TYPES OF DISPUTE
What is the difference between ‘dispute arising’ and a deemed dispute’ within the meaning of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996?
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is invoked with the serving of a Notice. Whether that Notice is served under Section 1, 2, 6 or 10, if an Adjoining Owner dissents to the Notice then a dispute arises.
A Surveyor in accordance with Section 10(1)(a) as the ‘Agreed’ Surveyor or the two Surveyors appointed as per Section 10(1)(b) will then settle the dispute by way of an Award determining as set out in Section 10(12) (a) the right to execute any work; (b) the time and manner of executing any work; and (c) any other matter arising out of or incidental to the dispute including the costs of making the Award.
A deemed dispute happens when Notices are served and the Adjoining Owner either refuses or neglects to appoint a Surveyor within the 14 day time period specified on the Notice. It should be noted that a deemed dispute cannot arise from a Section 1 Line of Junction Notice.
Section 5 of the Party Wall Act governs how disputes arise under Sections 3 and 4 of the Act. It stipulates that ‘If an owner on whom a party structure notice or a counter notice has been served does not serve a notice indicating his consent to it within the period of fourteen days beginning with the day on which the party structure notice or counter notice was served, he shall be deemed to have dissented from the notice and a dispute shall be deemed to have arisen between the parties.’
Section 6(7) governs how a dispute can arise under Section 6 of the Act and stipulates ‘If an owner on whom a notice referred to in subsection (5) has been served does not serve a notice indicating his consent to it within the period of fourteen days beginning with the day on which the notice referred to in subsection (5) was served, he shall be deemed to have dissented from the notice and a dispute shall be deemed to have arisen between the parties.’
So Section 5 and Section 6(7) are similar in that a dispute is ‘deemed’ to have arisen if an Adjoining Owner does not respond within 14 days. As such, the Building Owner may make an appointment on behalf of the Adjoining Owner. This will mean that two Surveyors will settle the dispute by way of an Award.
The circumstances by which a dispute materialises may vary but the mechanisms by which they are resolved remain the same.
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