The Party Wall Act 1996 came in to force on 1 July 1997 to govern the legal procedure to be followed in the carrying out of any works to property within England and Wales deemed, by the Act, to be ‘notifiable’. Notifiable works include foundation excavation within a specified distance of a neighbouring property, constructing new walls at or astride the legal boundary, or works to repair or modify Party Walls and Party Fence Walls.
In the event of a dispute, each building owner is required to appoint a ‘surveyor’ to act on their behalf. If those two surveyors are unable to agree, then a third surveyor is appointed to review the arguments and make a decision, known as ‘an award’. Alternatively, for minor disputes, the two owners can agree to the appointment of one surveyor only who acts in the same way reaching a decision and making an award.
We can advise you on whether the Party Wall Act applies to the proposed works on the property, issue the necessary Notices and agree the Party Wall Award with the other side’s surveyor, detailing the agreed provisions if a dispute has occurred under the meaning of the Act.
If you do not comply with Party Wall Act or follow procedures correctly you could be exposed to an injunction and your project be impacted by delays, increased costs and issues with neighbours.