My Neighbour’s Surveyor Says My Notice is Invalid

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

I am currently planning a side return extension and have served a party wall notice on my neighbour who has evoked her right to appoint a surveyor.  The problem is that the surveyor has begun by sending a “statutory notice and formal request” document. This says: that my neighbour:

Does ‘not accept the validity of the purported notice’ because

  1. Not all owners are named (I am the only owner and am named on it….unless the lenders need to be named too)
  2. The nature and particulars of the work are not properly detailed….. I described it as “Single storey extension to side return of property. The proposed works do involve special foundations and as such I attach the relevant plans, sections and details of construction.”
  3. The start date is not stated or is too soon (less than one month)…….again I clearly stated this (a date a month and ten days after serving the notice)

What would you advise i do as the surveyor is clearly being awkward and seems to be making false claims about the invalidity of my notice. The neighbour is affable and merely concerned that her foundations may be affected. It seems they are overcomplicating the process by not accepting the notice!

Answer

From what you say your notice would appear to be valid. Now that your neighbour has dissented and appointed a surveyor you will also have to appoint a surveyor so that an award can be agreed. So long as you choose a surveyor that is experienced in party wall matters he will keep the process moving along despite the Adjoining Owner’s surveyor’s apparent incompetence.