The Party Wall Act 1996, imposes a legal duty on home owners to consult with their neighbours, before carrying out works to party walls or certain boundary structures. Party walls are those that are shared between and divide two or more properties. The purpose is to encourage consultation between neighbours who then have the opportunity of assessing the condition of the party wall/boundary structure, prior to the works being carried out. Any changes/damage caused after the works are completed, can then reasonably be attributed to the construction works and can form the basis for compensation. Typically, Party Wall Agreements will be necessary for the construction of an extension, loft/cellar conversions and the removal of chimney breasts.
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