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Services: Commercial: Party Wall Act & Boundary Disputes

Party Wall Act & Boundary Disputes

Party Wall Act

Since the Party Wall etc Act 1996 came into force, property owners both residential and commercial, in England and Wales have had a procedure to follow when building work involves a party wall or party fence wall or when excavating within three metres (and in some circumstances six metres) from the neighbouring property. The Party Wall etc Act 1996 covers all properties in England and Wales of whatever nature, including offices, shops, industrial premises, hotels, public houses, to name but a few.

The Act is designed to minimise disputes by making sure property owners use a surveyor to determine the time and way in which work is carried out. You can use an 'agreed surveyor' to act for both property owners should problems arise.

The Act allows you to carry out work on - or next to - a shared wall, and to carry out excavations for foundations close to a neighbouring property.

By the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner appointing either their own surveyors or an agreed surveyor, the Act protects both parties or anyone else who might have an interest in the properties.

What doesn't the Act cover?

The Act doesn't cover everyday minor jobs that don't affect the neighbours' half of a party wall including, for example:

  • Fixing rawl plugs
  • Screwing in wall units or shelving
  • Adding or replacing some recessed electrical wiring or sockets
  • Replastering walls.

What can we do for you?

Whether you are proposing to undertake work which includes excavating for foundations or which affects a Party Wall/Fence or building on, or close to, the boundary or whether it’s your neighbour undertaking the work we, David Cooper Associates Chartered Surveyors, can act on your behalf by serving the relevant notices required under the Act, or responding to any notices which may have been served, drawing up Schedules of Condition in respect of neighbouring and adjoining properties, preparation of Party Wall Awards required under the Act and liaising with your neighbour and/or their professional representative throughout the process.

Boundary Disputes

Boundary disputes can arise in any situation whether residential or commercial where two properties ajoin including offices, shops and industrial units, hotels, restaurants and petrol filling stations to name but a few.

It is almost always preferable for neighbours to discuss discrepancies and disagreements between themselves and, hopefully, reach some form of agreement. Minor disagreements can, unfortunately, escalate into much wider disputes where the cost of resolution becomes disproportionate to the “problem” itself.

If neighbours are unable to agree or determine the position (or other aspects) of a boundary or in circumstances where one neighbour believes that a trespass may have occurred, an approach is to call upon the services of a surveyor, either jointly or individually in an effort to resolve the dispute.

What can we do for you?

David Cooper Associates are regularly instructed to advise upon boundary issues and disputes and we are able to offer inspection and reports including preliminary reports and expert witness reports for property owners occupiers and instructing solicitors. We are increasingly required to advise and, if necessary, report formally on behalf of both parties to a boundary dispute on a joint-instruction basis in order to resolve the dispute at minimal cost.

 

With offices in Mayfair, Richmond and Harrow, we at David Cooper Associates Chartered Surveyors are ideally situated to assist property owners and occupiers in respect of the Party Wall Act and Boundary Disputes. We are regularly appointed as the Party Wall Surveyor under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and as expert surveyor in Boundary Disputes, in respect of properties in Central London, the City, the West End, Kensington, Knightsbridge and Chelsea, North-West London including St John’s Wood and Hampstead, Harrow and all surrounding areas in Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Richmond and Guildford and all surrounding areas in Surrey, and the surrounding areas in the South-East and the Home Counties. For further detailed information in respect of the areas we cover please go to Locations

For further professional advice and to discuss your needs in detail, please call
David Cooper Associates Chartered Surveyors on 0800 6124 960.

Alternatively, if you would like to contact us by other methods please click here.

Further Information and Useful Links

The Party Wall etc Act 1996
The Party Wall etc Act 1996: Explanatory Booklet

Pyramus and Thisbe Club
Layman’s Explanatory Guide
Owners Guide

RICS: Party Walls Guide

A clear, impartial guide to Party Walls

Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992

Land Registry