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West Farleigh, Kent ME15 0PE
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So when is the best time to serve a Notice? Usually as early as possible, although the greater level of information you provide with the Notice, less questions will be asked by the Adjoining Owner/s Surveyor, thus minimising their fees. We would suggest the best time is when you have prepared the necessary drawings and information needed for Building Control Approval as a similar level of detail required for both activities.
What do I do if I receive a Notice? Firstly don’t panic, the Act is there to protect your rights, while allowing your neighbour to exercise their rights to undertake some building works. The fact you have received a Notice means your neighbour wishing to follow the Act. Of course the first thing we would suggest is to contact us, however, your neighbour will have appointed their own Surveyor and it is perfectly reasonable for you to use the same Surveyor or you may appoint your own.
I have started work and realise the Party Wall Act applies, what should I do? Any works which have already been undertaken are deemed to be unlawful and therefore you should try and regularise this as soon as possible. To do this you will need to contact the Adjoining Owner and ensure they have no objections with the proposed works. As you cannot serve a Notice retrospectively, a simple letter explaining what works are being undertaken and when should suffice. If there is more work required, which is yet to start, which falls under the Act you will need to postpone these items until Notice has been served.
How long do I have to wait before I can start work? This depends upon the type of works being undertaken. For excavations, including foundations and drainage works Notice should be served at least one month prior to the planned commencement. For works to the actual Party Structure or Party Fence Wall a minimum of two moths notice is required, however in both cases you can start sooner by mutual consent.
What is a Party Wall? There are two principle types of Party Wall, in its simplest form it is a wall which separates two properties with the boundary falling somewhere within the thickness of the wall. This is known as a Type ‘A’ Party Wall. The Second type Party Wall is where the still separates two properties, but the boundary lays beyond the width of the wall, this is known a Type ‘B’ Party Wall.
A Party Fence wall is principally the same as a Type ‘A’ wall, however it separates two pieces of land in lieu of buildings.
And finally, a Party Structure is any horizontal division of a property with separate owners, e.g. the floor in a block of leasehold flats.
If the above hasn’t answered your question, or you seek further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us, either using the details below or by using the Contact page.