Should your neighbour (the building owner) intend to undertake any building works which are covered by the Act, or you (the adjoining owner) have received a written notice regarding proposed works then The Party Wall etc Act 1996 will have been enacted.

The primary purpose of the Act is as an enabling legislation to facilitate development within a prescribed format. The building owners have rights to carry out building works but they must notify you in advance. The building owner is legally responsible for making good any damage caused by the building works, including damage caused by their contractors.

As the adjoining owner you can;

Agree to the works in writing, this then overrides the Act as owners can agree to any works. At this stage a schedule of condition should be commissioned to confirm the condition of your property prior to works being undertaken.
Dissent to the works and instruct the Agreed Surveyor as suggested by the building owner.
Dissent to the works and instruct your own Surveyor. In both cases the surveyor or surveyors would carry out a schedule of condition on your property and then prepare the Party Wall Award prior to serving upon all parties before works can proceed. By dissenting and enacting the Party Wall etc Act 1996 the works and liability for defects are encompassed within legislation. It is legally binding to all parties.

We can assist you by:

Providing professional advice at an early stage.
Evaluating the proposed building works and plans.
Check the validity of the notices served.
Carry out the role of the agreed surveyor if both parties agree to use the same surveyor.
Prepare the schedules of condition with the building owner’s surveyor.
Serve the Party Wall Award in line with the Act.
Impartially assess and advise if any damages occur from the works.
Monitor building works relating to the party wall.
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is legislation designed to enable the progression of building works without unnecessary delays whilst providing a legal protection to the owner’s involved.