Avoiding party wall disputes
It is worth checking before buying a new property or starting an extension whether the boundary are located in the proper location according to the folio map or title deeds of your property. If you buy a property or start extension works without following the correct procedures you have the possiblity of ending up with delays and associated increased contract costs and potentially an expensive legal dispute. If you caused damage or find that your boundary walls are not agreed or clearly documented, you may end up with hefty compensation payment to the adjoining building owner and professionals.
The Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 is designed to help neighbours resolve any disputes about works on or near the party line between two properties if they themselves cannot come to an agreement. The Act allows the building owner to do works following an application to the District Court for a “works order” whilst protecting the rights of the adjoining owner. In some cases works can be carried out without first consulting the adjoining owner. If you are thinking of buying a house with possible boundary issues it is of paramount importance that you get the vendor to sort out these issues before you buy.
If you are your neighbour plan to go ahead with any construction on or adjacent to the party wall / boundary wall, always get the opinion of a party wall surveyor to check that your structure will not be damaged and equally importantly that the proposed neighbours structure will not restrict you from building adjacent to the boundary on your own property in the future.
If you are concerned about works your neighbour has carried out which has caused damage, you may need to instruct a surveyor to examine the damage in order to make sure the issue is correctly remedied.
Assuming you do need to appoint a party wall surveyor to act for you, ideally they should have specialist knowledge in this area.