party Wall Award.
We identify Notices that are required to be served.
We carry out Land Registry searches to ensure the legal owners of property are identified.
We draft the Notices and serve them on your behalf if you authorise us to do so.
Notices should preferably not come as a surprise to your neighbour. We are happy to liaise with your neighbours to explain your plans and the party wall process if you wish. Early neighbour communication often resolves concerns before they become issues and can ultimately save professional fees.
If you have received a Notice we can review the documents you have been served and advise you on the next steps.
We can respond to the Notices on your behalf if you authorise us to do so.
If your neighbour has started work without your consent we can advise what you need to do next.
We can advise you if you wish to consent to a Notice but would like a Schedule of Condition of your property undertaken before work starts.
Notices are important to get correct, the Act is not invoked by the Building Owner unless the relevant Notices are served on the qualifying adjoining owners.
Identify all the work that is covered by the Act and which Section Notices are required, there could well be more than one. Missing an item if work will require another Notice to be issued and the notice period will start again.
Notices should contain the name and address of the building owner, the nature and particulars of the work proposed. Section 6 Notices specifically require plans and sections showing the site and depth of any excavation and the site of any building or structure proposed to be included.
Serve the Notice by delivering it to the owner in person or posting it to his last-known residence or place of business in the UK. Notices to a body corporate should be delivered to the secretary or clerk at its registered or principal office or by posting it to the secretary or clerk of the body corporate at that office. It is useful to include a blank acknowledgment form although it isn't mandatory to use it. They should ideally respond to the Notice within 14 days of receiving it.
Notices for works on existing party walls or party fence walls are slightly confusing. Although the work itself is covered under Section 2 the Notices are served under Section 3.
Please contact us if you need help with Notices, our services include identification of work, conducting Land Registry searches to confirm owners, drafting Notices, serving and responding.
|Type of Work||Section (notice period)||Notice Template||Acknowledgment Template|
|New building on the boundary line||Section 1 (1 month)|
|Work to an existing wall or party fence wall||Section 3 (2 months)|
|Excavation||Section 6 (1 month)|
Available in Word format. Please e-mail us if you would like a free copy.
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.