When sending party wall notices it is essential that they are fully compliant with The Party Wall etc Act 1996. If a notice is not compliant then it will likely be deemed to not have been served at all if it was ever questioned in court.
In this short article we cover exactly what is required to make sure a party wall notice is compliant.
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Requirements of valid party wall notices:
1. Names of the owners
It is a requirement of The Act that the full names of the owner(s) of the properties are included in the notice. This included both the building owners carrying out the works, and the adjoining owners.
You can usually find out the names of the owners of a property by carrying out a search of the Government’s Land Registry.
If you do not know the names of the adjoining owners you can address the notice to “The Owner”, however in this case it must be hand delivered to them or fixed to a conspicuous part of their property.
2. Addresses of the properties
The notice should also include the full addresses of the properties. This includes the address of where the work is taking place, the address of the property affected by the work, and the postal addresses of the owners.
3. The date it is intended to commence work
The notices should also include the date on which it is intended to start the works. Typically you might add something along the lines of ‘at least 2 months after the date of this notice’, or 1 month if you are excavating or building on the line of junction.
4. Be signed by the building owner
The notice must be signed by either the building owner, or someone elected to sign on their behalf, for example their surveyor. All owners should sign the notice.
5. A description of the proposed works
The Act requires that a description of the proposed works is included within the notice. Depending on the type of work to be undertaken the descriptions should vary as follows:
- For work to a party wall you should provide details of what works you intend on carry out.
- For excavating within 3 metres you must provide a description of the proposed excavations, and include a drawing of the proposed excavation and foundations.
- For building on the line of junction you should describe the wall you intend on building and clearly show its proposed location.
6. Attached drawings
Further to item 5 above, you will need to include a section drawing showing the depth of the proposed excavations when you intend on issuing a notice for adjacent excavation. This is very often missed and failing to include such a drawing will render the notice invalid.
In addition to the above essential requirements, you may also want to include a covering letter to let your neighbours know a little more information about the notice and the proposed works. You may also want to include an acknowledgment form which makes it easy for them to respond to the notice.
If you include all of the information stated above in your notice then it should be valid, however if you are in any doubt you should contact a party wall surveyor. If you need a party wall surveyor, you can find one by searching our party wall surveyor directory