The Party Wall etc Act 1996
The act came into force on the 1st July 1997 and applies throughout England and Wales.
It provides a framework for notifying work and resolving disputes in relation to Party Walls, Boundary Walls, and excavations near adjoining buildings.
It is based on the tried and tested provisions of the London Building Acts which applied in inner London for decades before the present Act came into force.
The Act describes the process that must be undertaken by anyone intending to carry out works to which the Act applies.
Notification: All Adjoining Owners must be notified of the works proposed. Notice periods vary from one month to two months dependent on the type of work being undertaken.
Consent or Dissent: Adjoining Owners may agree to the Building Owner's Proposals, or reach agreement with the Building Owner on changes in the way the works are to be carried out, and when they are undertaken. Where there is no written consent or agreement, the Act provides for the resolution of disputes.
Resolution of Disputes: The Act provides a structured approach to permit surveyors to resolve disputes between Building Owners and Adjoining Owners. The most simple solution involves the appointment of an Agreed Surveyor who assesses the rights and interests of all parties, and draws up an award.
Should the dispute be more complex, or the parties be unable to decide on an Agreed Surveyor, the Act permits each party to nominate their own surveyors who will then select a Third surveyor. The parties surveyors then draw up the Award.
The Third Surveyor may be approached by any of the parties to act as an arbiter.
ACCL as Party Wall Surveyor
It is vitally important that any surveyor appointed to deal with Party Wall matters thoroughly understands the Act and works to which it applies.
ACCL have two of the most experienced Party Wall Surveyors in the North of England:
Graham Holden MCIAT MAPM
Keith Philpott MAPM RMaPS
ACCL can advise Building Owners, Architects, Consultants, or Contractors on the specific implications of the Act. They are equally able to advise anyone who has received notice, or who has works progressing adjacent to their premises which may fall under the Act, and to ensure that their legal rights are preserved.
ACCL are skilled and able to:
- Advise Clients intending to carry out works (from simple house extensions to city centre developments) on the legal requirements of the Act;
- Prepare and issue notifications;
- Act as Agreed Surveyor;
- Act as Building Owner's Surveyor;
- Act as Adjoining Owner's Surveyor;
- Act as Third Surveyor.