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Access to neighbouring land

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A landowner may be liable for trespass if he or she ventures onto his or her neighbours land without permission or a contractual or statutory right.

A landowner wanting to build or repair a wall on or near the boundary, or to build special foundations to strengthen an existing structure, may wish to rely on the Party Wall Act 1996, even when the neighbour happily grants access to his land. An Award made by a surveyor under the 1996 Act gives statutory rights to both parties, which will become valuable if a dispute arises about the work or any damage caused. Following an Award the landowner can enter onto even a reluctant neighbours land on 14 days notice, exclusively to carry out the works described in the Award. In return, the Award may require the landowner to pay compensation to the neighbour for any unnecessary inconvenience caused.

If the works constitute basic preservation to the property (such as repairing buildings and looping trees) rather than party wall works and consent is not given voluntarily, the landowner can apply to court under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 for an order granting access to a neighbours land. The order will prescribe the terms of access.

Under both Acts, if the building owner does something in excess or what is permitted by the Award or Order they will be treated as a trespasser and the neighbour will be entitled to sue for damages.


Instructing us to undertake your survey or valuation couldn’t be easier. Simply pick from the drop-downs below, get an instant quote and instruct us online, anytime.

Building surveys

Marshalls offer two types of residential building survey: The Marshalls Building Survey Report and The RICS Building Survey Report.

These are our most detailed surveys and are suitable for most types and ages of property, particularly older houses.

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RICS home surveys

Marshalls offer the full range of RICS Home Surveys: The RICS Building Survey, The RICS Homebuyer Report and The RICS Condition Report.

These surveys have the popular traffic light condition rating format and are mainly suitable for more modern houses and flats.

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Marshalls undertake residential valuation instructions for mortgage lending, Inheritance tax (probate), shared ownership, Housing Association, Charities Act, matrimonial and other purposes. We also undertake expert witness work and can advise on leasehold enfranchisement (lease extension).

All of our Chartered Surveyors are RICS Registered Valuers highly experienced in the local property market.

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In addition to residential surveys and valuations, Marshalls offer a full range of commercial services, including commercial surveys, schedules of condition and dilapidations advice on behalf of both landlords and tenants.

Note: we do not undertake commercial valuations.

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Party Wall

Marshalls offer a full range of specialist Party Wall services, working for both building owners and adjoining owners.

If you have received party wall notices from your neighbour or you are planning to carry out works, which may come under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, we can advise you of your options.

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Lease extensions

A lease is a wasting asset and as the remaining term becomes shorter, a residential property may be difficult to sell or mortgage. As a general rule, any lease with less than 70 years remaining can be problematical and you may need to consider a lease extension or possibly a freehold purchase.

Marshalls offer comprehensive Leasehold enfranchisement advice, both for landlords and tenants.

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Your choice of survey report has never been wider: Marshalls undertake five types of survey on residential properties.

Marshalls were established in 1979 and can offer great local knowledge and experience of all types of building. We might not be the cheapest, but you can be confident that we are the experts in our field.

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Property Advice

A range of pages offering useful advice on various survey, valuation and general property matters.

From asbestos and bats through to toxic mould and woodworm, we hope this general property advice is useful.

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Contact Us

Marshalls have offices in Oxford (01865-863020) and Newbury (01635-529777).

We cover Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire and adjoining areas of Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire and The Cotswolds.

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