I have received a party wall notice, what do I do?


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Do not ignore it!

The party wall notices will tell you that your neighbour is planning to carry out some building works that may affect your property or boundary walls.
Within 14 days you must reply in writing to confirm whether you agree to the work or dissent from the work.
  If you do not reply you will automatically have dissented from the work and within a further 10 days you must appoint a surveyor.
If you do not appoint a surveyor your neighbour will appoint one for you.
  You may be able to agree with your neighbour to use just one surveyor to act for you both.
  The surveyors will look over your neighbour's plans and may ask for more details or some changes to make sure that the work is unlikely to cause damage to your buildings. 
The surveyors will visit your property and agree a record of its condition before the work starts.
The surveyors will agree and serve an agreement known as a Party Wall Award, this will set out the works that are authorised and what happens if something were to go wrong.
The Award may also include direction as to how the work is undertaken, access to your property, security and will deal with any costs including fees, which in most cases are the responsibility of your neighbour.
Can I stop the works?
The Party Wall Act grants statutory rights to work on a party wall or near to your property, so providing these are adhered to, you cannot use the Party Wall Act to stop any works, instead you will need to object on planning permission grounds.
I am not happy with the Party Wall Award, what can I do?
You can appeal the Party Wall Award in the County Court within 14 days of it being served.
Can I get compensation?
Not usually, but if your neighbour uses a part of a party wall that was built by you he may have to compensate you for the cost of building it.
What happens if damage is caused to my property?
The Party Wall Award will detail how any damage is to be made good, the surveyors will agree the work and liability and your neighbour can do the repair works or you can ask for a payment in lieu so that you can carry out the repair works.
If the surveyors cannot agree then they will refer the matter to a 'Third Surveyor' for arbitration, the Third Surveyor will prepare and serve a binding award.


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