Party wall disputes

Shared walls that separate land or buildings – such as semi-detached or terraced houses – and are owned by different parties are known as party walls. A party wall may either straddle a boundary or may stand wholly on one owner’s land but be used to separate buildings owned by other people.

Party walls are a frequent cause of disputes between neighbours, which is why seeking the advice of our specialists is a sensible step to minimise the risk.

The Party Wall Act 1996 contains various regulations designed to help prevent disputes occurring. These include a requirement to inform all neighbours by serving the requisite notice at least two months in advance before the planned starting date when you intend to carry out any structural work, including:

  • Cutting into the wall
  • Inserting a damp proof course
  • Raising a party wall
  • Demolishing and rebuilding a party wall
  • Excavating foundations.

Minor work such as re-plastering, installing shelving, installing, or replacing electrical wiring or putting in electrical sockets are not covered by this requirement.

It is important to note that the notice is only valid for a year, so it must not be served too long before the planned starting date.

Neighbours then have 14 days to object or provide written agreement on the basis that time limits, compensation and temporary protection are put in place.

In the most serious cases, we can advise and assist in preventing the building work taking place but we understand that most people want to minimise the cost and time involved in resolving a dispute and we aim to assist clients in settling matters quickly and constructively.

For more information on our party wall disputes services, please contact us.

Meet the expert(s)

Talk to an expert today

Our specialist team of lawyers have the experience and approach you need. Call us on +44 (0) 20 7240 0521.

Get in Touch