Local NW London Architect: Importance of Party Wall Award
29th July 2010
... Comments

The Party Wall Act 1996 is a frame work in preventing and resolving disputes over boundary issues.  Anyone intending to conduct work which are described in the Act must give adjoining owners notice of their intentions.  This leglislation includes loft conversions, extensions within 3-6m of the boundary or with foundations above a certain depth.

A Party Wall Surveyor is appointed to act as surveyor and prepare an agreement between 2 or more owners.  They initially they serve a notice, outlining the intention of the owner to carry out the works to adjoing owners.  Once a notice is served, letters and responses must be received within a prescribed timetable. 


After 14 days if everything is okay by the adjoining owner, the Party Surveyor surveys the condition of the boundary, any requirements to protect the boundary, hours of working, drawings etc. are compiled and formed in to a document called the Party Wall Award.

The key benefit of this is that the condition of the boundary is documented therefore preventing the adjoing owner from claiming more damage to their own property than what it is in reality. 

The Party Wall Act shouldn't be used for is take revenge on planning appproval which neighbours weren't happy with.   Once a site has planning permission, the scheme can not be built.  Unfortunately, we've come accross projects where this is the case, the only thing this does is delay the project and spoil relationships with neighbours

For further information see http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/partywall

As architects we always advise our clients to have this in place prior to works starting, if it isn't in place, neighbours can get a court injunction to have the works stopped, and cost go in to thousands as lawyers get involved.

 Kishor Vekaria ARB RIBA APM Studio V architects

About the Author

kishor v

Member since: 15th June 2010

I'm a director of Studio V architects, my job involves turning spaces in to valuable assets. I enjoy spending time with my wife and young son.

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