Party Wall Disputes

Image of narrow street with residential buildings close togetherDoes the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 apply to me?

Certain building works require that building owners serve Notice on their neighbours (adjoining owners).

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 (The Act) covers work that is going to be carried out to an existing party wall or structure, such as installing a new beam or even injection of a damp proof course. Building a  new wall or building at, or close to, a boundary line, or excavations within set distances of a neighbouring building or structure are governed by the Act.

If you are having an extension or loft conversion built the Act may apply.

If you are in any doubt, we recommend seeking professional advice on whether the works are covered by the Act.

What is a party wall or structure?

A wall between two terraced houses or flats is a party wall and a floor between two flats is a party structure.

Other types of party wall and structures exist and if in doubt we can advise you. It is not always apparent where a boundary lies or on whose land a wall or structure sits and a dispute can arise.

At Grumitt Wade Mason we provide expert services for boundary disputes.

What if the Act does apply?

The Party Wall etc Act gives owners of buildings the right to carry out certain works, but with that comes the duty to serve proper Notice. Adjoining owners may have the right to appoint a surveyor to act on their behalf. The Act sets out rights and responsibilities in relation to costs.

Adjoining owners can consent to the works. Alternatively, they may dissent and then Chartered Surveyors need to be appointed to settle the dispute. They prepare an “Award” to set out what has been agreed and responsibilities for costs.

How can Grumitt Wade Mason help you?

We would be happy to speak with you to discuss your situation. If you have design drawings we can give initial free advice as to whether the Party Wall etc Act applies.

We will make sure you meet your legal obligations while being mindful of cost and the need to move matters on quickly.

John Wade is a member of the Pyramus and Thisbe Club and regularly attends seminars to keep up-to-date with good practice and recent case law.

Are you in a dispute over boundaries?