Yes and no.
The Party Wall Act gives the Building Owner, and those acting for him, the right to access the adjoining land to carry out work relating to the works described in the Notice and/or the Award if they cannot be done any other way.
You cannot just decide to carry out work from your neighbour’s side because it’s easier or cheaper that way.
You have no right to go next door to do work if it is not directly covered by the Act and first described in a Party Wall Notice/Award.
Remember though, even where you are entitled to gain access to the adjoining owner’s land, you must give reasonable notice. Normally 14 days but can be less in the case of emergency.
The emergency must be genuine and not simply because the builder had not planned properly.
There may be circumstances where the Adjoining Owner does not respond to your notice or allow your request for access under the Act.
Interestingly, the law says the Building Owner can break in but he must be accompanied by a Police Officer.
Gaining access by this method is rare. And it can be quite difficult to get the support of your local bobby on the beat for such a purpose. Most police stations know nothing about your rights under the Act so it can be difficult getting their help.
If do have to gain access without the express permission of your neighbour, and with the help of the police, you must ensure that you cause the minimum amount of damage, then make good and secure the premises afterwards.
Often it is best to get your Party Wall Surveyor to aid you in gaining access.
If you need advice on gaining access call us for FREE NO OBLIGATIONS ADVICE on 077300 18236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why risk it?
Karmjit Grewal MFPWS
Coburns Party Wall
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