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All properties have boundaries; many boundaries in built up areas count as Party Walls. Party Walls have many legal and technical requirements relating to their condition and ownership. Conversely just because a boundary adjoins another property, or work is being undertaken on a neighbouring property, it does not automatically fall under the scope of the Part Wall etc. Act 1996.

The Party Wall, etc. Act 1996 provides legal procedures for works on and near to Party Walls. These procedures must be administered by independent surveyors, who act on behalf of the relevant owners of the Party Walls. The Act covers the whole of England and Wales.

J G Adair, Chartered Building Surveyor, is able to act on behalf of owners wishing to undertake work to Party Walls or to owners who have received notice of intention to carry out works on their walls. An independent stance ensures that the Act is carried out in a practical and expeditious manner for both parties. This is assisted by the building knowledge and experience that Chartered Building Surveyors are required to have.

We would note that in our experience while the Award made under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 sets out the work that can be undertaken there are frequently issues that arise which are not covered by the Act. Often these can lead to ill feeling or disputes. These issues can include matters such as right of access for the work, long term maintenance issues, implications in the design which might restrict your ability to undertake work in the future etc. Sadly, even sometimes the boundary line can be in dispute. By employing a surveyor experienced in this area of work we can identify these issues in advance and advise you on them. By clarifying them, and agreeing them with both parties, before work begins this can help avoid dispute and argument during or after the works.

We would note that the Act provides for the person undertaking the work to pay the costs of their surveyor and the reasonable costs of the adjoining owner’s surveyor.

Further information on party Walls can be found at: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/responsibilities/beforeyoustart/otherpermissions/partywall