header graphic

Basement Developments - How they effect the lives of Neighbours and How the Party Wall Act can help control the Problems

What are the Biggest Problems?

Traffic and Parking

These are the sort of comments that people make when they have lived next to a Basement Development:-

Noise and Vibration

Similarly with Noise and Vibration:-

 

Dust, dirt and debris

Similarly with dust and debris:-

Damage to Property

Similarly with Damage to Property

Drainage, flooding and damp

Similarly with Drainage, Flooding and Damp

Vermin

Similarly with Vermin:-

 

Length of Time involved

And Basement Developments seem to take a heck of a long time to build - thus prolonging the agony for Neighbours:-

 

What People think about Basement Developments

These comments came from Residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

 

Do Party Wall Agreements Work?

A major Survey was carried out recently by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and their Questionnaire provided the following Result:-

The Power provided to the Adjoining Owner under the Party Wall act is considerable and it is simply astonishing that so many basement projects are carried out without one being in place!

 

How do they Work?

The Party Wall Act 1966 provides a Building Owner, who wishes to carry out various sorts of work to an existing party wall, with additional rights going beyond ordinary common law rights.

Section 2 of the Act lists what work can be done. The most commonly used rights are:-

 

Enforcement and Obligations

The Act contains no enforcement procedures for failure to serve a notice. However, if you work is started without having first given notice in the proper way, Adjoining Owners can stop the work through a court injunction.


An Adjoining Owner cannot stop someone from exercising the rights given to them by the Act, but may be able to influence how and at what times the work is done - see paragraph 10.


The Act also says that a Building Owner must not cause unnecessary inconvenience. This is taken to mean inconvenience over and above that which will inevitably occur when such works are properly undertaken.

 

The Building Owner must provide temporary protection for adjacent buildings and property where necessary. The Building Owner is responsible for making good any damage caused by the works or must make payment in lieu of making good if the Adjoining Owner requests it.

 

Notices under the Party Wall Act

A person who receives a notice about intended work may:-


• Give his consent in writing
• Refuse to consent to the works proposed
• Do nothing.


If, after a period of 14 days from the service of a notice, the person receiving the notice has done nothing, a dispute is deemed to have arisen

 

Disputes under the Party Wall Act

A person who receives notice about intended work may, within one month, give a counter-notice setting out what additional or modified work he would like to be carried out for his own benefit, and accompanied by all necessary particulars.

 

A person who receives a notice, and intends to give a counter-notice, should however let the Building Owner know within 14 days.


If the Building Owner receives a counter-notice he must respond to it within 14 days otherwise a dispute is deemed to have arisen

 

Settlement of a Dispute

If you cannot reach agreement with the Adjoining Owners, the next best thing is to agree with them on appointing what the Act calls an "Agreed Surveyor" to draw up an "Award". The surveyor must be a person agreed between the owners to act.


Alternatively, each owner can appoint a surveyor to draw up the award together. The two appointed surveyors will select a third surveyor (who would be called in only if the two appointed surveyors cannot agree or either of the owners or either surveyor calls upon the third surveyor to make an award).


In all cases, surveyors appointed or selected under the dispute resolution procedure of the Act must consider the interests and rights of both owners and draw up an award impartially.


Their duty is to resolve matters in dispute in a fair and practical way.
Where separate surveyors are appointed by each owner, the surveyors must liaise with their appointing owners and put forward the respective owners' preferred outcome.

However, beyond that the surveyors do not act as representatives for the respective owners.

They must always act consistently with the terms of the Act to
reach a fair and impartial award

 

Summary

If your neighbour start to dig a basement that will be lower than your foundations within 3 metres of your bounadary and does not serve a Party Wall Notice you can stop him by getting a Court Injunction.

The effect of the injunction will be that if he wants to continue he well have to serve a Party Wall Notice.

As soon as you receive a Party Wall Notice all the fees of the Surveyors that will be appointed to protect your vital interest will be paid by your Neighbour.

You will have to put up with the Noise, Traffic, Dust and Disruption - but at least your house will not fall down

 

Contact Pentacon

Pentacon would be pleased to act as your Party Wall Surveyor and so If you want Pentacon to help with a Basement Project proposed by your neighbour and particularly if you have received a Notice under the Party Wall Act - give me a call and email me a copy of any Notices, photos of the building and any other relevant information.

I will provide free advice in an Email on how to deal with your Problem.

Just text or call me on 07557 966 459.

I look forward to hearing from You

 

 

Best Regards

 

will witt signature