Party Wall Surveying

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OVERVIEW OF THE PARTY WALL ETC ACT 1996

Section 2 is the dominant section of the Act. It permits the building owner to thicken, raise, underpin, cut into, or demolish and rebuild any party wall either because it needs repair or because he needs a stronger or higher party wall. In certain circumstances, he can reduce the height of the party wall, if the owner makes no overt use of it. The building owner has the right to cap off any projections on or hanging over, his land including projecting footings in order that he may erect a vertical wall.

In most cases especially where the work is purely for the benefit of the building owner, he will be wholly responsible for any damage to the adjoining owner's property. The building owner must also carry any flues belonging to the adjoining owner up above the new wall or building, at his expense, so as to keep them drawing, or if the adjoining owner agrees, to cap and vent them. Before he exercises any of these rights, or in certain circumstances place foundations near the adjoining owner's property, the building owner must serve notice on all adjoining owners. After serving of the notice, the building owner may exercise his rights if he receives the adjoining owner's consent in writing. The adjoining owner may serve a counter notice requiring variations to the works but this is rare. If however, after 14 days no response has been received the adjoining owner is deemed to dissent and a dispute arises.

 
 
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