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Adjoining Owner
(the Neighbour)


Adjoining Owner

You are the adjoining owner if any of the following apply:

  • You are a person or company who is either the Freeholder or has a lease for longer than one year of the property adjoining that of the Building Owner.


As a neighbour to the building works, you may be concerned with the Building Owner's works that they are proposing to have carried out.


The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 provides important rights to both you as the Adjoining Owner and your neighbour as the Building Owner.  


It allows for the Building Owner to carry out certain works providing that they comply with the provisions of the Act, whilst protecting the Adjoining Owner in instances where damage is caused to your property. 

Image by Leone Venter


By Law, the Building Owner must notify you of the proposed works that are notifiable under the Act.  

This is written communication by the Building Owner, notifying you as the Adjoining Owner of the works they propose to undertake.  

Depending on the proposed work, you may receive notice under Section 1, Section 3, Section 6, either all three or a combination of these.

If you find that the Building Owner is intending to carry out building works, but have not yet received notices, do not panic.  In the first instance, it might be worth having a simple conversation with your neighbour to find out what they intend to do, and when.  You can explain that you think notices may be required and allow them time to serve them to you.

If the Building Owner has already commenced works that you believe are notifiable under the act.  Contact us and we can guide you with the next steps.  

Image by Freddy G


As an Adjoining Owner, under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 you have the right to:

  • Appoint a surveyor to resolve any dispute.

  • Require reasonable measures to be taken to protect your property from damage and for security.

  • Not to endure any inconvenience.

  • Be compensated for loss or damage caused by certain building works.

  • Request security for expenses before the work starts, to guard against any potential loss, such as if works are not completed for instance.

Image by Monty Allen

Consent or Dissent

Once you have received the notices, you have 2 choices:

1.     Consent to the works.  This means that you agree to the proposed works and are satisfied that the proposed works will not cause damage to your property.  You must put this in writing and signed by all owner's.

This option means the Building Owner can commence works after the expiry of the notices (1 or 2 months).

If following the works, damage is caused, then the onus is on you (Adjoining Owner) to prove this.  This can be a complex situation as it relies on the Building Owner to agreeing to invoke the Act.  Without this, then the only option to resolve any dispute is through the Courts (which can be very costly).  

​2.  You can choose to dissent to the works.  This does not mean that the Building Owner cannot carry out their proposed works, but that you wish to ensure your property is protected under the Act. 

This option means the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 comes into force.

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Once you have decided to Dissent to the works, it is imperative that you respond within 14 days of receiving the notice.  

You should appoint a Surveyor.  The Act allows for the same surveyor to be appointed by both the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner, this is referred to as an 'Agreed' Surveyor.


Alternatively, you may prefer to appoint your own surveyor and this is termed as Two Surveyors.

The Surveyor will settle the dispute by making a 'Party Wall Award'.

Image by Naomi Hébert

Schedule of Condition

The Surveyor/s will attend your property to undertake a written record of the condition of your property.  The surveyor will require access to all the areas that can potentially be affected by the works.

It describes the walls, floors and ceilings, including any other parts of the property such as the garden fence and any planting. 

A schedule of condition is not a specific requirement of the Act, but it is valuable to have should your property suffer damage, as without one, it could be difficult to prove the damage is a result of the Building Owners carrying out works.

Image by Glenn Carstens-Peters

The Award

The Party Wall Award is a legal document, prepared by the Surveyor/s which sets out:

  • The works that will be carried out.

  • When and how the work will be carried out, including working hours so as to minimise disturbance.

  • Specifies any additional work required to protect your property.

  • A record of the Schedule of Condition, along with any other documentation such as Plans etc.

  • Allows access for the Surveyor to inspect the works during the process to ensure they are acting in accordance with the Award.

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