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The Most Important Party Walls Article You’ll Read

Sunday, 1st February 2015 | by: Justin Burns

I would estimate that at least 80% of misunderstandings relating to the The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 could be cleared up if people understood the purpose and process as outlined in these 6 steps:

  1. The building owner (the party undertaking the work) notifies affected adjoining owners of any work falling within the scope of the Act.
  2. Upon receiving the notice(s) the adjoining owner either consents or dissents; the former completes the process while the later puts the owners in ‘dispute’ under the Act.
  3. Owners in ‘dispute’ each appoint a party wall surveyor or both appoint the same party wall surveyor.
  4. Independently of the owners the appointed surveyor(s) produce an agreement known as a party wall award which resolves the dispute.
  5. Assuming the notice period(s) have expired or been waived the building owner is free to commence work once both owners are in receipt of their awards.
  6. The surveyors become involved again if any further disputes arise during or following the works such as over the cause or repair costs of damage caused by the notified works.

Focus on those 6 steps and you’ll have a better understanding of the Act than most.