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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 17627
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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We have appealed against a party wall agreement that allows

Customer Question

We have appealed against a party wall agreement that allows our neighbour to build on our side of the party wall and to lead over our side. We took the appeal to the court on the fourteenth day of the party wall award on the understanding that it would me dated on that date. The court has dated the appeal on the following date. Our neighbour has decided to go ahead and build on our side because the appeal is dated on the fifteenth day after the award so they think the appeal is invalid, but the appeal is lodged at the court so we are not sure if the appeal is valid or not.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: yes, on the last day of the award. The court has dated the appeal on the day afterwards
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Normandy Surrey GU12 GDT
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We do not know if the appeal is valid dated one day after the award?
Submitted: 22 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 22 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

I apologise for any unavoidable delay, but rest assured I have not forgotten your question.

for background -

what are you trying to stop being built please?

Expert:  F E Smith replied 21 days ago.

Let me answer this as far as I am able.

I cannot comment on the validity of the appeal.

You need to remember that the Party Wall Act has no teeth. There is no penalty for non-compliance.

The idea of the Party wall Award (why it’s called an award I have no idea because it’s an agreement) is that it is an “agreement” unless there has been an argument and the whole matter has been determined which is then subject to an appeal which is where you appear to be at now.

You cannot beat the neighbour with a stick and if they decide to go ahead regardless, your only remedy is an emergency application to court for an injunction to stop the work going ahead under threat of arrest.

You need to tell the contractors that if they stop this work you will make an immediate application to court for an injunction against them in the neighbour and you will ask the court to award costs against them.

I would prepare the proceedings now ready to get them to the court.

Applying for a prohibitory (preventing) or mandatory (compelling) injunction is relatively straightforward. Just work it through a bit at a time.

There is a specific court order form N 16 A injunction application form which is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n16a-application-for-injunction-general-form

And you will also need court form N1 which is here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/form-n1-claim-form-cpr-part-7

I have no idea why some require the extra N1 form because in my opinion it doesn’t add anything to the process but if they want it, let them have it. Alternatively you could use N208, which is virtually the same as N1. The difference is that N1 is part 7 of the Civil Procedure Rules and N208 as part 8 of the civil procedure rules.

If you want to know what the difference between part 7 and part 8 is, join the queue. Part 7 is appropriate if there are lot of evidential issues but how you decide that, the majority of solicitors don't even know.

So you can use one or the other.

The court fee is GBP308

You are going to need also a witness statement in this format

Please note that the Statement of Truth at the end of a witness statement has changed. It changed quietly on 6 of April 2020.

Here is the form of witness statement on the government website which at the time of putting the link together, still had the old Statement of Truth.

https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/standard-directions/general/witness-statements

Here is the new wording: https://parissmith.co.uk/blog/guidance-signing-statement-of-truth/

it is referred to in box 6 of the N16

if there is some urgency with this you can make an emergency application and the next 48-hour is. You would need to attach a Certificate of Urgency (a letter headed as such) saying why this is urgent.

Incidentally, it would be a good idea to attach screenshots or documents, and in the witness statement you would say “a copy (or a screenshot) of the XXX is attached marked Exhibit A”. You then write Exhibit A (and so on and so forth) at the top of the exhibit.

You also need to ask the court to award costs against the other person, in your favour and in that respect you need a timesheet of everything that you have spent timewise and moneywise, including this advice, at GBP19 per hour.

The most important document is the witness statement. There is a days work in putting this together at least so start now.

It would take a solicitor half a day to get it into good shape.

I am glad to help.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

I would be more than happy to clarify anything else for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please be aware that my answer is based strictly upon the information you have given me.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close. In fact, it remains open indefinitely.

I am always happy to answer any further questions you have on any new thread in which case, please start your question with, “ For FES only”.

That only applies to new threads, not this one. You have me exclusively on this one.

Thank you.

Best wishes.

FES