A Party Wall Notice is the written document that needs to be served (delivered) to the Adjoining Owner by law for the Party Wall Act to comply.
There are three possible ways that your work comes under the Act and the relevant notices are known as:
Although the Building Owner can serve the Notice(s) themselves, they can also appointment an agent (a surveyor prior to acceptance of appointment) to serve the notice on their behalf. It is good practice to serve the Notice via recorded delivery or email (if the Adjoining Owner consents to be contacted via email) as it also provides evidence or proof that the notice has been served.
A notice should be served with the drawings you have had prepared for the work so that the Adjoining Owner can see exactly what it is you intend to do and then make an informed decision.
When you serve a notice on the Adjoining Owner, they should reply within the first 14 days. If your neighbour does respond, it might be to consent in which case you can commence works. If the Adjoining Owner ignores the notice or does not consent within 14 days, then there is automatically a deemed dispute and at that point both parties have to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor whose job it is to resolve the dispute. If the Adjoining Owner does not respond within 14 days, a further notice is sent out requesting that they appoint a Surveyor and if they do not, one will be appointed for them.
The surveyor(s) make an award which is a legal document that can only be appealed in the County Court within 14 days of being served on you. The award will have copies of the drawings, a record of condition of the adjoining property in case there is a claim of damage and also sets out the rights and obligations of the owners. An award can determine the right, time and manner of executing the work and any other matters arising or incidental to the dispute.
For more information about the different types of notices and how we can help you: