Works Affecting a Neighbour's Boundary
When considering undertaking any works near to a neighbouring boundary or wall separating your own from a neighbouring property, or if you discover that your neighbour plans to undertake such works, it is important to note that there are certain legal rights and obligations set out in the Party Wall Act 1996.
In brief, the Act provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near to neighbouring buildings.
A party wall includes, for example, a wall that straddles the land of two owners and forms part of a building (e.g. the dividing wall between semi-detached houses), a garden wall and even a wall that is on one owner’s land but is used by two or more owners to separate their buildings.
The Act covers works to an existing party wall, new building on or at the boundary of two properties and certain excavations near to the boundary of two properties.
Where any works in relation to a party wall are considered, the Act requires that those proposing to undertake the works give adjoining owners notice of their intentions following the procedure set out in the Act. The adjoining owner can then agree or disagree with the works proposed and the Act provides a mechanism for resolving a dispute if agreement cannot be reached.