Your neighbour can't prevent you from making changes to your property that are within the law, but they can affect how and when your works are carried out. Failure to follow the provisions of the Party Wall Act may result in the works being unlawful.
The short answer is yes; your neighbours are within their rights to refuse consenting to works.
Can a neighbour refuse a party wall agreement? Neighbours affected usually have 14 days to respond to the notice. They can either give their consent or they can refuse to agree and are then deemed to be in dispute. Your neighbours may issue a counter-notice in which they stipulate certain alterations to the works.
If an adjoining owner does not respond after being served with both Party Wall Notices, then the building owner may appoint a surveyor on behalf of the non-responsive adjoining owner as per the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall act prevents building work by one neighbour that can undermine the structural integrity of shared walls or neighbouring properties. It is designed to avert and resolve potential disputes with neighbours before building work is started.
Who enforces the Party Wall Act? The Party Wall Act isn't 'enforceable' as such but any works that go ahead without consent risk an injunction being awarded by the Courts stopping all works.
Not serving a Party Wall Notice has the potential to sour relations with your neighbour, even if you have been getting on famously. The adjoining owners may well be your key holders, delivery takers or cat sitters.
The key sections of the Act in terms of damage caused by party wall works are 7(2) and 11(8); section 7(2) confirms that an owner is responsible for any loss or damage resulting from the works (which should not be a surprise) and section 11(8) goes on to state that the adjoining owner may elect to receive a payment in ...
Official consent cannot be given unless the Party Wall Act is served even if you have the most wonderful neighbours. Verbal consent will not be sufficient, you will need to serve the Notice. After this, they will be given a two week period in which they are able to confirm their consent in writing.
Damage caused by notifiable works under the Party Wall etc Act 1996, to a neighbour's (adjoining owner) property is referred to as party wall damage and in most cases, the onus lies upon the building owner to make good or compensate for damage.
It is an offence, which can be prosecuted in the magistrates' court, for an occupier or other person to refuse entry to or obstruct someone who is entitled to enter premises under the Party Wall Act.
When do I need a party wall agreement? A party wall agreement is needed if you plan on carrying out any building work near or on a party wall. A party wall is the shared wall, usually between a terrace or semi-detached house, and divides the homes of two separate owners.
A party wall either separates buildings, or is built astride the boundary and forms part of a building. A party fence wall stands astride the boundary but does not form part of a building.
A party fence wall is a wall that stands on the boundary, but has no buildings attached to it. The classic example is a garden wall. Wooden fences are not party fence walls.
If you wish to build a wall astride the boundary, you are required to obtain the adjoining owner's consent. The adjoining owner has 14 days to give written consent.
It is not possible under the law to have a retrospective party wall agreement put in place. Though under section 10 of the Act, both neighbours will need an independent surveyor or you will need two surveyors to put the agreement together and both owners must agree to this.
Planning permission is not required to serve a party wall notice and, because you will have up to a year to start work once the notice has been served, it is a good idea to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid delays.
If a builder causes physical damage to a neighbouring property then it is possible that both the employer (who owns the property on which the builder is working) and the builder would be directly liable to the owner of the adjourning damaged property.
Yes. The Party Wall Act permits you to build up to or astride the line of junction/boundary with your neighbour, but the correct notices must be served and the correct process followed.
If it has been built on your neighbour's land, don't panic. If the wall has been in the same place for more than 20 years without legal challenge, you have probably taken ownership of the land on which the wall is built, the land up to the wall as well). In that case, your neighbour can't knock it down.
In most areas, fences can be installed between 2-8 inches from the boundary line. However, some areas may allow you to build right up to the property line.
Some believe that there is a 7-year limit on adverse possession, meaning that a squatter can take ownership of land after they have been using that land without the owner's permission for a certain amount of time.
Minor works on a party wall are usually considered to be too trivial to come under the Act. Examples of minor works include: drilling into your own half of a party wall to fix plugs and screws for ordinary wall units or shelving.
It takes three to six weeks to prepare the Party Wall Agreement. Sometimes, the procedure can take up to two months if the necessary details have not been produced.
A party wall dispute occurs when a Building Owner serves a notice that they intend to undertake building works under the Act, but the Adjoining Owner objects to the work or fails to respond to the notice. In this situation, the neighbours may each appoint a surveyor or jointly appoint a single surveyor to act for both.