Article originally posted: https://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2022/02/28/how-to-serve-a-party-wall-notice/

A Party Wall Notice is served to adjoining neighbour(s) when a homeowner wants to carry out work on, near or off a party wall. A party wall is an adjoining wall that is shared between one or more properties. 

There are also party wall structures that can also include ceilings, floors, garden fences and garden walls. If you live in a terraced house, a semi-detached house, a town house, a flat or an apartment, then the Party Wall Act 1996 will apply to you.

Likewise, if you share a boundary with your neighbour(s) outdoors, such as garden walls or fences, even if you live in a detached property, the Party Wall Act 1996 might still apply to you. To understand whether it does or not, consult a party wall surveyor from Fabric Surveyors to help you determine whether or not you need to serve your neighbour(s) a Party Wall Notice to carry out work on shared boundaries.

If you need to serve your neighbour(s) a Party Wall Notice, then the next thing you need to understand is what needs to be included in it, who can serve it and when it needs to be served – that’s what will be discussed in this article.

What type of Party Wall Notices are there?

There are three different types of Party Wall Notices that can be served depending on the work you need to carry out on the wall or boundary itself. It might be that all three apply to your situation, but then also only one or two could apply – another reason why it’s recommended that you appoint a qualified party wall surveyor from professional firms such as Fabric Surveyors. 

The three types of Party Wall Notices include:

  • Section 1 Notice – where work needs to be done on the boundary line
  • Section 3 Notice – where work needs to be done on existing party walls or garden fences or garden walls
  • Section 6 Notice – where work needs to be done that involves excavation within 3 metres of a neighbour(s) property and/or that runs deeper than their foundations

What should a Party Wall Notice include?

It’s essential that a Party Wall Notice includes extensive details of the work that’s due to be carried out. This enables your neighbour(s) to understand exactly what’s being done and how it might affect them and/or their property. 

If a description of work is not provided, or even if it’s too vague or broad, then the Notice could be deemed as invalid and it will not apply. As such, it can be challenged and work could be halted until a sufficient Notice is given to all relevant parties.

A Party Wall Notice needs to include the following information:

  • The names and addresses of those doing the work, including all owners of the property being worked on
  • The signatures of the building owners or an authorised representative
  • The date the Notice was served or the date it was posted
  • The date the work is due to commence
  • A detailed description of intended works

As defined by the Party Wall Act 1996, the Notice needs to be served to all adjoining neighbour(s). Depending on the type of work being done, more information might be needed. For example, if excavation works need to be carried out, then the Notice should be given alongside plans and blueprints with details of the excavation depth. It must also specify whether underpinning is planned. 

However, even if excavation isn’t part of the proposed works, party wall surveyors still think it’s good practice to include as many drawings, diagrams and blueprints as possible, especially if you’re having an extension done on or off a party wall. If you aren’t sure what you need to include in your Party Wall Notice, then consult a party wall surveyor from Fabric Surveyors.

HOW TO SERVE A PARTY WALL NOTICE

 

Who should serve the Party Wall Notice?

All Party Wall Notices should be served by the building owner(s) and given to the adjoining neighbour(s). If you live in a flat or an apartment building, then you might need to give those above or below you a Party Wall Notice depending on the work you intend to do. Ask a party wall surveyor if you aren’t sure about whether or not the aforementioned step is necessary.

The benefit of appointing a party wall surveyor is that they can draw up your Party Wall Notice and serve it to your neighbour(s) on your behalf. However, their client will still need to sign the document as they;re the ones who wish to carry out the proposed works. If you wish your party wall surveyor to serve the Notice for you, first check that they’re authorised to do so before serving.

Fabric Surveyors are highly-experienced, fully-qualified chartered building surveyors with a team of professionals at the helm of their operations. With party wall surveyors on hand to help their clients with such issues, you’ll always be able to count on them to guide you through the process and serve Party Wall Notices for you. For more information about the services they have available, get in touch with a member of their specialist team today – they operate throughout Derby, Nottingham and the surrounding areas.