Building Surveyors Kingston – Serving Notice of Party Wall matters on Multiple Owners
If you are looking to undertake some work on a party wall, then you will no doubt have been overwhelmed and confused with all the information available on line. Serving Notice for properties of multiple ownership is a complicated process, one which cannot be easily explained. Our Building Surveyors Kingston Team aim to shed some light on this subject.
No doubt you would have heard this question mentioned on numerous occasions but it has been felt that there has never been an answer to this that people have found satisfactory. The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings. But, as with all Laws, these can be interpreted differently. A party wall is the wall that divides the properties of neighbours, where the ownership of that wall is shared between them. So, a building in multiple ownership can cause confusion for all parties concerned when a Notice needs to be served. There may be several freeholders and leaseholders within the same building. Further complications may occur if the leaseholders are classed as ‘Owners’ under the Act.
‘Owner’ as defined under the Act
“A person in possession of, and otherwise than as a mortgagee, or as a tenant from year to year, or for a lesser term, or as a tenant at will; a purchaser of an interest in land under a contract for purchase or under an agreement for a lease, otherwise than under an agreement for a tenancy from year to year or for a lesser term”.
What this effectively means is that anyone of an interest greater than a year in the property is deemed to be an Owner under the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
One of the common questions asked is whether a Notice can still be served if you do not know the name of the persons living there in the neighbouring (adjoining) property. The simple answer to this is yes. If you are intending to serve a Notice on a next door neighbour (adjoining owner) for example, and you don’t know what their name is, you can call them ‘The Owners’. You will have to deliver the Notice by hand or displayed somewhere easily seen by them. Again, you would need to seek advice from a competent professional. Our Building Surveyors Kingston Team are available to provide you with additional information on this subject.
Example of multiple ownership
Just to give an example of how complex the process can be, let’s take a property that is divided into six separate flats. The building owner decides to appoint his own Surveyor; the freeholders and leaseholders decided to appoint different Surveyors; there could potentially be seven different Surveyors with respect to this Notice. It is also worth noting that all of these parties could indeed want different solutions with an outcome that an agreement can not be reached. The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is a complex Act and within this article, impossible to explain in full detail. Solutions are available for this type of situation by our specialist Party Wall Surveyors in Surrey and interpretation of the Act is all important.
Another example of the problems that can arise is that of damage caused to a party wall. Potentially, multiple interested parties and subsequent Surveyors can be involved, some of who will want to settle for cash payments so that they can do their own work whereas others will want the work to be done directly. What are the real chances of everyone agreeing on the same outcome? Very slim! There may be various ways that the problem can be solved but for this, we would recommend that you speak to one of our building surveyors in Kingston for advice.
Undertaking Party Wall matters with a local Building Surveyor in Kingston
Our building surveyors in Kingston at Prinsegate are specialist Party Wall Surveyors drawing on extensive property experience. If you are seeking to undertake Party Wall work, please speak to one of our experienced team. There is also an easy to read guide available. This is full of useful information and guidance. Please note that this booklet is not regarding information about Building Regulations and Planning Permissions; it is solely for the purpose of the Act.
Or for the full Party Wall Act, please click the link below.
There are different Notices pertaining to different types of works, which is one of the reasons it is imperative to contact a specialist Surveyor before proceeding with party wall work. Our Building Surveyors Kingston Team have experience with multiple ownership Notices and know best how to deal with this sort of situation. Multiple occupancy Notices can be an expensive process, hence the need to hire a qualified and chartered Party Wall Building Surveyor in Kingston.
Building Surveyors Kingston Summary
So, you can see from the above few examples that the Party Wall process in regard to multiple ownership that it can be a complicated process, so get in touch with Prinsegate Chartered Surveyors and one of our specialist party wall teams in the Surrey area will deal with your every requirement.
See our other blog post on serving notice: https://prinsegate.com/party-wall-survey-action-notices/