The Party Wall etc Act1996 20 years on: does it deliver what it promised?

Gould, christopher (2016) The Party Wall etc Act1996 20 years on: does it deliver what it promised? [Dissertation]

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This research was set out to investigate the first origins of party wall legislation and how it has developed over the years. Based upon this information the aim was to assess how successful the current Party Wall etc. Act 1996 has been in delivering what it intended. The key object of this study was therefore to establish the aims of the 1996 Act and where the Act has failed to achieve such aims, with particular focus on key issues such as disproportionate costs for surveyor’s fees and the perceived toothless nature of the Act. The methodology implemented as part of this dissertation was qualitative, whereby seven Chartered Building Surveyors with experience in the procedures of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 were interviewed. These interviews were carried out face to face using a set of semi-structured questions. In conclusion this dissertation has identified that The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 has largely failed in achieving the key aims that it intended too. Most notably in relation to protecting the interests of the parties involved and ensuring a means of dealing with party wall matters in a ‘relatively cheap’ manner. The issues, amongst various others, must be addressed via improvement / amendment of the current legislation in order to achieve its full potential and satisfy its intended aims.

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