The Party Wall etc Act (1996) and Neighbourly Matters
The Party Wall Act is a piece of legislation which regulates construction activities on or close to the boundary between neighbouring properties, applying equally to both commercial and domestic property regardless of the value of the works.
It is fair to say that The Act is perhaps not as widely understood as the statutory instruments underpinning to planning law or building regulations.
The Act is perhaps not as widely understood as the statutory instruments underpinning to planning law or building regulations.
Whilst failure to act or misapplication of the legislation can prove to be costly, in expert hands The Act is nothing to be feared, existing to serve the interests of both parties to a construction project and avoid costly legal expenses.
Our Chartered Surveyors are experts in this specialist area of practice, with membership of both the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors and Pyramus and Thisbe Society. We offer a wealth of experience acting for both developer and neighbour, encompassing all manner of unique circumstances.
Moreover, we are happy to discuss the specifics of a proposal over the telephone on a no obligation basis, our aim being to explain the implications of The Act in a friendly, clear and impartial manner.
Speak to us if you are intending to undertake, or are adjacent to construction works which will entail:
- Building on or at the boundary.
- Works to a shared wall or structure.
- Excavations close to neighbouring foundations.
Analysis of Proposals at the design stage and service of valid notice(s)
We're always happy to discuss individual schemes with architects, designers or clients looking to commission works to help you understand your rights and obligations.
The Party Wall Act: Know Your Rights
The Party Wall Act is an ‘enabling’ act which, in certain circumstances, can provide the building owner temporary easement rights over neighbouring land.
It's beneficial to understand these rights at the design stage, to avoid situations where carefully crafted architectural drawings are later found to be unbuildable at the boundary in practice.
Understand the Legislation
The Act is a quasi-judicial process and can be thought of as the first ring of the legal ladder over matters where emotions can often run high.
As such the importance of correctly drafted and legally valid notices cannot be overstated, as DIY documentation is rarely sufficiently robust to withstand challenge.
Get in touch if you're uncertain whether The Act may apply to your proposed project or if you are concerned that your project may entail working on neighbouring land.
Acting as Party Wall surveyor and accepting appointments under The Act.
The Party Wall etc Act provides a legislative framework in which issues over Party Wall matters can be resolved. The Act seeks to protect the interests of both parties to avoid costly legal expense.
Where appointed, we are adept at resolving disputes which have arisen. This includes ensuring the validity of all documentation underpinning the process, working collaboratively to overcome issues as they arise, inspection of site, preparation of records of condition and concluding the Party Wall Award.
Navigating the Process
Speak to us If you're are intending to undertake building works on or close to the boundary; undertake works to a shared structure or excavating near to an existing structure.
Also get in touch If you have you've received a Party Wall notice from your neighbour, informing you of their intentions to undertake notifiable work.
Negotiation of Access Licence and other Agreements Between Parties
There are many circumstances outside of The Act where access to neighbouring land would assist in the buildability of a proposed construction project.
We are adept in negotiating agreement between neighbours in these situations and have a successful track record in mediating a solution, whilst understand that neighbouring stakeholders may have legitimate concerns which we are sympathetic to.
Every site and project is unique, and in some cases, there may be mutual benefits in agreeing to access. When access is possible, it's crucial to protect both parties by creating a formal document or license for clarity.
If you're undertaking building works that require access to neighbouring property, planning to place a crane on a site that will oversail neighbouring land, or if your property is adjacent to proposed works where the developer seeks access and you're unsure of your rights, get in touch.
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