The Party Wall Act 1996
The Party Wall Act came into force in July 1997 and is now enshrined in English law. A party wall is defined as a dividing wall between your property and a neighbour’s property, or an excavation near to a neighbouring property. Any refurbishment proposals or construction projects involving building works to a party wall make the Regulations set out in the Party Wall Act 1996 become applicable.
If any building work you are undertaking may affect the structural strength or the support function of a party wall between two properties, or has the potential to cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall, the general premise is that notification is required in writing.
If the Party Wall Act does apply to any building works carried out by yourself or the neighbour on the other side, the process laid down in the Act needs to be correctly followed and administered. This requires a detailed level of understanding of what is (and is not!) permissible and what you must (and must not!) do. If the processes under the Act are not followed correctly, resolving the issue may cause ongoing on-site work to be stopped, resulting in extra costs being incurred with undesirable delays.
We are a team of Chartered Surveyors and Building Consultants and have been providing clients in Brighton and across Sussex with an independent and professional surveying service for over ten years. We specialise in the Party Wall Act and have a team of experts who can provide professional advice on your specific situation. With our expertise we are able to implement the necessary legal procedures to ensure your proposals are undertaken within the parameters of the Party Wall Act.
Matthew Symmonds is the founding Director of Southdown Surveyors and has a particular interest in Party Wall matters. Highly experienced in working within the parameters of this significant piece of legislation, Matthew is a member of The Pyramus & Thisbe Club, the professional organisation that promotes best practice in the application of the Party Wall Act 1996.
How can we help?
Issues and disputes can arise at any time over building projects. When it is not possible to reach a satisfactory agreement between the neighbouring parties and written consent has not been given under the Party Wall Act 1996, Southdown Surveyors can help to resolve the situation. We use our impartiality to liaise with your neighbours (and their surveyors if necessary) to ensure that under the Act, all parties meet their obligations and everyone is treated fairly. We have a great deal of experience in acting as either the Building Owner’s surveyor, where you intend to undertake the works, or as the Adjoining Owner’s surveyor, where your neighbour is undertaking works. We can provide you with peace of mind, confident in the knowledge that your project will be successful.
Helpful Information and Contact Details
It is strongly recommended that prior to any building work being undertaken you obtain pertinent advice and gain a general understanding of the processes and obligations of the Party Wall Act 1996. For assistance in this a detailed explanatory booklet is available to read here and an overview and general guidance provided by the Government can be obtained here. It is always recommended however, that specific advice be sought from a professional surveyor who is fully conversant with the Act.
Southdown Surveyors are happy to help in any way they can, if you wish to discuss your requirements for a building project or construction works that may fall under the Party Wall Act 1996, please call us on 01323 739183. Or, to arrange an appointment please contact us by filling in the form on this page. If you would simply like some general information on the Party Wall Act etc, the links below offer some helpful guidance:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/party-wall-etc-act-1996-guidance – Guidance on preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls
http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/glossary/party-walls/ – A clear, impartial guide to… Party walls