Party Wall Matters Part 3
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Party Wall Matters, Part 3
What should I do if my neighbour starts the works without serving me a Notice?
You should consider the following; if the works in progress fall under the scope of the Party Wall Act i.e. excavation within a diameter of 3 meters, with foundations equal to or greater than your foundation, and works that involve the party structure, you can apply for an Interlocutory Relief to the courts. The court will stop the undertakings until the correct procedures are followed.
However, you should seek professional help before going to the court because if you are found to be in error, all the expenses and damages caused will be automatically directed to you. Also, if you receive a court order, you must stop the works and seek professional help, otherwise you risk being imprisoned.
When is the right time to serve a Notice?
A Notice should be served as early as possible and should contain as much information as possible. This will prevent the adjoining owners from asking a lot of questions and therefore minimising on the fees. We would, therefore, recommend that the best time to serve a Notice is when you have fully prepared all the necessary drawings and information needed.
What am I required to do if I receive a Notice?
This Notice is here to protect your rights, so do not panic when your neighbour exercise their legal rights while undertaking some building works. When you receive a Notice, it means that your neighbour is willing to follow the Act, so the first you should do is contact us. However, if your neighbour will have appointed a surveyor of their own, you may choose to use the same surveyor or alternatively opt to appoint your own.
What should I do if realise that the Party Wall Act applies, and I have already started the works?
You should try to regularise this as soon as you can because all the works undertaken is deemed unlawful. First of all, you have to contact the adjoining owner to make sure that they have no objections to the proposed works. Write a simple letter that explains the ongoing work, and when you are expecting it to suffice. If there is a lot of work that is to be undertaken and falls under the Act, it should be postponed until a Notice is served.
For how long should I wait before I can commence work?
This entirely depends on the type of work that is to be undertaken. For example, for works that include excavations and drainage, you should serve a Notice one month before the actual work starts. For works that will involve the Party Fence or the actual Party Structure, a Notice of a period not less than two months should be served before the commencement of the planned works. Although you can start as soon as you can, provided both parties consents to it.
What is the Party Wall?
Basically, there are two types of Party Wall. The First one, which is referred to as Type "A" Party Wall, is a wall that separates two properties with the boundary falling within the thickness of the wall. The second one is Type "B", this is where the wall that separates two properties lays beyond the width of the wall.