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Property Surveying Blog
Written by Bradley Mackenzie

This is one of the most common questions I find myself being asked by adjoining owners and in my experience stems from some form of issue or dispute having arisen in advance of the works, during the works or even after the works commence.

My take on this question is that an adjoining owner DOES have the legal right to dissent to a Party Wall Notice, despite having earlier consented. However, in my opinion this dissent is only applicable if there is some form of bonafide dispute that has arisen as a result of the building owner’s works.

An example of such a dispute could range from the necessity for the building owner’s contractors to gain access onto the adjoining owner’s land or air space, the hours in which the notifiable works are being undertaken, or more commonly damage having been caused to the adjoining owner’s property.

Prior to dissenting, I would always advise the adjoining owner to attempt to resolve the issue with the building owner as this will not only avoid added cost, but in most cases can be a much more time effective way of resolving the dispute.

However, when such resolution isn’t possible, at that point an experienced and qualified surveyor can step in to mediate and resolve the dispute on behalf of the owners.

This blog post will focus on dissenting to a Party Wall Notice as a result of damage, as in my experience that is one of the most common causes for this form of dissent to arise.

Party Wall DamageWhen damage is caused to an adjoining owner’s property, it can be a very stressful time for both the building owner and adjoining owner. The building owner will likely be in the midst of completing construction work to their property which can be an incredibly stressful and time consuming task. While the adjoining owner will be living alongside a building site, which comes with its own stresses!

To say tensions are high would be an understatement, therefore when damage does occur with the stresses both owners are experiencing, the situation can quickly reach boiling point.

An experienced Party Wall Surveyor will not only be able to step in and confirm if the damage is a result of the Party Wall works, he will also be able to determine the cost of the damage and ensure the damage is made good in the appropriate manner.

We have a standalone blog post which delves into the subject of damage, however in short the adjoining owner will always have 2 options:

  1. They can allow the building owner’s contractor to make good the damage
  2. They can request be awarded a sum of money which then allows them to have the damage made good by their own contractor.

The surveyor’s aim while dealing with the matter should be to resolve the dispute in the most cost and time effective way possible as at this point the building owner will not only be paying the costs of the damage, but will also be paying the surveyor’s fees in acting on the matter.

Dissenting after a Consent can be a confusing time for the owners, therefore if you find yourself in this situation I would suggest seeking the advice of an experienced and qualified Party Wall Surveyor at the first instance.