Surveyors finally allowed to use email

Surveyors acting on behalf of commercial property owners are now allowed to use email when dealing with Party Wall notifications.

The first ever amendment of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 came into force yesterday allowing notices and awards to be served to neighbours by email for the first time.

Surveyors have still been issuing notices of construction work to neighbours by post or in person.

James Audsley, the partner who heads up the Party Wall team at national building surveying firm, Malcolm Hollis LLP, said: “It has been 45 years since the first ever email was sent, but finally we are being trusted to modernise our practices.

“It will be sad to see our corporate branded carrier pigeons let go, but times are changing. I am looking forward to being allowed to get a colour television soon.”

But the use of email will only be possible where the recipient has stated a willingness to use it.

Audsley said: “Whilst in principle this appears to be good news and should hopefully help to speed up the resolution of disputes, a commercial building owner may have little or no contact with an adjoining owner prior to the service of notice, and attaining this consent may be difficult, meaning the vast majority of initial notices will still need to be served in the traditional manner.

“Assuming we can embrace this brave new world, the real scope to improve timescales comes with the service of secondary notices, counter notices and the publication of awards”

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