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Party Wall Act Issues - What You Need To Know

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Party Wall Act Issues – What You Need To Know

We receive frequent enquiries at Gales Solicitors about Party Wall issues, notices and enforcement. This brief guide sets out some of the key issues…

What is a Party Wall?

Party walls usually separate buildings belonging to different owners. Examples of this are interior housing walls shared between two properties and garden walls built along a boundary – known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two different size buildings often only the part that is used by both properties is a party wall. The rest belongs to the person or persons on whose land it stands.

What does the Act do?

The Party Wall Act permits owners to carry out certain specific works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. This is to ensure that the right to renovate and maintain a property is counterbalanced with the protection of other people’s premises and structural integrity. The Act is designed to avoid or minimise disputes by making sure property owners notify their neighbours in advance of certain proposed works. The Act requires that where the adjoining owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or surveyors will determine the time and way in which those works are carried out.

What works are covered by the act?

The list is rather extensive, so we recommend calling us to discuss any potential works.

What do I have to do?

If you intend to carry out any potential Party Wall Act works, you must give written notice to your neighbours at least two months before starting any works, or one month for ‘line of junction’ or excavation works. However, as above, the list here can be extensive, so we recommend calling us to discuss your plans.

Remember

It is important to remember that these rules are subject to constant review and spending a little money checking your responsibilities at the outset of any works can avoid major delay and expense later on. If you have any questions regarding Party Wall Act issues, please do not hesitate to contact our Party Wall Act expert, William Bartley, on 01202 512227.

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