Upon service of the Party Wall Notice an adjoining owner will have 16 calendar days to review and respond.
That further Party Wall Notice will give the adjoining owner an all important and final 12 days to respond. The adjoining owner will have three different Party Wall Notice response options open to them.
Option 1 Consenting to the Party Wall Notice
This will mean that works can start on site, the adjoining owner will be reserving the legal protections that the Act affords them including the appointment of a party wall surveyor.
Option 2 Dissenting and Appointing Their Own Party Wall Surveyor
This party wall surveyor will act wholly on their behalf, the building owner will then also need to appoint a party wall surveyor acting wholly on their behalf.
Option 3 Dissent and Appoint an Agreed Surveyor
Unlike Option 2, in this scenario a single party wall surveyor will act impartially and jointly on behalf of both the building owner and the adjoining owner.
In a scenario whereby the adjoining owner doesn’t respond to the Party Wall Notice whatsoever there are two different options open to the building owner.
Option 1 Proceeding with the Works
The building owner can proceed with the works however they do run the risk that if the adjoining owner pops up at a later date, the party wall procedures may need to be administered and followed thereby causing delay to the overall works.
Option 2 Appoint a Party Wall Surveyor on Behalf of the Non Responsive Adjoining Owner
The building owner can appoint a party wall surveyor on behalf of the adjoining owner who has not responded.
The party wall surveyors, one acting on behalf of the building owner and one acting on behalf of the building owner will then agree a Party Wall Award which will give the building owner the legal right to progress the works and offer the adjoining owner legal protection.
In this case the legal protection will be limited as it is unlikely that the two surveyors would have been able to undertake a Schedule of Condition report of the adjoining owner’s property prior to the planned works commencing on site.