Section 8 of the Party Wall Act: Rights of Entry
“Section 8 of the party wall act relates to powers of entry. If the procedures have been followed, an adjoining owner may not unreasonably deny access. Entry may be forced, but subject to safeguards.”[The Earl of Lytton]
Section 8(1) provides that a building owner or anyone who represents and/or works for the building owner has the legal right to enter an adjoining owners land or building during working hours in order to execute any works under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. This includes the removal of fixtures and fittings and furniture. In addition, any action in pursuance of the works can be taken by a building owner or his workforce.
Section 8(2) provides that a building owner has the right to break into an adjoining owner’s property if it is locked up. However, this can only be done if there is a constable or other police officer in attendance.
Section 8(3) and (4) provide that a building owner who intends to pursue their rights under section 8(1) must serve a party wall notice of that intention on an adjoining owner at least 14 days before entry is required. However, in an emergency situation, the Act gives a building owner a little leeway in that depending on the emergency any notice of intention to enter must be reasonably practicable.
Section 8(5) provides that an appointed surveyor may enter and stay on the adjoining owners land during normal working hours to carry out any of the objectives s/he was appointed to do. For example, a schedule of conditions or an inspection of executed works.
Here at Icon Surveyors, we offer 30 minutes of FREE impartial Party Wall Advice. Should any part of this section of the Act affect you, please feel free to contact us, we would be more than happy to help!
Note*: This blog is not an authoritative interpretation of the law; it is intended as a general guide.