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Party Wall Matters Part 2

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  • 28-09-2018
Party Wall Matters Part 2

Party Wall Matters, Part 2

Party wall disputes are one of the most difficult part of planning application- every case is unique. We have listed some of the most common questions and answers regarding party walls, serving notices and building work.


What will happen if my property is damaged during the process? 

Basically, you will have two options under the Party Wall Act; the first option is that you allow the owner of the building to correct the damages caused by using their builders. The second option is that you receive a settlement in cash so that you can arrange for any repairs to be done. As a measure to prevent any disputes that may arise as to whether a damage occurred as a consequence of the works, normally a Schedule of Condition is prepared. This document contains all the details, however small, of the property before any works begin. 

Another concern that may arise is that, what about the dust and noise that is caused by the works? 

Under normal circumstances there is nothing much that can be done, the owner/s of the building reserves the rights to cause noise to a level that they feel is reasonable. However, in cases where the adjoining owner feels that the disturbance caused is causing serious inconveniences, a reasonable compensation is usually paid, but you must be in a position to demonstrate that the noise is causing a measurable loss. 

Is the builder allowed to come over to my side of the wall? 

If it examined and it is evident that the work cannot be carried out in any other way, the act allows the owner of the building and his agents to come on your side of the wall. The key question here would be, can the work be undertaken in a different manner? For example, considering a case of building a new wall. While people can argue that it can be built from the building owner’s side, the workers and the standard of workmanship will endure hardship. 

Similarly, it is virtually impossible to render a building finished from the builder’s side only. What the owner of the building is prohibited from doing is putting an extension of their building to your side of the wall just to convenience themselves. This, therefore, means that all the rubbish, material and excavations must be kept on their side of the wall. 

Is the builder allowed to come over to my side of the wall? 

If it examined and it is evident that the work cannot be carried out in any other way, the act allows the owner of the building and his agents to come on your side of the wall. The key question here would be, can the work be undertaken in a different manner? For example, considering a case of building a new wall. While people can argue that it can be built from the building owner’s side, the workers and the standard of workmanship will endure hardship. 

Similarly, it is virtually impossible to render a building finished from the builder’s side only. What the owner of the building is prohibited from doing is putting an extension of their building to your side of the wall just to convenience themselves. This, therefore, means that all the rubbish, material and excavations must be kept on their side of the wall. 

Until the majority of the work is completed, scaffolding is usually used to facilitate the works, and it should remain at the site of the works throughout the timescale of the works. As stated earlier, compensation to the adjoining owner can only be done where measurable loss has occurred. 

Before the award is in place, can the works commence? 

The answer is no, the building owner will be acting unlawfully if the works commence before the Award is in place. Although they can proceed with any work that falls outside the Act. For example, works on the internal strip out of a property can commence even before the main structural work is done. 

How many people do I serve a Notice on? 

As a requirement of the Act, the owner should serve a Notice on all the affected members, that is, the adjoining owners. An owner is defined as any person who has an interest in the property for a period greater than 12 months, these should, therefore, include even the leaseholders. However, in cases where the works to be undertaken is relatively small, it is not compulsory to serve a notice to all parties. An example of this case will be the insertion of a lead flashing at roof level, this will not affect owners who are two storeys below. 


To be continued in part 3.