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PUBLISHED ADVICE

An explanatory guide to the Party Wall etc. Act 1996

PART ONE : THE PARTY WALL etc. ACT 1996  |  INTRODUCTION PAGE

1.   What does the Act do?

2.  What does the Act cover?

3.  What is a party wall?

PART TWO : BUILDING OWNERS

Points 4-19 : Work on existing Party Walls  (Section 2 of the Act)

4.   What are my rights under the Act if I want to do work on an existing party wall?

5.   What are my duties under the Act?

6.   What about things like putting up shelves or wall units, or installing recessed sockets, or removing and renewing plaster?

7.   Who counts as an "Adjoining Owner"?

8.   How do I inform the Adjoining Owner or owners?

9.   How long in advance do I have to serve the notice?

10. What happens after I serve notice?

11.  What if I cannot reach agreement with my neighbour on the work to be done to the party wall?

12. Who can I appoint as a surveyor in the event of a dispute?

13. What does the surveyor do?

14. Who pays the surveyor’s fees?

15. Is the surveyor’s award final?

16. Who pays for the building works?

17. What happens if the neighbours won’t cooperate?

18. What about access to neighbouring property?

19. What rights does my neighbour have?

Points 20-25 : New building on the boundary line between neighbouring pieces of land  (Section 1 of the Act)

20. What does the Act say if I want to build up to or astride the boundary line?

21.  How long in advance do I have to serve the notice?

22. What happens after I serve notice about building astride the boundary line?

23. What happens after I serve notice about building up to the boundary line?

24. What happens if there is a disagreement with my neighbour?

25. What about access to neighbouring property?

Points 26-29 : Excavation near neighbouring buildings  (Section 6 of the Act)

26. What does the Act say if I want to excavate near neighbouring buildings?

27. How long in advance do I have to serve the notice?

28. What happens after I serve notice?

29. What about access to neighbouring property?

PART THREE : ADJOINING OWNERS / OCCUPIERS

30. What does the Act say if my neighbour wants to carry out building works?

31. What do I do if I receive a Party Wall Act notice from my neighbour?

32. What do I do if I believe my neighbour is about to start work and I have not received a Party Wall Act notice?

33. What do I do if my neighbour starts work and I have not received a Party Wall Act notice?

34. What if I cannot reach agreement with my neighbour?

35. What about access to my property?

36. As a neighbouring owner, what can I do to guard against the risk that the Building Owner may leave work on the party wall unfinished?

PART FOUR : FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

37. Does the Act change who owns that party wall?

38. Can the Act be used to resolve a boundary dispute?

39. Does the Act supersede common law rights?

40. Does the Building Owner have to wait for the full one or two months after serving a notice before starting work?

41. What happens if an owner wants to build up to an existing boundary wall which does not currently form part of a building and which is wholly on their own land?

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