Are you aware that your neighbour plans on starting building work in the near future? Are you worried about the planning applications that have been submitted by your neighbours?

Are the works being carried out from the list below?

Underpinning
Conversion of basement, loft or garage
Roofing works, including to a chimney
Evacuating and casting foundations within 3 or 6 metres of an adjoining building
Alterations, demolition or even repairs to a wall, ceiling or floor shared with another property
An extension no matter if rear, side or loft
Building a wall up-to or astride the boundary with a neighbouring property

Well by law your neighbour is required to serve you with a Party Wall Notice, BEFORE commencing any of the above works.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996, provides you with statutory protections not laid out in any other legislation. You are entitled to dissent to the Building Owners proposed works, it allows you some say over how the works will be carried out, how any damage is rectified and if necessary even allows for escrow protection in case something goes wrong.

At Home Heroes Limited we can advise you the Adjoining owner on party wall matters, we accept appointments as YOUR appointed surveyor.

Well firstly it’s good you’ve received a notice, this shows your neighbour the Building Owner is aware of the act and is complying with the law, you have 14 days to consider and decide on your next step with regard to Building Owners proposals. You will need to let them know in writing if you Consent or Dissent.

No one can make you pick either of these choices that is yours alone to make, you need to take on board the proposals i.e. the risk to your property or the complexity of the project. This stage is to let you know if you want to appoint a surveyor.
One thing to remember is this doesn’t go away if you don’t respond within 14 days in writing they will write to you again giving you 10 days to respond if they receive no written response they are legally required to see this as dissent which then allows them to appoint a surveyor to work on your behalf once this has been done this cannot be changed.

 

Home Heroes Limited are able to act on your behalf as your Appointed Adjoining Owners surveyor or if you both agree as the agreed surveyor.

This occurs more often than anyone would like, sometimes it’s because no one has informed them of the act, sometimes they’ve been told by contractors to ignore the act

In this situation, i.e. you’ve had planning information but no notice etc. our advice would be to act quickly contact us to discuss your options.

No. The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is a facilitating piece of legislation. This means that the act is a process to settle dispute to prevent neighbours needing to go to court to undertake building work.

It’s also prudent to point out that simply ignoring the Notice will not make this go away, there is defined timescales for reply form Adjoining Owners and if you ignore these timescales the act legally allows Building Owners to make an appointment on your behalf so that the process can continue, further more ones this appointment is made it cannot be rescinded by you even if you then decide you want to respond, you will have to work with the Appointed Surveyor

If your neighbour (Building Owners) wish to undertake works for their sole benefit, it is common that the Building Owner would have to pay all reasonable costs involved in agreeing any Party Wall Award. Now one thing to consider is that the Act allows for reasonably cheap protection and deals with disputes in a very cost effective way, the alternative which is the legal system if something does go wrong is costly and more than likely going to strain even the best neighbourly relationship.

You also have to look at the fact the cost of an award is going to be very small in relation to the proposed building works.

We are able to work as an agreed surveyor and if this is agreeable to both parties would be one way in you could reduce the financial burden on your neighbours.

Well the general consensus is that if the building owner(s) are undertaking work that is solely for their benefit then they will pay all reasonable costs in regard to agreeing a Party Wall Award.

You are entitled to your own surveyor (Adjoining Owners Surveyor) and they will usually have to pick up the costs in some cases if agreeable with all parties Home Heroes can work as an Agreed Surveyor