When serving Notice to build a new wall situated on the boundary but entirely on his land, a Building Owner needs to serve Notice on an Adjoining Owner under section 1(5) of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

Following on from this, section 1(6) states that a Building Owner shall have the right “… to place below the level of the land of the Adjoining Owner such projecting footings and foundations as are necessary…”

It is a common misconception that this grants an absolute right to build a foundation which projects beyond the face of the wall under onto (under) the land of an Adjoining Owner’s. However, the Act is very specific and states that any such projections must be “necessary”. In our experience, there are very few occasions when such projections are necessary.

In the vast majority of cases, the foundation design can be easily altered to ensure that the Building Owner’s foundations remain entirely on his land. In rare situations this may increase the construction cost for the Building Owner however an increase in construction cost does not make the projection a “necessity”.