Solution – At the moment, the current government guidelines don’t forbid undertaking any type of building works even as social distancing is being maintained. So, the work can proceed legally. However, access is subject to the 14-day written notice.
While the specifics depend on each individual home owner’s case, but if a party wall is in place, it would have the required safeguards such as a temporary hoarding erected for access. You will be required to remain indoors when that hoarding is being constructed, but it is a job that shouldn’t take more than a few hours.
While construction work can and will always result in noise, it is something that should be accepted so as long as the work is carried out from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday, and 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday.
Solution –The Building Regulations is responsible for your drainage system. It means the drains will need to be checked by the Building Inspector before it is signed off. If it is within 3 meters of a public sewer, they will need a build over agreement from the water authority and that authority will undertake checks of their own.
The party wall surveyor will only be able to consider how the drainage below ground will be affected by the works notified which will require excavation. There are two ways to accomplish this if it is a shared drain that’s being altered or may be altered in the long term by any damage caused by the drainage which results in ground movement.
The job of the surveyors should be to limit for how long the shared drainage is bunged as well as ensure that the pipe is large enough to accommodate the flow so as not to become an issue.
Surveyors will require the building owner to arrange for a CCTV scan of the drainage below ground before and after the work. If there is a risk of ground movement precautions would be required to protect both owners.
Solution – Yes, it can, and that’s because, from the time the notice is served, a homeowner has 14 days within which to affirm their consent. If you are served a notice which isn’t responded to on time, it will be assumed that you have dissented and so need to appoint a surveyor.
Following to the assumed dissent, the neighbour is now obliged to write again requesting that you provide them with surveyor’s details within 10 days. So, you have a total of 14 days + 10 days and 2 additional days if the documents are to be served by post. However, if you are going to be away on holiday for longer than 24 days, then you either need to inform your neighbour via email, provide them with your email address, or nominate someone who will receive the notice for you. It is possible even to nominate the surveyor you want to appoint.
Now if you do not respond and haven’t furnished your surveyor’s details as requested, your neighbour can’t proceed. They too will need to appoint a surveyor who will then act for you. The job of the surveyor would serve as if they were appointed on your behalf. But they will not be your surveyor.