When do I need to serve a party wall notice?

The party wall legislation covers works to a party wall, excavation works close to a neighbouring building and also the construction of a new wall on the boundary between different owners.

Any works being undertaken to a party wall, or in close proximity of a neighbouring building, is subject to the provisions of the Party Wall etc Act 1996.  This legislation sets out when a building owner, who is planning a construction project, is required to serve notice on their neighbour, the adjoining owner, to notify them of their proposed  works.

Any notice served in accordance with the party wall legislation needs to be done so in good time of the building works starting.  There are minimum timescales stipulated in the party wall legislation whereby the notices should be served prior to works commencing however it is always advisable to serve notices as early as possible one the plans for the works are completed.  The party wall act also sets out timescales for responses between neighbours to try to ensure that all parties act expediently thus avoiding protracted discussions which can lead to delays to the building owners works.  Early engagement of a party wall surveyor is always recommended to ensure the statutory requirements of the party wall legislation can be addressed in a timely manner.

A party wall surveyor will be able to review and assess the proposed works and advise the building owner which notices are required under the party wall legislation.  A party wall surveyor will also be able offer advice on the potential programming implications the party wall process may have on the commencement of the proposed works.

At Tim Greenwood and Associates we have extensive experience in dealing with party wall matters in accordance with the Party Wall etc Act 1996. We advise building owners on the legislation to ensure they understand the process and the party wall implications on their proposed works.