The Party Wall Act 1996

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 came into effect in England and Wales on the 1st July 2997. The Act offers a framework for preventing or resolving disputes involving boundary walls, excavations close to neighbour buildings, party walls, and party constructions. Anyone planning to carry out work of the kinds listed in the Act must notify adjoining owners in writing before beginning any work. Even property owned by the Crown, the Government, and Local Authorities are subject to the Act. Even if the anticipated work won’t go beyond the party wall’s center line, a notice is still required under section 2 of the Act where it involves an existing party wall.

Adjoining Owners have the option of accepting the building owner’s suggestions or working out a different plan of action with the building owner. in their approach and timing. It is always preferable to have a written agreement with the owner(s) of any adjacent properties. If the Adjoining Owner has not provided written consent within fourteen days of receiving a written notice served under the Act, a dispute may arise regarding a new party wall or party fence wall under Section 1, works to an existing party wall under Section 2,
or an excavation under Section 6. Section 10 of the Act also provides guidance for a surveyor or surveyors to settle the issue as part of a dispute-resolution process.

What is covered by the act?

Work can be classified under more than one of the aforementioned headings and involve many kinds of buildings and structures, such as homes, garages, and office buildings.

Anyone planning to work on or atop the boundary is required by law on a party wall or carry out specific excavations next to the buildings or structures of an adjacent neighbour must notify the neighbouring owners of their plans.

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