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Section 1 notice

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We served our neighbours with a section 1 notice as we are building our single story garage right up to the boundary, wholly on our land.

From what I can find online it says-

Unlike other sections of the Party Wall Act, an adjoining owner cannot just appoint a surveyor on receiving a notice unless they can establish an actual dispute over the section 1 notice. Actual disputes are fairly limited and so it is unlikely that serving a section 1 notice will result in surveyors being appointed or a Party Wall Award needing to be made.


Now we have received a letter from their surveyor saying they dissent to our works and have appointment them to represent them and we must draw up an award now. There is no detail on why though. 


Anyone have any insight or experience?

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10 minutes ago, joe90 said:

When you say right up to the boundary does that include buildings on their side?

No we are not building anything on their side. We are building wholly on our land. There will be a new fence which will be placed on the boundary.

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2 minutes ago, joe90 said:

No I asked if you were building next to their buildings? So open garden next door? How close is any buildings or wall they have?

Ah ok. Yes their house is next door and is about 3m away. 

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How odd, why did you think it would be a party wall? I suspect that you were being asked if you were building next to, not adjacent to, an existing building as that means that it could become a party wall, at 3m that's not a party, that's practically strangers.



Walls that are not Party Walls:

These may include boundary walls (a fence wall/garden wall built wholly on one owner’s land) and external walls (the wall of a building built up to but not astride the boundary).



Edit: I've just remembered about new buildings and 3m requirements!

Edited by Galileo
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If your foundations don't encroach beyond the boundary, there's no need to serve a Notice.   Since 2018 nine judges have determined that your common law rights continue if you don't wish to exercise rights under the Party Wall Act.


And even in the days when it was thought that the Act had extinguished common law rights, the idea behind the s1 Notice was simply to give the adjoining owner warning of the intended works, and so no 'dispute resolution procedure' would be triggered.

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  • 3 weeks later...

That's not exactly correct. Your foundations can be within your own land but if they will be deeper than those of a neighbouring building within 3m then you must serve a section 6 notice. If within 6m and deeper than a line drawn at 45 degrees from the neighbour's foundations then again you need to serve notice.


However in the OP's case I'd be surprised if their garage foundation would be deeper than the neighbour's house foundations although a modern 1.0m deep foundation could be deeper than a Victorian brick spread.


It's all too easy for an adjoining owner to create an issue as they do not have to pay the costs of the party wall award, the building owner must. However, this should have been sorted out much earlier. OP did you engage with the neighbour about your works? It's being done on the boundary after all, what about damage to their property, how does the builder gain access to build the wall along the boundary? If these things hadn't been raised before then it's not surprising that they've gone down the formal route. I'd get round there and see if it can be sorted out amicably. If not then consider appointing their surveyor as yours as well (they have to act impartially) to keep costs to a minimum.

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