I Originally Consented – Can I Still Appoint a Surveyor to Deal With the Damage?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

I was served a party wall notice and consented to my neighbour’s works which included building at the line of junction.

The works commenced in Oct 09, and remain incomplete at this time. I have suffered inconvenience for the whole of this period which has meant that I am unable to park on my own driveway or access my back garden through my rear gate. Damage was caused by excavations which the owner acknowledged but were not repaired quickly. I think there is no doubt that I have been caused ‘unnecessary inconvenience’ as defined in the act.

My questions are how do I to invoke a dispute having already given consent , which I understand I am able to do – however all the proforma notices I have seen only relate to responding to the initial notice. Is there any form of wording which should be used?

ALso, at this stage, if we do enter a dispute and appoint surveyors, what would any award made at this time cover – does it extend to compensation etc., or would that require further legal action?

Answer

Until recently it was thought that an Adjoining Owner that had consented could no longer use the provisions of section 10 of the Act to resolve disputes. That changed following the case of Onigbanjo vs Pearson.

You should appoint a surveyor (give him a copy of the original notice) who will write to the Building Owner requesting that they also appoint a surveyor so that an award can be produced dealing with the damage that has occurred. The surveyors will have the power to award you a payment in lieu to cover the damage. You should use an experienced party wall surveyor who will be aware of recent case law.