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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a terraced house. At the end of the garden there is

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I have a terraced house. At the end of the garden there is a continuous wall which provides enclosure for 6 houses onto the alleyway behind. My neighbor is intending to rebuild his section of this wall as it is in poor repair.. Do I have a right of support from him for my wall which may be destabilised by the works he is proposing? Is this covered by common law as the wall does not divide our two properties it abuts it.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

Are you saying that your wall is in bad condition and you do not want to rebuild it and are concerned of the effect that removing his wall will have on yours?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My wall is already 'wobbly' due to movement over the past 100 years as is the one to the south of me. If the neighbour to the north rebuilds his section the process has the potential of bring the wall down along the whole terrace so I want to know whether he needs to provide support for my wall whilst he is doing the work to his and possibly even thereafter as keying new brickwork into uneven old brickwork isn't straightforward.And to be clear I don't want to rebuild mine at this time.

Hope that answers your question.


If the wall is dangerous than you are liable to be served with a Dangerous Structure notice by the local authority if anyone reports it. It would only need to be a couple of feet high to seriously injure anyone if it fell over.

Indeed, a brick falling a few inches can break toes or fingers.

For that reason you need to be extremely careful because as you are aware of this, you may not have any defence if anyone does get injured.

I know that you did not ask about the above but I thought it essential to bring it to your attention. Your insurer may refuse to pay out if anyone is injured.

With regard to the rebuilding of the adjacent wall, even if your wall is in bad repair, he is responsible for any damage that he causes to your wall although if it fell down, because of the fact that you have failed to maintain it and it is an extremely bad condition, it is unlikely that you would get more than a small sum of money as compensation if it fell down. So there is no good hoping that when he does this work it does fall down so that you get a new wall out of it.

Any prudent builder would make sure that the adjoining wall was adequately supported if he were removing the adjacent piece. It is worth also noting that once his wall is built if yours is subsequently falls down and damages his, you are liable for that damage.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. That is very clear.

May I just clarify one other thing please? The adjoining owner is describing the wall as a party wall. is that correct and if so is it covered by the Party Wall Act 1996 and the procedures set out?

Many thanks

Jan Stockdale
It is not really a party wall unless it divides to properties so therefore we only part that his party is actually the 9 inch wide section the height of the wall at the boundary as the new word is going to be keyed in the will strictly speaking there should be a Party Wall Act Notice in respect of the join. It is a bit overkill and actually not doing it is of no effect but to be legally correct and that is what should happen.
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