Our neighbours’ furniture is being moved out piece by piece, which suggests they are moving out ahead of work starting to their property rather than holidaying somewhere. However, we have had no official notification. We’re due to go away ourselves in a few days and are worried that the party wall notice might arrive while we are on holiday. Is there anything we can do?
From the date notice is served you will have 14 days to confirm your consent – if you do not respond (because you are away) you will be deemed to have dissented and must appoint a surveyor. Following the deemed dissent, your neighbour is obliged to write to you again requesting that you provide surveyor’s details within a further 10 days. So that’s 14 days + 10 days (+ 2 days for each stage if documents sere served by post) – you don’t say how long you will be away for but if it is longer that 24 days I’d suggest that you either provide your neighbour with an email address for service or nominate someone to receive the notice on your behalf (possibly the surveyor that you intend to appoint).
If you do fail to respond or provide surveyor’s details when requested your neighbour still cannot just proceed with the works – they will have to appoint a surveyor to act for you (not the same surveyor that they have appointed). That surveyor should act no differently to how they would if you’d chosen them yourself.