If you intend to carry out any of the works listed below, it is your duty to inform your neighbouring property of your intentions. This should be done in writing before work commences. The Act contains no enforcement procedures for failure to serve a notice. However, if you start work without having first given notice in the proper way, adjoining owners may seek to stop your work through a court injunction. An adjoining Owner cannot stop someone from exercising the rights given to them by the Act, but may be able to influence how and at what times the work is done. Adjoining neighbours must to be provided with a party wall notice. These can be downloaded and should be presented to neighbours who can consent to the works going ahead or can request an “AWARD” drawn up by Party Wall Surveyors. These costs are to be met by the building owner. The party wall act provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls. Section 2 of the Act lists what work can be done. The most commonly used rights are:
- To cut into a wall to take bearing of a beam (for example a loft conversion), or to insert a damp proof course all the way through the wall
- To raise the height of the wall and/or increase the thickness of the party wall and, if necessary, cut off any projections which prevent you from doing so.
- To demolish and re-build the party wall
- To underpin the whole thickness of a party wall
- To protect two adjoining walls by putting a flashing from the higher over the lower, even where this requires cutting into an Adjoining Owners independent building. Government info on party wall. www.gov.uk/party wall-etc-1996