Party Wall Matters

Statutory process of managing works close to or on a shared boundary

When building close to a neighbour, often such works are administered under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. However only specified (“notifiable”) works fall under the Act, which provides a legally binding framework for addressing possible disputes which may arise between the parties.

Early identification of Party Wall considerations can prove extremely valuable at a later stage, as the design can proceed with these in mind. Failure to adequately consider these matters early on can mean significant, avoidable risks and costs.

Common types of notifiable works would include building a new wall, cutting into or changing the height of an existing party wall (including increasing its depth for the purposes of building a basement extension), removing chimney stacks/ flues, works to party structures (for example walls or floor partitions in multi-tenanted buildings) and sinking piled foundations near to a neighbour.

The aim is to establish a mutually agreed Party Wall Agreement (Award) which sets out the terms on which the notifiable works will proceed.

GVA Schatunowski Brooks is highly experienced in dealing with all aspects of Party Wall matters, having worked predominantly on large scale, complex instructions. As a result we fully understand how to balance efficient use of a site whilst complying with the requirements of the Act.

We are also able to advise on boundary disputes, where its location is challenged between neighbours.

We have a national offering with offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle so are well placed to service regional and national projects.

We have over 40 years’ experience successfully assisting our clients with:

  • Initial strategic / pre-site acquisition Party Wall Act advice;
  • Review of Party Wall related matters during the design process (i.e. monitoring and due diligence);
  • Acting as Building Owner/ Adjoining Owner/ Agreed (Joint)/ Third Surveyor
  • Managing the Party Wall procedures process including negotiation of Awards, Schedules of Condition and Inspections;
  • Appearance at court as Expert Witnesses/ litigation support.