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Party Wall Problems - Questions about the Party Wall Act

Party wall questions - retail exterior frontage
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Party wall questions - exterior of semi detached town house
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Party wall questions - garden view of residential property
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Party wall questions - aerial view of period cottages
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  • Does the party wall act change who owns a wall

    Open or Close
    No. The Act does not change the ownership of any wall, nor does it change the position of any boundary. Boundaries can still run through the centre of a wall; and each owner may technically own half of a wall.
    What the Act does do is set out clearly what rights an owner has in relation to works to a party wall and what he is obliged to do before he can exercise those rights.
  • Can I use the party wall act to resolve a boundary dispute

    Open or Close
    No. The Act does not contain any provision that could be used to settle a boundary line dispute.

    Such disputes can be resolved through the courts or through alternative dispute resolution procedures (which may be simpler, quicker and cheaper), for example mediation, decision by an independent expert or arbitration.
  • Does the Act override my other common law rights

    Open or Close
    Yes, but only in relation to works covered by the Act.
  • Can I start work before the party wall notice has expired

    Open or Close
    No, so long as the adjoining owner agrees, in writing, to the work starting earlier than as stated in the notice.
  • Can I use a wall that is not a party wall or structure

    Open or Close
    Under the Act the existing wall is not a party fence wall because it does not stand astride the boundary line between different properties.
    Nor is it a party wall because it does not separate buildings of different owners.
    If a building owner wants to build a new wall to replace the existing one, this work would be covered by the Act; and he would have to serve a notice.
    If a building owner wants to extend a building up to the existing wall, then this will not come under the Act (unless any proposed excavations will go deeper than neighbouring foundations).
    In either event, the building owner will not have created a new party wall.
    The next door neighbour has no right to use the wall as part of his proposed structure.
  • Can I build up to an existing party wall that hasn't been built against

    Open or Close
    Yes, a neighbour can make use of a party wall, if the wall has not previously been built against then he will have to pay a compensation sum to next door for using the wall, this is to reflect the cost saving made by using the all that was constructed at the expenseof next door. The Party Wall Surveyors will usually calculate and agree the figure and this will be included in the Party Wall Award or Party Wall Agreement
  • Can I stop my neighbours work because I don't like it

    Open or Close
    The party wall act grants your nieghbour various rights, providing your ieghbour is byuilding within those rights then you cannot use the party wall act to stop your neighbours building works. If you dont like the size or design then you will usually have an opportunity to object when plannig permission is sought.
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Founded by Steven Way in 1995, the Collier Stevens practice was born with the specific aim of providing client friendly, easy to understand and fairly charged professional advice.

The Practice is regulated by the RICS & is a licenced provider of RICS HomeBuyer Reports.