Party Wall Disputes
A party wall is a wall erected on the boundary to two
properties. It serves both. Other party structures include party
fences. The relevant statute is the Party Wall Etc. Act 1996 ("the
Although party walls can be found in any part of the country
most party wall issues and party wall disputes arise in towns and
cities. They can relate to commercial or residential property and
often arise in relation to the construction of extensions,
basements and penthouses.
If work needs to be done to or near a party wall the building
owner will usually instruct a building surveyor who has experience
in dealing with party wall issues ("a party wall surveyor"). The
party wall surveyor will advise, deal with the Party Wall Act
notice that needs to be served on the adjoining owner and guide the
building owner through the process. In most cases if there are any
problems they are resolved by the parties' surveyors.
The increasing amount of development in relation to existing
buildings, particularly in London, brings with it more party wall
issues and party wall disputes. Sometimes building owners ignore
the Act, and some only pay lip-service to it. A building owner
causing damage to the adjoining owner's property before he has been
given notice under the Act is a fairly common breach of statutory
duty. Disputes arising after notice has been given include disputes
about the appointment of a third surveyor, fees, and what can and
cannot be done under the Act.
We provide party wall advice and represent clients in party wall
disputes under the Act and in related appeals.