My neighbour hasn’t told me about his building work.

We get a call on at least a weekly basis asking what you can do because your neighbour is doing building work and hasn’t told you – but perhaps you neighbour doesn’t have to notify you?

boundary hoarding - neighbour doing building work

Unless the work that is being done falls within the notification requirements of the Party Wall Act then there is no obligation under that Act to formally notify a neighbour. It might be good practice and it might be neighbourly but it is not a requirement.

If a neighbour is simply building close to the party wall or structure (no matter how substantive his work) and is not excavating, then a notice is probably not required.

If the work needs planning consent, then a local authority consultation letter should have arrived asking for you observations, but again there is no obligation for a neighbour to consult a neighbour personally regarding his  proposals.  Sometimes a neighbour says to us that there doesn’t appear to be building regulation approval – well that is a matter for the local authority to enforce not private individuals.

Notifiable works under the Party Wall Act are set out on sections, 1, 2 & 6 of the Act and cover works such as a building on or over the line of junction, structural works to the party wall including maintaining, raising, exposing or enclosing the wall and works such as, cutting into it to insert a steel, working on a garden wall and excavating within 3m if the excavation is deeper than the bottom of your foundations.

Need further advice?  Contact us or read our more detailed advice pages.

(Originally published by Steven Way, 8 April 2013)