Dear neighbour, I hereby give you 'Notice' of my intention!
‘To baby or not to baby’ …..
A modern take of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, homeowners often find themselves at odds with the ever-eternal dilemma of needing more space. Offspring is often a trigger point for building work of some sort, however in reality, the list of reasons are rather extensive.
Whatever the reason with so much going on it's easy to see how some home owners fall foul to the wrong side of the Law, and neglect their duty to inform their neighbour of their intentions.
From inception to conception, dream to reality, thought into action and any other variation between, it's crucial that you follow the four P's to a successful project and avoid the long arm of the Law.
'Plan, Plan, Plan & Party Wall'
Neglected until last minute and often the cause of erroneous delay & tension, TK Surveying Group offer FREE impartial advice and regularly receive a number of inbox enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org from unsettled home owners from both sides of the garden fence, namely in the first instance regarding initial notification, otherwise the 'Notice', or lack off.
As such, the purpose of this article is to, in non-legal jargon, inform and increase awareness to those planning their next building project of their legal duty to notify tho neighbour before any construction work is undertaken.
Pursuant to the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
What do I need to do?
Before ‘notifiable’ building work can commence the building owner has a statutory obligation under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 to let their neighbour/s know of their intention. At least 2 months for work on a shared structure, or at least 1 month if you intend to build up to the boundary line or carry out excavation works.
If there is more than one owner or more than one neighbouring property. For example, a leaseholder or tenant occupying the neighbouring property you will need to inform the landlord as well as the occupants. You must notify all of them.
Before works can commence you must have written confirmation that your neighbours either agrees to the work, or wishes to appoint a surveyor to prepare an ‘Award’ on their behalf. The building owner sends to adjoining owner what's known as a 'Notice' and the adjoining should respond with what's known as an Acknowledgement of Notice.
Where art tho neighbour?
If the building owner doesn't receive a response to their 'Notice' within 14 days, the matter falls into what's known as a ‘dispute’. The building owner is then required to send a 10 day 'Notice' to the adjoining owner offering a final opportunity to appoint a surveyor of their own or to concur on an ‘Agreed’ surveyor appointment.
Building work should not be held up through lack of response, however, the building owner undertaking work has an obligation to appoint an impartial surveyor to safeguard the adjoining owner’s premises in their absence. The appointed Surveyor/s will then formally progress matters and resolve the 'dispute' by agreeing and drafting the ‘Award’. The ‘Award’ is a legal document setting out the rights and obligations for both building owner and adjoining owner.
This article is not an exhaustive or authoritative interpretation of the law surrounding party wall, but intended as a basic guide designed to increase general awareness of law surrounding the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. A number of formalities have been omitted and diluted, as such, any information contained in this article is informal only and is not binding on any person.
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