Further Information

 

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is a complicated area of property law and should be understood fully by both Building Owners proposing to undertake 'notifiable' works and Adjoining Owners likely to be affected by such works.  We are always more than pleased to assist members of the public and other professionals in providing initial objective, no-obligation advice in the spirit of promoting best practice under the Act.  For further guidance on the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, or any related Party Wall issues, please also click on the following:

 

The Act (The Party Wall etc. Act 1996)

Planning Portal Guidance (Party Walls & other legal issues to consider before doing works)

Party Wall Explanatory Booklet (Department for Communities & Local Government)

Party Wall Guide (Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors) 

 

 

Links

 

Visit the recognised professional bodies dedicated to The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and associated Party Wall matters of which we are members:

 

The Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors

The Pyramus & Thisbe Club

 

 

FAQs

 

What is a Party Wall?

 

In simple terms, a wall that divides two properties in separate ownership.  A Party Wall may be built astride the boundary, and is thus partly on the land of each owner ('type a'); or it may sit entirely on the land of one owner, but still separates the two properties ('type b').  A Party Wall is therefore in shared ownership; this means that certain works, deemed to be 'notifiable' under the Act, will require the Building Owner's service of prior notice upon the Adjoining Owner before works may start.  The Act details the requisite notice periods applicable in each situation. In the event of a 'dispute' in response to the notice(s), the parties must either each appoint their own Surveyor, or concur in the appointment of a single Agreed Surveyor in accordance with Section 10 of the Act.  The purpose of this appointment is the resolution of the dispute by way of a Party Wall Award.

 

Are my proposed works 'notifiable'?

 

If you are a Building Owner intending to carry out works to modify or extend your property, you should consider the nature of the proposed works in relation to the Act to ascertain whether you need to serve prior notice on your neighbour (the 'Adjoining Owner').  Whilst you may have Planning Permission and Building Regulations approval, the works may not proceed unless you have notified  the Adjoining Owner under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 on the basis:

  • You will be excavating your land to form foundations if those excavations fall within a specified distance (as defined by the Act) from the Adjoining Owner's property;
  • You will be undertaking works to repair a Party Wall or a Party Fence Wall;
  • You will be building a new wall at, or astride the boundary ('line of junction') where a wall does not currently exist;
  • You will be removing, raising, lowering or building off a Party Fence Wall or a Party Fence Wall.

Failure to serve the correct notice before embarking on 'notifiable' is a breach of statutory duty and will result in the works being deemed 'unlawful'.  This may give the Adjoining Owner grounds to seek injunctive relief against the Building Owner.  This means a court injunction may be sought to prevent any further works taking place until such time the Act has been complied with.  Legal costs may also be claimed against the Building Owner where the Adjoining Owner has successfully obtained an injunction.

 

Do I need to serve notice?

 

You are required, by law, to serve notice on any affected Adjoining Owner (as defined by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996) if your works are 'notifiable'. 

 

What is a Party Wall Award?

 

A Party Wall Award (often incorrectly called a 'Party Wall Agreement' or 'Third Party Award') is a legally binding document drafted and served by the appointed Surveyor(s) to resolve the dispute between the parties. This sets out the rights and duties of both parties with regard to the notified works and ultimately legally authorises the works.  An Award will determine which party is responsible for the cost of the works and any associated fees, including the fees of the Party Wall Surveyor(s). The Award will usually contain a Schedule of Condition to evidence the condition of the Adjoining Owner’s property prior to commencement of any works; this may be needed for later referral in determining the extent of any damage claimed by the Adjoining Owner to be a direct result of the awarded works. The Award will usually also state which party is responsible for implementing any remedial works in the event of resultant damage.

 

The Party Wall Consultancy provides expertise in this complex area of law in both residential and commercial property.  For more information on The Party Wall Consultancy, click on About Us or download our Factsheet below.

 

Is the Building Owner responsible for the fees of the Party Wall Surveyor(s)?

 

Not necessarily.  Whilst it is usually the case where the Building Owner is implementing the notifiable works for their sole benefit they will be responsible for the fees of the Surveyors acting for both sides, or the Agreed Surveyor acting alone, there are instances where liability for the fees of the Surveyor(s) may be determined against both parties.  This may be where the works involve repair of a Party Wall on account of disrepair.  It may be that the conduct of the Adjoining Owner during the statutory process is such that costs have been unreasonably incurred and it would be unjust to award those costs against the Building Owner despite the fact the notifiable works are for their sole benefit. Each case is obviously unique, but the Party Wall Surveyor(s), where properly appointed, will usually determine the liabilty and quantum of fees within the Award.

 

How long does the process take?

 

This will depend on a number of factors including the quality of the design information readily available, the complexity of the proposed works, the number of appointed party wall surveyors and the cooperation of the Adjoining Owner(s) as regards access for the Schedule of Condition.

 

It is also important to remember that the notices have minimum notice periods.  Notices for works proposed under sections 1 and 6 of the Act require a minimum of one month's prior notification.  Notices for works proposed under section 2 of the Act require a minimum of two months' prior notification.  However, complex schemes and multi-surveyor tribunals mean the Award process can often take several months from the point of notification to the service of the Award.

 

For the above reasons, it is important to plan ahead of the proposed commencement date of the building works.  A minimum of 3-6 months for the entire process from notice to Award should therefore be allowed depending on the complexity of the works and the number of surveyors appointed.

 

 

Articles

 

View our articles below:

'Neighbourly Disputes: An Effective Remedy?' [2011]
Neighbourly Disputes - An Effective Reme[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [137.2 KB]
'Going It Alone' - ex party Awards [2011]
Going It Alone - ex parte Awards (articl[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [203.4 KB]
'Is The Party Over?' - ex party Awards [2014]
Is The Parte Over? - ex parte Awards (ar[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [389.4 KB]

Factsheets

The Party Wall Consultancy - Factsheet
The Party Wall Consultancy Factsheet.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [342.7 KB]
The Role of the Party Wall Surveyor - Factsheet
The Role of the Party Wall Surveyor.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [97.6 KB]

Blog

 

Visit our Blog by clicking on the link below:

Legal Information

 

Thank you for viewing our website.  By browsing the contents of this website you agree to follow, and be bound by, the following terms and conditions of use, which govern The Party Wall Consultancy's relationship with you in connection with this website.

 

The terms "The Party Wall Consultancy" or "us" or "we" refers to the owner of the website who in this instance is The Party Wall Consultancy, a subsidiary of The Dilapidations Consultancy Limited, Registered in England & Wales No. 06424855.  The term "you" refers to the user or viewer of this website.

 

The use of this website is subject to the following terms of use:

  • The content of the pages of this website is for your general information and use only.  It is subject to change without prior notice.
  • Neither we, nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law.
  • Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be held liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements.
  • All trademarks reproduced in this website which are not the property of, or licensed to, the operator are acknowledged on the website.
  • Unauthorised use of this website may give rise to a claim for damages and/or be a criminal offence.
  • From time to time this website may also include links to other websites. These links are provided for your convenience to provide further information; they do not signify that we endorse these websites. We have no responsibility for the content of the linked websites.
  • You may not create a link to this website from another website or document without The Party Wall Consultancy's prior written consent.
  • Your use of this website and any dispute arising out of such use of the website is subject to the laws of England and Wales.

 

The company name "The Party Wall Consultancy" and the Logo are Trademarks owned by the Party Wall Consultancy and the parent company, The Dilapidations Consultancy Limited.

 

The Party Wall Consultancy is registered for VAT (VAT No. 992 7834 60) through the parent company, The Dilapidations Consultancy Limited.

 

Disclaimer

 

This website contains general information and material based on the laws of England and Wales; this principally concerns The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 which is applicable in England and Wales only.  Although we endeavour to ensure the content of this website and any links to external websites is accurate and up-to-date, we make no representation or warranty (express or implied) as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided, which is for general information only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice.  We disclaim liability for any loss, howsoever caused, arising directly or indirectly from reliance on the material contained on this website or any material obtained from any external website linked to this website.

 

Privacy Policy

 

We are committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.

 

We do not hold any information about you other than contact details submitted by way of an enquiry email in the 'Contact Us' page.  Any contact information you submit will be held by us in a database, which we manage, for reference purposes only.  Your contact information will not be passed on to any third party for any purpose whatsoever.

 

Copyright

 

The layout, design and content of this website and the company logo is the copyright-protected work of The Party Wall Consultancy.  No reproduction of the content within this website may be made without the prior written consent of The Party Wall Consultancy.  The copying and reproduction of any textual or photographic content within this website is otherwise strictly prohibited.

 

Print Print | Sitemap
© The Party Wall Consultancy - All rights reserved.