Party Wall Act Advice & Disputes

Party Wall Act Advice & Disputes

With the advent of working from home, more home owners are choosing to undertake significant work to maximise the size of their property. In doing so, the construction work that follows may start neighbourly disputes, especially when the work affects a neighbour’s property.

What is a Party Wall?

A party wall is usually the wall shared between two neighbouring properties. Examples of party walls include:

The Party Wall Act 1996

The Party Wall Act 1996 is legislation introduced to govern how neighbours are to conduct party wall disputes, so that neighbours are neither trespassing, or conducting damaging work to a shared boundary wall.

The Party Wall Act 1996 usually requires a building owner to give neighbours a prescribed amount of notice of the works they intend to conduct on a party wall; and gives the ‘adjoining owner’ the opportunity to consent or object to the works, also within a prescribed period. Works to party walls can include:

However, superficial changes to a party wall, for example hanging a picture or shelving is unlikely to be considered work governed by the Party Wall Act 1996.

In any event, and before conducting any work to a party wall, you must seek legal advice from an expert to confirm whether your project is covered by the Party Wall Act 1996. Our barristers at Mercantile barristers, have experience in providing expert advice about party walls and ensure that you are correctly identifying a party wall and following the correct procedure with your neighbour.

Party Wall Disputes

A building owner proposing to start work covered by the Act is required to give an adjoining owner notice of the works. Where an adjoining owner disagrees, there is a party wall dispute. Party Wall disputes can also occur when a building owner starts work on a party wall without their neighbour’s permission.

The Party Wall Act 1996 sets out the dispute resolution procedure for resolving party wall disputes. In summary, an independent surveyor is appointed by both parties and will make a ‘party wall award’ detailing a “schedule of condition” which describes the condition of the adjoining owner’s property prior to work commencing to ensure there is no damage; the specification of the works to be done on the party wall; timescales and; contribution to any financial losses suffered by damage to the adjoining owner’s property.

Party Wall Injunctions

Where a building owner threatens, or has already begun works without implementing the dispute resolution procedure; there is a disagreement about the proposed works proposed; or the party wall award has not been complied with, you may have to apply to the court for an injunction.

Time is of the essence when making Party Wall Act objections, therefore prompt legal advice is essential in a party wall dispute. Mercantile Barristers’ party wall barristers have experience in advising and representing homeowners and property developers conducting party wall works on their legal rights and obligations pursuant to the Party Wall Act 1996. Our services include:

At Mercantile Barristers, our Party Wall barristers have the requisite expertise in advising on all matters involving party and boundary walls and structures. If you require advice on the scope of works governed by the Party Wall Act; the next steps once a party wall notice has been served; assistance with drafting and issuing a notice before work is commenced contact our Property Litigation barristers today by filling in our Enquiry Form; emailing us at; or by telephone on 0203 034 0077 and we would be happy to assist.

How Our Process Works

Instructing our direct access barristers is the cost effective alternative to the traditional route of engaging a solicitor first.  The process is just as straightforward. Here’s how the process works:
You can call, email, or fill out an enquiry form to tell us about your case. One of our specialist clerks will speak with  you to make the arrangements to advance your case.

You can call, email, or fill out an enquiry form to tell us about your case. One of our specialist clerks will speak with you to make the arrangements to advance your case.

Our specialist clerk will match you with the barrister with the expertise to deal with all aspects of your case. They will also obtain and organise the papers the barrister will have to consider in your case.

Our clerk will agree the fee for your consultation with the barrister beforehand. The clerk will then arrange a convenient time for you to have the consultation by video call, telephone or in person.

In the consultation the barrister will assess your legal position, devise a legal strategy, and give you appropriate advice on the necessary next steps to achieve your objective. 

Fill in the form below and one of our specialist clerks will get in touch.

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