The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is the key piece of legislation, or law, related to property or land (where boundaries are concerned) owned by two or more people or “parties”.
The Act becomes applicable when proposed works affect a wall shared by two parties:
Typical works that require use of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 include:
Notices are served on the adjoining owners, the neighbours or persons who are the paper owners of the adjacent property / properties. Such Notice should be served, as required by the Act, one or two months prior to the works commencing depending upon the nature of the works proposed.
You can serve the notice yourself, although you must make sure it is valid i.e. it has been served under the relevant section, is signed, and dated.
Agreements & Consent / Acknowledgement
Having been served Notice, the adjoining owner will need to respond in 14 days. Agreement may be concluded in one of two ways:
1) By dispute leading to the draft of a Party Wall Award
2) Written consent / acknowledgement
Consequences for not invoking the rights outlined in ‘the Act’ are financially severe, it is therefore advised that if works are proposed which are applicable to the Act, then proper procedure is followed.