If a neighbour is responsible for damage to your home, you’ll want to make sure they fix it fast. Maybe their tree has fallen and crushed your fence. Or perhaps water leaking from their pipes is dripping through your ceiling. As for party walls, there are strict legal procedures that must be followed. But if you’ve had a party wall notice, how can you be sure your neighbour is living up to their obligations? Or, if you’re planning the work, are you clear on your responsibilities?
Talk to your neighbour as soon as you notice the damage, or it could get worse and the repair bill more expensive. But whether a neighbour who accidentally damages your home is liable from a legal or insurance provider’s point of view depends on the situation.
The Party Wall Act 1996 sets out the procedures to follow when building work affects a party wall. The Act is there to help resolve disputes, check that the work is completed safely and legally, and make sure the structural stability of your property isn’t affected. But your neighbour might not be aware of this Act or their obligations under it.
If a neighbour damages your property, we can explain your rights and how you can prove liability. We can also guide you through what steps to take to get the damage fixed. If your property damage is due to bad weather – a gale brought your neighbour’s tree down, for instance – we can help you work out who should pay for repairs. When it comes to party walls, we can advise you if the Party Wall Act needs to be followed. If it does, we’ll help you understand your obligations if you’re planning the work, and your neighbour’s obligations if they are. We’ll: