Does a Long Term Leasholder Need to Serve Notice?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

Does a long term leaseholder need to issue a notice under the ACT (when it applies to construction works) to Adjoining Owners or is it the responsibility of the freeholder (i.e landlord who actually owns the building) to issue the notice on the leaseholders behalf.  Also if the Leaseholder is required to issue a notice would they have to issue a notice to the freeholder of the property (i.e its own landlord).

To clarify the situation, the Leaseholder wishes to build an extension which is within 3 metres of the adjoining property.  The freeholder for both the Leasehold Property and the adjoining property is the same landlord.

Answer

The leaseholder would be the ‘Building Owner’ in this situation and it would be their responsibility to issue any notices required. The work would be notifiable to the Building Owner’s Freeholder. What often happens is that the lease requires a License to Alter from the Freeholder for any major changes and the details of the works are dealt with in that license – the license is then issued with a consent to the party wall notice.

The Building Owner would also have to serve notice to the Freeholder of the adjoining property (even if it is the same person) if they are affected by the works.