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  • Writer's pictureCliff L'Aimable _Chartered Surveyor & Building Engineer

Party Wall Act 1996_ get it right !

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

1. What is the Act's purpose?

Party Wall Surveyor services
Party Wall Surveyor services

The Act is applicable in all of England and Wales as of July 1, 1997, when it went into effect. (Scotland and Northern Ireland are not covered by the Act.)

In relation to party walls, party structures, boundary walls, and excavations close to neighbouring buildings, the Act provides a framework for preventing or resolving disputes.

Anyone planning to perform work of the kinds described in the Act must notify the adjoining owners before beginning the work (anywhere in England and Wales). Even property owned by the Crown, the government, and local authorities are subject to the Act.

Even if the intended work won't go past the party wall's centre line, a notice is still required under section 2 of the Act when it involves an existing party wall.

It should be noted that a party wall may only have a portion of its length with a boundary passing through its centre line.

Owners should consider themselves joint owners of the entire party wall rather than the sole owner of a portion of it if they want to better understand the principles of the Act.

Adjoining Owners have the option of accepting the building owner's recommendations or working with the building owner to make changes to the scope, timing, and execution of the work. When a dispute arises regarding a newly constructed party wall or party fence wall under Section 1 and when the Adjoining Owner fails to provide written consent to a notice served regarding an existing structure under Section 2 or an excavation under Section 6, the Act mandates that the matter be resolved by a surveyor or surveyors in accordance with the dispute resolution _


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