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The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is designed to allow Building Owners to carry out certain work on or adjacent to a boundary, a party wall or in close proximity to a neighbouring property whilst protecting the Adjoining Owner by placing obligations on the Building Owner carrying out the work. The Building Owner who is intending to carry out work is required under the Act to serve statutory notice on all adjacent owners affected by the work in terms of the Act including freehold, leaseholders and in some cases tenants.

The Building works covered under the Act include:

Section 1.       Building a free standing wall or building up to or astride the boundary of an adjacent property.

Section 2.        Work on an existing party wall that separates two properties including garden walls .

Section 6        Excavating generally to construct foundations within a specified distance and circumstance of neighbouring property

Further details of the Act explaining the most common questions raised can be found on the following website www.safety.odpm.gov.uk/bregs/walls.htm

Where the Adjoining neigbours do not want to give written consent to the proposed work the Act sets out the procedure which results in a party wall award that allows the work to proceed. The award can be agreed either by an agreed surveyor acting for both parties or two surveyors each acting for one party.

Working predominately in the London area Toleman Associates have been involved in party wall matters since first practising both in architectural and party wall surveying terms. As architects we can maximise the potential of your building project by our extensive knowledge of the Act. Considering the boundary from the early design stage is essential in order take advantage of the rights allowed under the Act whilst taking into consideration the impact it will have on the neighbouring properties both during and after construction.

Alternatively if you are carrying out work or your neighbours are we can act as your surveyor guiding you though the procedure to ensure work is carried out will the minimal opportunity of damage occurring. As a result of our experience as architects on developments involving party walls and boundaries we now work with a number of other architects from the early design stage though to agreeing awards on behalf of their clients.

If you are considering carrying out building work that may require party wall notice or your neighbours have or will serve notice on you feel free to call to discuss the issues in both architectural and party wall surveying terms