There’s no need to be alarmed by this, it simply means your neighbour (Building Owner) has taken the required steps in safeguarding your property as they are proposing to carry out works cover by the Act.
Once you have received a Party Wall Notice you can choose either of the following options when responding to the notice –
- Consent: You are happy for works set out under the Act to commence without a Party Wall Award being produced.
- Dissent: You are not dissent to works set out under the Act to commence, however you have some concerns that your property may in some way be affected by such works (typical issues may include working hours, access to your land, noise control and security) and would like a Party Wall Award issued before works start.
The Act allows for the same surveyor to be appointed by both parties (known as the ‘agreed surveyor’) alternatively you can appoint an Independent surveyor and its the Building Owner legal responsibility to pay for whichever choice you opt for.
Ignoring a Party Wall Notice
If you fail to respond to the notice within 14 days, it will be deemed you have dissented to the works and therefore under the Act both parties will be ‘in dispute’.
Where a dispute emerges between parties, both owners must appoint a Surveyor in order for a party wall award to be agreed and served.
Under Section 10(1)(b) of the Act, the first duty of the two surveyors appointed by the Building and Adjoining Owners respectively, is to agree, in writing, the selection of a third surveyor, who must be a named individual.
If any addressed issues set within the award cannot be agreed by the appointed surveyors then the third surveyor will be called upon to settle however this is rare.