01803 559455 mail@aspectum.co.uk



If you are planning any works to a wall or near a boundary shared with your neighbour(s), take note of the Party Wall Act 1996

Please seek professional advice before starting any works

as this could save you the upset of a dispute with your neighbour(s), legal expenses and unnecessary build costs caused by design changes and delays to your project.


Avoid upset and potential disputes with your neighbour/s and unexpected related legal expenses and delays

Case Study #1

Mr & Mrs W (Torquay) – obtained planning and building regulations for kitchen extensions to 1930’s terraced house. Their neighbour had previously built a similar sized kitchen extension right up to the boundary and Mr and Mrs W wanted to build their extension up to this to gain the maximum size for their extension. Their builder commenced work, excavated the footings, concreted them

and commenced building the blockwork upto ground level.When their neighbour objected to the proximity of the new wall, they claimed that the Party Wall Act had been breahed. Work stopped that day and it took two years to resolve the dispute and start building work again. With the costs of surveyors, solicitors and the increases in the building costs, the failure to pay attention to the Party Walls Act amounted to over £6000.00


“A legal argument ensued and it took in excess of three years to resolve…”

An experienced and long standing building contracting company was instructed by a respected Social Housing landlord to remove dangerous chimney pots that were damaged in a storm and had worked loose from a third storey chimney stack. Due to the exposed location, open to winds off the sea and the height in excess of 16 metres it was necessary to erect scaffolding to carry this work out.

The pots were all dangerously loose, and were removed from the chimney stack that was found to be crumbling due to the age of the mortar and frost damage.

Years of water ingress into the early Victorian structure meant that the brickwork inside the roof separating the loft spaces between the property and the neighbour was in a precarious state.

Not withstanding the fact that the work clearly had to be carried out to prevent the chimney stack and party wall collapsing in a storm with potentially fatal consequences, the neighbour raised an objection to any work being carried out without his consent, claiming that the Party Wall Act 1996 had been breached as no notice had been served on him prior to the works being carried out.

A legal argument ensued and it took in excess of three years to resolve the dispute and get contractors back on site. Scaffold hire cost, legal costs and additional construction work cost the landlord in excess of £15000.00.

If the neighbour had been approached at the start of the works, by the social housing landlord, they would probably have saved £13000.00 and shared the rebuild and Party Wall surveyor costs with their neighbour.



Trevor Barfoot

Primley Lodge

190 Totnes Road







Chartered Institute Of Building CIOB (MARC)

Chartered Association Building Engineers

45 Years Senior Management Experience

Federation Of Small Businesses

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