Party Wall Disputes
It is worth checking before starting your project that you get advice well in advance. If you start work without following the correct procedure you have the possiblity of ending up with delays and associated increased contract costs, potentially an expensive legal dispute, and if you’ve caused damage, almost certainly a hefty compensation payment to your adjoining owner (see case studies).
The Party Wall Act 1996 is designed to help neighbours resolve any disputes about works on or near the party line between two properties before work starts. It is a facilitative Act in that it allows the building owner to do works whilst protecting the rights of the adjoining owner.
The Act requires that a formal Party Wall Notice is served on your neighbour before you undertake any work. Before you go ahead with any construction, always get the opinion of a surveyor just to check whether the Party Wall Act applies to you.
If you are concerned about works your neighbour has done work which has caused damage and you given written consent to the works then you may need to instruct a surveyor to examine the damage in order to help you complete your claim.
Assuming you do need to appoint a surveyor to act for you, ideally they should be members of the ‘P&T Club’, an association for specialist Party Wall Surveyors.