Party wall problems? Here are some tips: In most cases, if the adjoining does not respond within 14 days then a deemed dispute is said to have occurred and the person carrying out the work must appoint a surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf. If adjoining owners provide written consent to the works as set out within the notices, then there is no dispute to resolve and no further need for party wall surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work proceeds as detailed within the notice and no damage is caused, then no further involvement is necessary. Resolving Disputes: If adjoining owners dissent to the works (or if no response is received and a deemed dissent has arisen) then a dispute has occurred which must be resolved under the requirements of Section 10 of The Act. It is worth reiterating that the Act is one of enablement, it is not there to prevent works from taking place and it offers a route to end disputes at every stage. Where written agreement is not given, the solution the Act provides is for both parties to appoint an ‘agreed surveyor’ who will act impartially or for each owner to appoint a surveyor who in turn appoint a third surveyor. The surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work may proceed. The surveyor(s) will review the plans, notices and structural details of the works and, after considering the impact of the works, will draw up an agreement which sets out the terms under which work can be carried out (the Award).
Some works are considered too minor to require the process of notification. Anderton Gables can advise you on which notices are required, which properties need to be notified, and can serve the notices on your behalf. Your neighbour or ‘Adjoining Owner’ can either agree to the works as proposed in the notice, or disagree. If they decide to disagree, or do not respond Party Wall Surveyor(s) will become involved and draw up a Party Wall Award which states how the work should be done and the responsibilities of the various parties involved. The adjoining owner can insist on appointing their own surveyor in addition to your surveyor; however, all party wall surveyors must act impartially, in the interest of protecting all stakeholders and enabling the works to be undertaken. Unfortunately the cost of all party wall surveyors fees usually will be payable by the building owner proposing the work.
If your neighbour consents then that is the end of the matter as far as The Party Wall Act is concerned although to protect yourself you may wish to arrange for a schedule to be taken on their property to identify its existing condition. This will ensure that any existing defects are recorded and not wrongly attributed to your work later. If your neighbour chooses not to consent in writing then the next decision to be made is whether 1 or 2 surveyors are appointed. The Act allows for an ‘Agreed Surveyor’ and you are free to put forward the name of your surveyor for their your neighbours consideration although you should not put any pressure on them to concur in his appointment.
These types of work all require notices to be served as required by the act, once notice has been served, if there is dissent then it is deemed there is a dispute and the Act allows for this, this would be the dispute or resolution stage. Most disputes arrives when the Adjoining Owner has worries or concerns with the proposed work or simply fails to respond in the statutory time to the building owner, for which there could be many reasons. Where a dispute arises either due to non-consent or no response then the Act lays down the steps required to resolve the dispute this is where the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner will each appoint there Surveyor this could be one each or even the same surveyor with agreement for all parties working as the Agreed Surveyor. See extra details on Party Wall Surveyor Kent.