Party Walls The New Law
Authors: Stephen Bickford-Smith
and Colin Sydenham
Background: Stephen Bickford-Smith:
Barrister and Arbitrator, specialising in
property and construction
Colin Sydenham: Barrister
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First of all, to be fair, this is a book that we have had in our collection for many years. The book that we are reviewing was published in 1997, when The Party Wall etc Act 1996 was very new. Nevertheless, it was one of our original reference books on party wall matters and we felt it worth reviewing.
We found this a very readable book, albeit that we had a good knowledge of party walls back in 1996. We feel the structure of the book is good and uses diagrams appropriately. It also has some excellent tables in the appendices, which are called the Checklists for Notices, which we have found very useful over the years, particularly in our earlier days. These days our main criticism would be that the size of the font could be larger! However, joking apart, the book is very detailed and really allows you to go into the depth that is necessary when dealing with party wall matters.
The format follows the processing of the Act, how it is used, the rights of the building owner, etc, in a logical format. It looks at each of these areas in great detail, it sets out the whys and wherefores of each section before looking at the case history. Nearly every page has separate headings on it, which enables you to find the areas that you wish to investigate further.
Whilst we believe this is fundamentally a reference document we feel that the many individual headings within each section help make this a much more readable and useable book and most importantly it also helps you find part of the book that you wish; for example we have just opened the book at chapter 8: The Award, procedures and scope, and looked at the page within and the second page is divided into five separate headings, such as qualifications of surveyors, machinery of appointment, methods of appointing and selection, agreed surveyor and party's surveyor; all very clearly set out, which for us works well.
Party Wall The New Law - Chapters
Table of cases.
Table of Statutes
Table of Statutory Instruments
Chapter 10: Rights of appeal
This is a chapter that we have rarely looked at over the years that we have been dealing with party wall matters. It identifies the 14 day period for appeal and looks at the extent of the matters which can be raised on the appeal in quite great depth, the mode of appeal, the appeal court, the time limits and the affect of the appeal. It also looks at other methods of challenging an award. It is probably not a chapter you would look at very often.
Chapter 3: Rights of building owners
This is a well thumbed section within our copy of the book. It looks at everything from the consent notice, to no consent, to a late consent, or a Section 1. It also looks at rights under Section 2, together with counter-notices under Section 4 and disputes under Section 5.
Review Upon Reflection
This has been a frequently used party wall book of mine over the years. We are not certain whether it has ever been updated, but for us it was a very good building block for our knowledge on party wall matters.
Other book reviews about Party Walls to read:
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