The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 gives the owner of a building the right to carry out significant works to a party wall or structure shared with a neighbour, or to carry out excavations which could potentially destabilise the neighbour’s property.

Party Wall Notices

In order to protect the rights of the adjoining owner, the Act requires that appropriate Notices be served on him or her prior to commencement of the work. If the adjoining owner is unhappy with the proposals, he/she then has the right to appoint a surveyor to safeguard his or her interests, whose fees under most normal circumstances will be met by the developer.

A legally binding Award is then produced defining exactly the extent of the permitted works and dealing with matters such as working hours, the procedure to be followed in the event of damage to the adjoining owner’s premises, etc.

Reasonable Access

The Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 is a separate piece of legislation which is intended to ensure that the owner or occupant of one building can secure reasonable access to his neighbour's land in order to carry out works of essential preservation which cannot reasonably be carried out from his own side of the boundary. The principles and procedures involved are totally different from those of the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

Whether you are considering carrying out building work which may affect a neighbouring property, have received a notice from a neighbour or developer that they are proposing works or require any party or boundary walls advice, contact Dobson & Poole for a free preliminary consultation.