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The Party Wall Act 20 - 25

New building on the boundary line between neighbouring pieces of land

20. What does the Act say if I want to build up against or astride the boundary line?

If you plan to build a party wall or party fence wall astride the boundary line, you must inform the adjoining owner by servicing a notice - see paragraphs 7 and 8. However, there is no right to build astride the line if your neighbour objects - see paragraph 22. You must also inform the adjoining owner or owners if you plan to build a wall wholly on your own land but up against the boundary line. If you start work without having first given notice in the proper way, adjoining owners may seek redress through the courts.

21. How long in advance do I have to serve the notice?

At least one month before the planned starting date for building the wall. The notice is only valid for a year, so do not serve it too long before you wish to start.

22. What happens after I serve notice about building astride the boundary line?

If the adjoining owner agrees, in writing, within 14 days to the building of a new wall astride the boundary line, the work (as agreed) may go ahead.

The expense of building the wall may be shared between the owners, where the benefits and use of that wall will be shared.

If the adjoining owner does not respond, or objects to the proposed new wall astride the boundary line, you must build the wall wholly on your own land, and wholly at your own expense. However, you have a right to place footings for the new wall under your neighbour's land, subject to compensation - see paragraph 23.

There is no right to place reinforced concrete on your neighbour's land without their express consent.

23. What happens after I serve notice about building up against the boundary line? 

You may start work one month after your notice was served. This work may include footings and foundations that extend under the adjoining owner's land.

The wall will be built wholly at your own expense and you will be expected to compensate any adjoining owner for damage to his property caused by the building of the wall, or the placing of footings and foundations.

24 What happens if there is a disagreement with my neighbour?

If there is a disagreement about any work of the kinds covered in paragraphs 22 and 23, including compensation, the dispute can be settled under the procedure described in paragraphs 11 to 17.

25 - What about access to neighbouring property?

See paragraph 18.

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