Party Wall etc. Act 1996

The 1996 Party Wall Act came into force on 1st July 1997.

The Act gives rights to do work to party structures subject to arrangements to protect the affected adjoining owner.  It applies to any party wall or other party structure such as garden walls, intermediate floors between separate properties.  It also covers rights to carry out excavations near to party walls, and applies to certain types of new walls or structures at boundaries.

How does it Work?

Wherever a party structure will be affected by work to be carried out to the party structure, or by excavations near to it, then there is a requirement for the person carrying out the work who is referred to as the Building Owner.  They are required to serve notice on the Adjoining Owner, within certain fairly onerous time-scales, setting out the proposals for the building work.  In considering a response to a notice, there are clear guidelines in the Act setting down just what the Adjoining Owners can or cannot require.

If the adjoining owner does not consent in writing within 14 days of the notice, or a counter notice is served requiring the building owner to carry out certain other works, a dispute is deemed to have arisen.

What Happens in a Dispute?

Each building owner is required to appoint a ‘surveyor’ to act on their behalf to agree and publish an award.   Alternatively, the two owners can agree to the appointment of one Agreed Surveyor who acts in the same way reaching a decision and making an award.  The award comprises details the works to be undertaken, drawings, specifications, method statements and it is recommended to incorporate a schedule of condition of the Adjoining Owners property to protect both owners.

How Can We Help?

As Chartered Building Surveyors we are the principal profession to appoint and act impartially to administer the act.  We can act on your behalf, as Building Owners, Adjoining Owners or the Agreed Surveyor.

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Sound property advice is based on years of training, hard work and passion, as well as familiarity with legislation and sound consideration. You’ll find all that and more at Grafton Building Consultancy.