The Party Wall etc. Act 1996
The Party Wall Act applies to all projects, where works are being carried out to Party Walls or near boundaries or where the works require foundation and excavations within 3 or 6M of adjacent structures dependent on their depth.
In simple terms the Act protects both parties;
- It protects the Building Owner (the one doing the works) by enabling him to carry out the works and recording the pre-existing condition of the adjoining owners property.
- It protects the Adjoining Owner (the owner of the adjacent building/boundary) by establishing the pre-existing condition of their property and agreeing methods of works, access arrangements, times etc.
Within the Act there are many requirements upon the appointed surveyors to ensure the satisfactory production of the Party Wall Award. There are too many to explain here, however, one important point to appreciate is the Building Owner is responsible for the fees of all the surveyors involved.
So whether you are intending to carry out works, or your neighbour is, you need to appreciate the requirements of the Act.
I have a great deal of experience with this Legislation and will advise the best way to proceed. I am a Member of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors, which gives me access to the vast depth of knowledge and support that the Faculty offer to their 600+ members, and is a great resource for sole practitioners such as myself when dealing with tricky litigious issues.
Failure to comply with the requirements of the Act as the Building Owner can have significant consequences and will without any doubt delay a project. It is therefore vital to appreciate the implications of your actions or lack of, before you start.