With the Party Wall Act etc 1996
time waits for no-one,
be they the building owner
or the adjoining owner
for a Section 2 Party Wall Notice


If you would like to talk to a surveyor about party walls, schedules of conditions, structural surveys or building surveys on the property or any disputes that you may have with the builders, boundary disputes, etc, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat.

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The Party Wall etc Act 1996

We feel that one of the very best things about The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is that it sets out time limits in which the parties involved (the building owner and the adjoining owner or owners and their respective party wall surveyors) need to act. This practice, with regard to the Party Wall Act, has given time limits for which makes it one of the best parts of the Act and it does mean that the party has rights that are time limited, which means they can proceed on regardless of whether you get a response or no response.

Working on existing Party Walls, Section 2 of the Party Wall etc Act 1996

Please see our other articles on party walls if you wish to have a definition of what a party wall is.

The building owner gets additional rights going beyond ordinary common law when working on an existing party wall if all adjoining owners are given notice in writing following a specific format, giving at least two month's notice.

party walls

Specific format for a party wall notice

The specific format for a party wall notice is that it must include:-

      The building owner's name and address

      The address of the building to be worked upon

      A full description of what work is proposed, drawings may be helpful, there may be a method statement.

      When the work is proposed to start

      Finally, of course, you need to date and sign it.

We should add that the notice is only valid for one year, therefore you shouldn't serve it too far in advance, although, in our experience, with domestic properties party wall matters tend to be very much a last minute thing.

Adjoining owner's 14 day response, three options

The adjoining owner or adjoining owners can respond in one of three ways:-

      Give consent in writing within 14 days

      Give dissent in writing within 14 days

      Do nothing within 14 days!

14 days has gone by, what happens next?

party walls

If after 14 days the adjoining owner(s) has done nothing then a dispute is regarded as having arisen. We would, however, make the point that you really should have been round to see the adjoining owner or the adjoining owners surveyors just to establish what is likely to happen before it happens! We are very keen on cups of tea meetings, we find particularly with domestic situations, but also with commercial it is a really good way to take things forward without misunderstandings or minimal misunderstandings.

One month notice required

An adjoining owner or their agent (note we haven't said a party wall surveyor) who receives a notice may within month serve a counter-notice, setting out additions or modifications which they wish to have carried out. In turn, the adjoining owner(s) who receive such a notice do need to advise within 14 days that they are going to give a counter-notice.

Building owner's 14 days response to the counter-notice served against them

Equally, if a counter-notice is received from the adjoining owner the building owner has to respond within 14 days.

You may be interested in these Party Wall articles too:

What is a Third Surveyor in Relation to Party Wall Act etc 1996?
Party Wall Basics
Time Waits for no-one, be they the Building Owner or Adjoining Owner, Section 1 of Party Wall etc Act 1996

Independent building surveyors expert advice

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor who specialises in party wall work please contact us on 0800 298 5424 for a surveyor to give you a call back. We are also happy to carry out third surveyor work. If you require a structural survey, a schedule of condition, a dilapidations report, specific defects report, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact us.

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilaps Website at www.DilapsHelp.com and for Disputes and anything else relating to party wall matters please go to our Disputes Help website www.DisputesHelp.com .

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The contents of the website are for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.

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