Party Wall Matters

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is intended to permit building works to proceed whilst protecting the both the owner and the adjoining owner. BCL use our expert understanding of the Act to guide you through the Party Wall Act efficiently and cost-effectively.

Party Wall Advice

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.

The Act regulates construction operations in three distinct situations:

  • line of junction works
  • works to party walls and certain other boundary structures
  • and adjacent excavation works.

BCL can advise on whether the Act applies to specific building operations, the circumstances in which the Act applies, and whether service of notices will be required in particular situations.

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Party Wall Notices

If you intend to carry out works that fall under the Act (such as building a new wall, rebuilding an existing party wall, excavation/digging for a foundation near a neighbour’s party wall) you must inform all Adjoining Owners in writing by way of a Notice.

The Act contains no enforcement procedures for failure to serve a notice; however, if you start work without having first given notice in the proper way, Adjoining Owners may seek to stop your work through a court injunction or seek other legal redress.

The service of primary notices (as required by sections 1, 3 and 6 of the Act) commences a statutory procedure. Any deficiency in service may render the whole procedure invalid. BCL can provide service of these Notices on the building owner’s behalf.

What is a Party Wall Award?

A dispute is deemed to arise when the adjoining owner does not respond to a party structure notice or notice of adjacent excavation within 14 days, or may in fact arise from the proposed works or their execution.

Whilst an Adjoining Owner cannot stop someone from exercising the rights given to them by the Act but may be able to influence how and at what times the work is done, by way of agreement called a Party Wall Award.

This is a carefully prepared legal document that describes:

  • What work will happen.
  • How and when it will be carried out.
  • What happens if any damages occur.
  • Who will pay for the construction work and the surveyor’s fees.

The Award is final and binding unless it is amended by the Court.

BCL will typically record a Schedule of Condition of the relevant parts of the adjoining owner’s building and append it to an award. The purpose of the schedule is to identify to what extent any claim for damage is valid and, if it is, the extent of the damage.

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Based in Surrey, we cover a wide area of locations in the South of England, these include:

Ashford, Bromley, Banstead, Camberley, Carshalton, Carshalton Beeches, Caterham, Cheam, Cheam Village, Chessington, Chipstead, Claygate, Colliers Wood, Coulsdon, Croydon, Dorking, Egham, Epsom, Ewell, Esher, Farnborough, Farnham, Godalming, Guildford, Haslemere, Horley, Horsham, Kingston, Kingswood, Leatherhead, Mitcham, Morden, New Malden, North Cheam, Oxted, Purley, Redhill, Reigate, Staines-upon-Thames, Streatham, Sunbury-on-Thames Sutton, Tadworth, Thames Ditton, Tolworth, Wallington, Walton-on-Thames, Weybridge, Wimbledon, Worcester Park.