A party wall dispute can put a halt to any plans of expansion or improvement, of a residential, commercial, or industrial property. This delay could cost you a great deal of money in the long run. Therefore, being able to resolve situations quickly and effectively is essential. In order to achieve this, you may need the help of a Surveyor.
Why a Dispute May Arise
The Party Wall, EctAct 1996 exists in order to help protect either party on the two sides of a dispute. If you plan to make an addition to a property, you must give your neighbour a 1 to 2-month prior notice before work begins. If, after 14 days, they do not reply with written consent then you will be considered to be in dispute.
A dispute, therefore, may not arise because the neighbour is actually protesting the proposed changes. Simply not replying can cause a dispute situation to arise. Legal disputes can also be raised by your neighbour in an attempt to ensure their interests are not affected and they will be protected if this becomes the case.
Of course, avoiding disputes entirely is the preferred method. An open line of communication with neighbours, outlining what you plan to do, can prevent a legal escalation in the long run. Being entirely clear about the work you plan to undertake, with no ‘surprises’, and mitigating the impact to their property can prevent escalation.
How to Deal with the Dispute
If a dispute arises, you will be unable to undertake the proposed work until the dispute has been resolved. Therefore, it is important to have e a plan in place to help resolve any issues as efficiently and quickly as possible.
A surveyor will need to be appointed in order to draw up a party wall award, which will need to be agreed with the Adjoining Owners surveyor before the proposed work is carried out. Anyone who is not a party to the matter can act as a surveyor, but they need to have a working knowledge of the Party Wall, Ect Act 1996. and and a sufficient amount of technical knowledge to undertake the role of a Party Wall Surveyor. You could either appoint an Agreed Surveyor with your neighbour, or separate surveyors depending on the level of dispute, and they can help navigate both parties to a solution.
For further advice on any part wall dispute that you may be experiencing, you can get in touch with our building consultancy team here at Roger Hannah & Co. Our professional team can help to mediate the situation, as well as arrange for all of the appropriate surveys that may be needed in order to solve the issue effectively for both parties.