construction workers

Are you planning on carrying out construction or repair work on a party wall, party fence wall, or boundary wall in the UK? If so, you need to be aware of the Party Wall Act 1996. This piece of legislation provides a framework for resolving disputes that may arise between neighbours during the construction process. From excavation and foundation work to party wall damage and access issues, there is a range of common party wall issues that can cause headaches for homeowners. In this article, we'll explore some of these issues and provide guidance on how they can be resolved under the Party Wall Act.

1. Excavation and Foundation Work

One of the most common party wall issues that arise is excavation and foundation work. This can be a major cause of concern for neighbours as it can affect the stability of their properties. If you plan to excavate near a party wall, you must serve a notice to your neighbour at least two months before the work commences. This notice must include details of the proposed work, the date of commencement, and the duration of the work.

2. Party Wall Damage

Another common party wall issue is damage to the party wall during construction or repair. The Party Wall Act requires that you take all necessary precautions to prevent damage to the party wall. If damage does occur, you must repair it at your own cost. If you and your neighbour cannot agree on the extent of the damage or the cost of repair, you can appoint a surveyor to resolve the dispute.

3. Access to Party Walls

Access to the party wall can also be a source of contention between neighbours. If you need access to your neighbour's property to carry out the work, you must serve a notice of access at least 14 days before the work commences. The notice must specify the reason for the access and the date and time that access is required. Your neighbour has the right to refuse access if they believe it will cause them undue inconvenience.

4. Party Wall Ownership

Another issue that can arise is determining the ownership of the party wall. In most cases, the party wall is jointly owned by both neighbours. However, in some cases, one neighbour may own the party wall, and the other neighbour has a right to use it. It is important to establish the ownership of the party wall before carrying out any work.

5. Party Wall Disputes

Finally, party wall disputes can arise if you and your neighbour cannot agree on the proposed work. In such cases, the Party Wall Act provides a framework for resolving disputes. You can appoint a surveyor to act on your behalf, or you can agree to appoint a single surveyor to act for both parties. The surveyor will prepare a party wall award that sets out the details of the proposed work and the measures that will be taken to prevent damage. The award is legally binding and can only be appealed in court.

Final Thoughts

Don't let party wall issues ruin your dream renovation project! With the Party Wall Act 1996 in place, there are guidelines to help you navigate the process of construction or repair work on party walls, party fence walls, and boundary walls in the UK. By understanding the common issues that can arise, such as excavation damage, access disputes, and ownership questions, you can ensure that your project goes smoothly and without causing undue conflict with your neighbours. With a little bit of knowledge and preparation, you can enjoy your renovated home without any party wall headaches.

Learn more about the Party Wall Act and how it affects you with the help of Icon Surveyors. We are party wall surveying specialists with the skills and experience to ensure your party wall issues are resolved quickly and efficiently. With expertise and a commitment to delivering results, we'll ensure your project is completed on time and to the highest standard. Get in touch with us today!

icon surveyors

Icon Surveyors

We are a team of party wall surveying experts based throughout London and the surrounding areas. Here, we share informative property survey blogs created by industry experts.



Get A Quote