Party Wall Costs
Usually the building owner proposing the works will pay all party wall costs associated with drawing up of the "party wall award" if the works are solely for his/her benefit. Where a difference is deemed to have arisen, and before the party wall surveyors produce the "party wall award", both parties may jointly agree to settle any outstanding matters between them without the need for an award. In this case the building owner will usually still be liable for all reasonable party wall costs incurred up to the date where the parties notify the party wall surveyors of their intentions in writing.
Party Wall Damage
As the adjoining owner you are unlikely to directly benefit from your neighbour’s party wall works; in fact, for a short period of time, you may experience some disruption to your daily life and it is possible that your home may suffer from damage as a result of the party wall works. Consequently when you receive notice under the Party Wall Act from the building owner you should carefully consider how best to safeguard your home and your rights during the progress of the works.
Party Wall Notice Options
Once you receive a party wall notice from the building owner you only have fourteen days in which to respond in writing. If you have already selected a party wall surveyor to act for you then you should pass the notice to your party wall surveyor so that he/she can check the notice for compliance with the Party Wall Act. Your party wall surveyor may then advise you of the most suitable response and write to the building owner on your behalf.
If you have not appointed a party wall surveyor then you usually have four main options available to you, which are detailed below. There are sometimes other options that are available to you, and this list is not intended to be exhaustive.
1. Request a "party wall award" - This option means that party wall surveyors are appointed to prepare a party wall award. This may be the same party wall surveyor or a different party wall surveyor for each party. In most cases the party wall surveyors will examine the proposed plans, check the engineer's calculations, and make an initial assessment of likely impact of the party wall works. The party wall surveyors will then usually prepare a report of the adjoining owner's property before Party Wall Act works start. Before the work begins the party wall surveyors will produce a detailed legal document called a party wall award. The party wall award extends specific protections and rights to both parties, which are determined on an individual basis. Finally the party wall surveyors will return after the completion of the party wall works to check whether there has been any damage to the adjoining owner's property.
2. Do nothing - In most circumstances, if you do nothing for more than fourteen days after you have received a party wall notice then a difference is deemed to have arisen automatically between the parties and the same procedure applies as detailed in option (2) above. Where a difference is deemed to have arisen, and before party wall surveyors produce the party wall award, both parties may jointly agree to settle any outstanding matters between them without the need for a party wall award. In this case the building owner will usually still be liable for all reasonable party wall costs incurred up to the date where the parties notify the party wall surveyors of their intentions in writing.
3. Request a "party wall agreement" - You may wish to enter into a party wall agreement with your neighbour if you are generally happy with the works that are proposed. Both parties would need to consent to this agreement and usually the person doing the building works would pay for the agreement to be drafted. Please read our party wall agreement pages for more information about our services.
4. Consent to the party wall notice - This option allows the building owner to get on with his works with no further action required from either party. In this case party wall surveyors are not appointed under the Party Wall Act and your neighbour will not incur any further party wall award costs. This also means that you do not have a schedule drawn up of your property.
Vincent-Brown & Associates Limited do not provide advice on the suitability of any template for a particular usage or circumstance.