A couple of weeks ago, we looked at one of the consequences of not serving notice under the Act- solicitors’ searches.

Another reason for serving notice is that, where notice has been given and the Act is triggered, the building owner has rights to do things which would otherwise be unlawful whilst  the adjoining owner gains the protection of the Act.

For example, where a proper notice is given, there is a right of access to an adjoining owner’s land in order to build a wall on the boundary. Without the Act being triggered access to the adjoining owners land to build the wall would be unlawful.

Strangely though, although  the word ‘reasonable’ appears  in other parts of the Act, the section that deals with access does not use the word ‘reasonable’.

We had a case last week we’re an adjoining building owner gave  notice to enter and remain on the adjoining owner’s land for a period of 9 months in order to build the side wall of a house!

Fortunately,, although there is no mention of reasonableness in this part of the Act, the Surveyors do have the right to make an award which determines the “ time and manner of executing the Works”. Surveyors are able to assess what would be a reasonable time for the building owner to have the use of the adjoining owner’s land to build the wall and to put this into a Party Wall Award. It is worth remembering, though, that this right of access is only for the Works that are notifiable under the Act – in this case, building the wall –  but not for scaffolding to remain on the adjoining owners land to enable the building owner at some later date to use the scaffolding to work on the roof or gutters.

If you are a building owner carrying out work to your property that falls within the scope of the Act or if you are an adjoining owner where your neighbour is carrying out work to their property, Alan Riley Associates can provide you with timely, economical expert advice to guide you through the requirements of the Act.

For free advice, contact Alan Riley FRICS FFPWS on 020 8704 1952 or email ariley@ic24.net