What is The Party Wall Act?

The Party Wall Act is an act of parliament which came into force in 1997 and covers England and Wales. The Act grants certain rights to building owners to carry out works which may affect neighbouring properties. It also provides protection to neighbours who may have concerns about works being carried out close to their property.

Essentially, the Act provides a framework for amicably preventing and resolving disputes between neighbours relating to certain types of building works. There are three types of building works which fall under the scope of the Act:
1 – New walls astride or on the line of boundary.
2 – Works to an existing party wall.
3 – Excavations within three or six metres of a property which are deeper than the neighbouring foundations.

If a building owner wishes to carry out any of these works, they must inform adjoining owners in writing by serving a valid party wall notice. Once a party wall notice has been served, the adjoining owner can consent or dissent. If they consent, the building owner is free to commence works.

If they dissent, a dispute is deemed to have occurred under the Act and party wall surveyors then act for each owner to agree a party wall award. Once an award is agreed, the building owner can commence works. It is important to note that adjoining owners cannot use the Party Wall Act to prevent a building owner from carrying out works they have a right to undertake. Please contact Silver Grey Associates for more information on how we may assist you with party wall matters.

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Silver Grey Associates Ltd