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Party Walls

Our Property Litigation team are experts in relation to party wall disputes, which can sometimes be overlooked by neighbours, people carrying out work and indeed, many people do not know of the existence of the legislation which protects people if their neighbour is carrying out work to a party wall.

The rules which govern work to party walls and other work carried out close to or at the boundary between neighbouring properties are set out in the Party Wall etc Act 1996 (“the 1996 Act”). Although a reasonably short, self contained act, it is complex with regard to the various definitions of party walls and with regard to the information required to serve a notice and in relation to the timing of the same.

The 1996 Act covers 3 distinct areas:

• New building at boundaries (Section 1)
• Works to party structures (Sections 2 – 5)
• Excavation or construction downwards on land adjacent to a boundary (Section 6).

 With 3 supporting sections:

• Dispute resolution (Section 10)
• Rights and offences (Sections 8, 9 and 16) and
• Compensation, conduct and provisions for payment (Sections 7, 11 – 14 and 17).

Disputes between neighbours are likely to arise both in respect of the work that is sought to be carried out, and over the minutiae of the 1996 Act, in respect of whether its requirements have been complied with.

The 1996 Act is there to protect both the building owner and the adjoining owner in the long term in relation to the works being carried out. We can advise either party on how they can afford the protection of the Act.

Our Property Litigation team can also assist in recommending and instructing an experienced and effective party wall surveyor, which can make a real difference to a neighbour’s position once an issue arises.

Contact us today to arrange a free initial telephone discussion with one of our property litigation solicitors regarding party wall disputes. Telephone Bhavani Hogarty on 01935 384987 or Ella Carroll on 01935 384984. Alternatively, submit an online enquiry and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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