Property Surveying Blog
In this week’s blog post, I thought it would be helpful to look at how best to serve a Party Wall Notice upon an adjoining owner and hopefully encourage a more favourable response.
My biggest tip for a positive or favourable Party Wall Notice response would be to engage with the adjoining owners as early as you can. In my experience the better informed the adjoining owner, the more likely you be able to receive either a Party Wall Consent, or the appointment of an Agreed Surveyor.
So when is a good time to approach the adjoining owner?
I would suggest this is done once the initial drawings have been prepared and the proposals are due to be submitted for planning permission or permitted development. This way you will be actively engaging with the adjoining owner at an early stage and will be able to sound out any concerns they have with the works.
Onward from there you would be able to discus those with your design team and likely compile some form of response.
I would also suggest actively discussing the various legal requirements of the work with the adjoining owner at an early stage. In my experience a lot of building owners have the mindset that if a topic isn’t discussed it may not become an issue and therefore they avoid discussing the Party Wall etc Act 1996’s requirements.
In my opinion, this is a mistake, at the early stages of the process you should be aiming to reassure your neighbour while also giving them the chance to converse with you about any issues they may have.
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 goes a long way to settle the concerns of an adjoining owner and give them the peace of mind that a qualified and experienced Surveyor will look at the building owner’s works, from the perspective of the adjoining owner’s property.
I would therefore suggest discussing the various Party Wall procedure steps with the adjoining owner so that they are fully aware of these.
The more informed the adjoining owner is the better and will not only help in achieving a positive Party Wall Notice response in the short term, however will also likely assist in a long term positive neighbourly relationship.