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Party Wall Act - wall disputes

If you would like to speak to one of our specialist solicitors in relation to a party wall issue call us on 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you.

A ‘party wall’ is the wall between your house and your neighbour’s house if you live in a semi-detached or terraced house. The Party Wall Act 1996 regulates modifications to property which involve significant changes to this wall. Changes such as installing plug sockets, lights or shelving are not significant enough to require the use of the procedure outlined in the Act.

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Do you need a solicitor for a party wall agreement?

You generally won’t need a solicitor to assist with a party wall agreement unless a dispute arises further down the build process. If there are neighbour disputes in relation to your building work, you may wish to take expert legal advice so that you know exactly where you stand.  You may want to speak to a solicitor to check that the Party Wall Act is the right procedure for you to use.

Who is responsible for a party wall?

Both parties have joint responsibility for the general upkeep of a party wall but if building work is being carried out by one party, they will usually have full responsibility for the cost of the work being done. An exception to this may be if additional works are requested by the neighbour that benefit them or the works are to maintain the wall.

How much does it cost for a party wall agreement?

The cost of a party wall agreement will partly depend on the specific surveyor’s rates, so can vary from project to project Usually, the neighbour carrying out the work will pay these costs in full.

Significant changes

Some of the changes which are considered significant enough are:

  • Cutting into a wall to place a support beam
  • Inserting damp proof course
  • Raising a party wall
  • Demolishing part of a party wall, even if it is then rebuilt
  • Digging an excavation within 3 metres of your neighbours wall that is deeper than the foundations of the wall

The Party Wall Act can also apply to garden walls and fences and therefore any works in the vicinity of the boundary will need to be considered.

If you are considering modifications to your property which involve the party wall, Stephensons can guide you through the procedure required to ensure you comply with the Party Wall Act. Our plain speaking, down to earth approach can prevent the hassle that might result from taking on the responsibility alone, leaving you free to concentrate on the changes you wish to make.

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