Top 5 Tips to Avoid A Party Wall Dispute with Your Neighbour

To avoid a party wall dispute with your neighbour, here are five tips you can follow:

Communication: If possible, try and maintain an open and respectful dialogue with your neighbour whilst you are planning the works. From our experience, it always helps to inform them about your intentions, proposed plans, and any potential relevance to the Party Wall Act. It will give you the opportunity to discuss and address any concerns they may have.

Understand the Party Wall Act: Familiarising yourself with what works fall under the scope of the Act, will help you to understand your rights and responsibilities as well as those of your neighbour. This knowledge will certainly help you make informed decisions over the proposed designs, as a tweak here and there can make the difference as to whether works are notifiable or not.

Get Professional Advice: Consult with a qualified surveyor or architect experienced in party wall matters. They can provide valuable guidance on the process, legal requirements, and potential issues. Seeking professional advice upfront can save you time, money, and prevent disputes down the line.

Serve A Valid Notice: If your proposed work falls under the jurisdiction of the Party Wall Act, ensure you serve your neighbour with the appropriate notice. It must meet all the criteria set out in the Act for it to be valid. This formal notification confirms the works that you as a building owner have the right to undertake. It also grants certain rights on your neighbour, for example, the right to appoint their own surveyor and serve a counter notice should the need arise. A valid notice is essential in order for the Act to be invoked, and for this reason alone, it should be prepared by a suitably qualified and experienced surveyor. Beware of templates that purport to do the job, as often they lack the necessary information. Design information is also a crucial element of a valid notice.

Document Everything: Maintain a thorough record of all communications, notices, and agreements related to the process. Taking photographs before, during, and after the works can help establish if and when any damage occurred. This documentation can serve as evidence in case of a dispute and help resolve any disagreements that may arise.

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Party wall specialist firm based in North London
Over 30 years experience in the construction industry
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Silver Grey Associates Ltd