Q. Bad Neighbour Ignoring My Party Wall Request!
My neighbour is starting an extension tomorrow. I’ve asked him to obtain a party wall agreement and he is refusing and going ahead with his works.
He says the foundations will be done this week. The brick work the week after.
There’s an air of arrogance & bravado about him that I dislike!
1) What could I do to stop him?
2) I know that 'under the Party Wall Act 1996 my neighbour legally bound to serve me with notice'. But is it actually illegal to not have a party wall (Award) in place? If so, can I call the police?
Any assistance you can offer me, I’ll be most grateful.
I’ve very unhappy with his stance and I want revenge!
Party Wall Surveyors Answer
Considering the neighbours perceived stance, the first port of call would be to determine if your neighbours proposed work is notifiable, or not.
Once this has been determined I will be happy to advise you further and accordingly.
That said, generally speaking, if a neighbour refuses and or neglects to engage in the Party Wall process the aggrieved party my consider:
a) Applying to the Court for an injunction, the purpose of this being to prevent, cease, or undo unauthorised works.
b) Seeking remedy through the Court for damages, the purpose of this is to provide compensation for damage caused by the building work.
c) Appoint a Party Wall Surveyor. They will address the 'dispute' and engage the Building Owner. If the Building Owner refuses or neglects to engage and appoint a Party Wall Surveyor then one may be appointed on their behalf.
There is a misconception borne from the notion that the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 has no teeth and cannot offer remedy for retrospective works or indeed works for which a Party Wall Notice was not served.
On your last point if by 'revenge' you mean 'due process', then the option's above I would hope should offer this.
In closing, as mentioned, if you kindly provide me with your and your neighbours address (or better still the planning application number), I will have a look on the planning portal and see if the work is notifiable, or not, this is naturally key.
You may then decide how you wish to proceed. For options a) and b) listed above you will need to seek legal advise.
To be clear, we do not advocate litigation, we are firm believers that early engagement and negotiations are key to resolving Party Wall disputes.
Please note the above article been produced for general information purposes only and does not confer legal advice or guidance. If you have a Party Wall related issue and require further advice and guidance get in touch with one of our friendly Party Wall Surveyors who will more than happy to assist you based on your individual circumstance.
Do you have a question for the Party Wall Surveyor? If so, you can contact us by phone or email.
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