In this week’s property surveying blog post topic, we are going to be discussing party wall surveying procedures and in particular, how quickly an adjoining owner should respond to the Party Wall Notice that their adjoining neighbour, the building owner, has served upon them in advance of their proposed construction works commencing.
The purpose of the Party Wall Notice is to notify the adjoining owner of the proposed works and ultimately give them information surrounding the party wall surveying procedures. Once a notice has served its purpose, and the adjoining owner has received it, here at Stokemont, we would always recommend that you fully consider the proposed works from the perspective of their property and ultimately seek the advice and input from a party wall surveyor.
While they may not necessarily need to dissent to the notice, and may be inclined to consent, by speaking to a party wall surveyor in advance of their Party Wall Notice response, it can ultimately ensure that they are selecting the correct and relevant response to the notice, taking into account any concerns or worries they may have.
Party Wall Notices have a 14 day statutory notice period, followed by a two day postage grace period.
We would therefore, advise that an adjoining owner responds well within that timeframe and seeks the advice of an experienced and qualified party wall surveyor to ultimately ensure they get the best information and facts in advance of that Party Wall Notice statutory deadline passing.
In the event they receive the notice late, overlook it, or don’t have the time to respond within those timeframes, don’t panic. They will still have a further 10 statutory notice days, followed by a two day postage grace period, once the building owner serves the follow up, Section 10(4) Party Wall Notice.
This Section 10(4) Party Wall Notice ultimately gives the adjoining owner a further and final timeframe to respond to the notice, effectively giving them a gentle nudge and prompt before the deadline ultimately expires.
In the event that an adjoining owner still doesn’t respond to the Party Wall Notice, they may find themselves in a position where a party wall surveyor is appointed upon them, and for them, without their free choice of selection.
For this reason, we would advise that as soon as you receive a Party Wall Notice, you take sound advice from a party wall surveyor to ultimately ensure you are well abreast of your rights, and ultimately your response and responsibilities and ensure the selection you make is within the designated timeframes, thereby enabling the party wall procedures to be facilitated and moved forward in the intended timeframes.