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Party wall disputes

Duncan Lewis Litigation Solicitors – Party wall disputes


The resurgence in home improvements and basement redevelopments has fuelled a rise in the number of party wall disputes between homeowners developing their properties and their neighbours, who naturally fear their own property may be damaged as a result of building works affecting a party wall.


Party walls serve both adjoining properties, however – and a dispute can arise between any type of property, whether commercial or residential.


Dealing with a party wall issue can be extremely complex and stressful for both parties and it is essential to seek expert legal advice at an early stage, prefereably as soon as a problem with a party wall occurs.


The Party Wall Act 1996 defines a party wall as:

  • a wall that stands on the lands of 2 (or more) owners and forms part of a building – this wall can be part of one building only or separate buildings belonging to different owners
  • a wall that stands on the lands of 2 owners but does not form part of a building, such as a garden wall but not including timber fences
  • a wall that is on one owner’s land but is used by 2 (or more) owners to separate their buildings.

The Act covers what is termed a “party structure” – which might be a wall, floor or other structure separating buildings or areas of buildings which are in different ownership, as in flats.


The property owner intending to carry out works to or near a party wall will instruct a party wall surveyor and notice will be given to any property owners affected.


Property owners whose properties are likely to be affected by party wall works should seek legal advice as soon as possible and preferably before works begin. In party wall disputes, a surveyor for the property owner affected by the works can be instructed.


Duncan Lewis property litigation solicitors have considerable experience in party wall disputes and can act quickly to protect a client’s interests.


Duncan Lewis can also advise at any stage of a party wall dispute – including where works have already commenced and damage has been caused as a result of party wall issues, including basement developments and penthouse or loft developments or extensions to a property.


Duncan Lewis property litigation solicitors can also advise on planning consents and appeals.


For expert legal advice on property litigation and Party Wall Disputes, call Duncan Lewis Property Litigation Solicitors on 0333 772 0409.


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