1996 Party Wall
See below for more information about the Party Wall Act for Adjoining Owners
The Adjoining Owner is anyone who is an owner of land, buildings or rooms adjoining those of the Building Owner's property; which may include:
- Property Owners
- Property Investors
- Property Managers
- Local Authorities
- Housing Associations
For the purposes of section 6 of the Act a property shall be deemed to be adjoining if it is within the relevant distance even if it is not actually adjoining.
The adjoining property may have a freehold owner as well as leasehold owner(s), all of whom may be an 'Adjoining Owner' under the Act.
Where there is more than one owner of the property, or more than one adjoining property, it is the Building Owner's duty to notify all Adjoining Owners.
Adjoining Owners should note that the primary purpose of the Act is to facilitate development.
In return for rights to carry out certain works, the Building Owner (the person having the work done) must notify you (The Adjoining owner) in advance. They are legally responsible for putting right any damage caused by carrying out the works, even if the damage is caused by their contractor.
You cannot stop someone from exercising the rights given to them by the Act, but you may be able to influence how and at what times the work is done.
If you do not respond to a notice from a Building Owner concerning work to an existing party structure or an excavation, you will be deemed to be in dispute with them. In this case and in the event of a dispute concerning a new wall at the boundary, if you refuse or fail to concur in the appointment of an agreed surveyor, or to appoint a surveyor of your own, the Building Owner will be able to appoint a second surveyor on your behalf so that the dispute resolution procedure can proceed without your co-operation
It is preferable that the owners reach agreement between themselves wherever possible without the need to activate the dispute resolution procedure.
You do not lose any of your rights by agreeing to the intended works described in the Building Owner's notice. Agreement to the intended works simply signifies that, at this point in time, there is nothing in dispute. If a dispute arises at a later date that cannot be resolved by agreement, say in respect of damage caused, you can then activate the dispute resolution procedure
What rights do Adjoining Owners have?
Adjoining Owners' rights include the following:
• appoint a surveyor to resolve any dispute;
• require reasonably measures to be taken to protect their property from foreseeable damage and for their security;
• not to be caused any unnecessary inconvenience;
• be compensated for any loss or damage caused by relevant works;
• request security for expenses before you start work under the Act so as to guard against the risk of being left in difficulties if they stop work at an inconvenient stage.