What happens if I do not serve a valid Party Wall Notice?
Thursday 25th July 2019
Carl O'Boyle BSc MRICS FCIOB MFPWS
Should I serve a Party Wall Notice if I'm cutting into the Party Wall for steel beams/What happens if I don't serve Party Wall Notice for these type of works?
We were recently called into a case where such situation had occurred in W2, West London.
The Adjoining Owner had been asked to sign an acknowledgement slip for a notice which turned out later to be invalid. The Adjoining Owner then went to the County Court and got a Stop Order put on the works of the Building Owner.
This caused extensive inconvenience to the Building Owner as they had a young family and the works were only half completed, leaving the room in the attic open to the elements above. All of this happened just before Christmas 2017.
The Adjoining Owner was not very cooperative, claiming that they wanted compensation before agreeing to any further works on the attic because their roof had been damaged. Because the notifiable works had already been mostly completed there was little the surveyors could do to move the process forward.
The two surveyors could only suggest that a retrospective agreement be signed by both the Building Owner and Adjoining Owner. Unfortunately however, the Adjoining Owner did not want to sign any agreement until they had the roof fully replaced. The Adjoining Owner was complaining that the slates had deflected, though this is not known as damage as a result of builders/mechanical pressure being applied to slates, yet it was very hard to get the Adjoining Owners to see this point of view.
The attic at present is still open to the elements as there is no tarpaulin sheet wrapped around the extension. But until the Court makes a further order the works are in abeyance.
This is the sort of thing that you want to avoid during your building project, therefore it is important to serve valid Party Wall Notices at the start.
This article was written by Carl O'Boyle BSc MRICS FCIOB MFPWS. Carl is a full professional member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a member of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building for which he currently sits on the CIOB professional conduct committee and adjudications panel.
If you need Party Wall Notices to be served in W2 or the surrounding areas then please call us at our office on 0208 426 1448.