Can the Party Wall Act be applied retrospectively?
When talking about ‘applying’ the Party Wall Act, Owners often mean whether they can have works agreed on by Adjoining Owners after the work has been carried out.
While there is no reference to this in the Party Wall Act, it’s a big risk to take. If the Adjoining Owners dissent (disagree with the work) matters can end up in court with the associated costly legal fees this will incur. The Courts take a very dim view in instances where the Party Wall process has not been followed.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Check with an experienced party wall surveyor before starting works. Most surveyors will happily provide some initial advice for little or no fee.
If the work you’re planning is covered by the Party Wall Act, appoint a surveyor and follow the Party Wall process. If your neighbour consents to the work you will be free to carry on, with all parties assured that matters have been properly dealt with from a legal perspective, having incurred modest fees in the process.
If your neighbour dissents, then you need a Party Wall surveyor to properly move forward with the works.