The Party Wall Act sets out what information a properly served party wall notice must contain, there is no standard format but many party wall surveyors use standard template forms of notice to ensure that the required information is provided. It is essential that your party wall notices are properly formed and valid.
A party wall notice should give sufficient detail and description for a neighbour to understand how your proposals may affect his building. If the description is missing or is too broad – for instance just “build extension” then the notice might be considered as invalid if challenged.
Although drawings are only required for notices served under section 6 many party wall surveyors consider it good practice to include a drawing explaining the proposed work with their other party wall notices. Drawings are mandatory for section 6 notices.
All party wall notices must be served by building owners, but they can authorise a party wall surveyor to sign and serve notice on their behalf. It is very important to make sure the party wall surveyor is authorised before he issues a notice on behalf of the building owner. A surveyor can of course prepare the notice and pass it to his client to sign and serve without such authority.
All party wall notices must:
- be in writing – avoid the temptation to have an over the garden fence “it’ll all be OK” type conversation.
- give the name and address of the building owner. If there are two owners for instance Mr and Mrs Smith then both must be named.
- be signed either by the building owners or their authorised representative.
- be dated – the date should be the delivery date if done in person or the date of posting if being sent in the mail.
- be served on all adjoining owners as defined by the Act. This can include both freehold and leasehold owners.
- give sufficient detail and description of the intended work and the date on which they want to start.
- if a notice is served under section 6 for adjacent excavation then it must be accompanied by plans and sections showing the site and depth of any excavation.
- if a notice is served under section 6 for adjacent excavation it must state whether the building owner intends to underpin, or otherwise strengthen the foundations of the adjoining owner’s building.
- if a notice is served under section 3 includes for works involving special foundations (footings incorporating steel reinforcing) include drawings showing details of those foundations.
There is no specific format for the required notices. However many surveyors use standard party wall forms and party wall notice templates. We have free templates for you to use. If you need help though please get in touch for a free no obligation quote. We also offer a fixed fee service.
(Originally published by Steven Way, 17 June 2012)