What If Your Neighbour Ignores a Party Wall Notice?
Ignoring a Party Wall Notice
Any building works will inevitably affect your neighbours to some extent, and it is always best to keep them informed and have a friendly discussion regarding the proposed work at the planning stage.
If you’re considering renovating, repairing or developing property in North London, you may need to look into a Party Wall notice for your proposed works. This is because you are legally obliged to inform your neighbours about alterations or work to or near a shared boundary, and a notice is how you inform and communicate legally with your neighbours on this matter.
Unfortunately, there are situations where the adjacent property owner will disregard the Party Wall notice, which can leave you in a quandary.
So what do you do if your neighbour(s) aren’t keen on your proposals or ignore your notice?
Let’s look at some expert Party Wall Notice advice from our Party Wall professionals.
What Happens if my Neighbour Refuses to Acknowledge a Party Wall Notice?
When you first serve your Party Wall notice to the neighbour, they have 14 days to respond. Ensure that you submit the notice under the correct section of the Party Wall Act 1996 and follow all regulations.
If your neighbour does not respond to the notice you have submitted within 14 days, you should write to them to inform them that they are deemed to have dissented and have to appoint a party wall surveyor to act for them within 10 days.
If they still do not respond after this point, you are officially allowed to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor on their behalf. However, you are only allowed to do this if you have given sufficient warning and waited the whole 24 day period to allow them adequate time to respond.
DO NOT assume that you can ignore them and commence your work because you haven’t heard from your neighbours.
Can a Neighbour Stop a Party Wall Agreement?
The Party Wall Act protects both parties’ interests and provides a clear route to reach a compromise between you and your neighbour.
So, while it is true that the neighbour can technically stop the Party Wall agreement by refusing to cooperate with you, this doesn’t prevent you from carrying out the work.
However, even if you have appointed a surveyor on your neighbour’s behalf, they may not be able to gain access to make a Schedule of Conditions. In which case, the Party Wall Surveyors have to make a ‘blind’ party wall award.
How to Prevent Refusal of the Party Wall Notice
The thing to consider is that a lot of people refuse to cooperate with you on the Party Wall agreement because they haven’t had a prior warning. So, here’s some Party Wall notice help.
The best way to prevent disputes is to speak to your neighbour a week or two before you want to submit the notice, sit down with them and explain what you’re planning to do. Just touching base and making sure that they know what’s coming can really help to smooth over any potential objections. It’s better than an official legal notice with no context.
Of course, it is also sensible to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor to act on your behalf at the planning stage. The surveyor can help to identify possible issues and guide you through the Party Wall Process.
Need Help With Your Party Wall?
Navigating Party Wall matters can be tricky. If you need help, talk to our Chartered Party Wall surveyors in Barnet today. Our team will guide you through the Party Wall process, ensuring the protection of your asset. We want to make sure you’ve got as much help as possible.