Many properties share boundaries, but in terms of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, what is the difference between a shared wall, ceiling, or even garden fence? And we discuss what works are covered by the Act, including reference to Roadrunner Properties v Dean (2003); a case that covers the consequences of apparently minor works.

Graham North, national treasurer of the party wall surveyors' group Pyramus & Thisbe, explains the protocol required for the appointment of a surveyor or surveyors, how notice of work should be served, and how an 'award' is created and what it contains – including the all-important conditions survey.

We look at the Act's remit in cases where a boundary may not be immediately obvious; for example where excavation, foundation and or piling works are required. Graham also explains the line of junction and clarifies what constitutes an adjoining owner.

About the contributor

Graham North, FRICS MCIArb is a director of Anstey Horne & Co, a practice specialising in Party Wall and Rights of Light matters.

He has updated and edited Anstey's Party Walls and A Practical Manual for Party Wall Surveyors, both published by RICS Books, is involved in the redrafting of the RICS' Guidance Note on the subject and edited 'The Party Wall Act Explained', published by The Pyramus & Thisbe Club.

Graham was awarded The Michael Barratt Memorial Medal 2007 by the RICS for his 'outstanding contribution to party wall matters, neighbour disputes and dispute resolution/ expert witness'.

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