Property owners and developers can use a party wall agreement to inform the owners of adjoining properties of their intent to perform works along the party wall or boundary line. It is always advisable for the building owner to discuss with the adjoining owner any work plans that they may have in order to put them on notice and to iron out any potential issues. This will help make the process less stressful.
When preparing a party wall agreement, it is important to include as much relevant detail as possible. While completing the document, it is important to specify the appropriate type of works to be conducted and whether or not these works will require special foundations or footings that extend into the adjoining property. All plans and technical drawings should be prepared before serving this notice, and copies should be provided with this notice to make it clear to the adjoining owner as to the extent of the works.
During the preparation of your party wall agreement, the building owner will be asked to nominate a surveyor. This surveyor will be used only in the event that a dispute arises. The parties will be deemed to be "in dispute" if the adjoining owner fails to respond or takes issue with the extent of the proposed works.
In the event of a dispute, there are two options available to resolve the issues at hand: 1) both property owners can agree to engage one mutually agreed-upon surveyor to come to a decision, or 2) each party can engage their own surveyor and both surveyors will come to a mutual decision in terms of the extent of the works required. Depending upon the type of works being done, a one- to two-month notice period is required. However, upon serving the notice, the adjoining owner must respond within 14 days of service in order for no dispute to arise. Again, this is why it will be beneficial to discuss the scope of the work with the adjoining owner beforehand.
This document is only for use in England and Wales.
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