Where building work affects the stability of other land or premises, the building owner must, at least twenty eight days before the building work is commenced, serve on the owner of the affected land or premise a notice of intention to perform the building work and the nature of that work. The building owner must take every precaution to protect the neighbouring land or premises, including taking any actions required by the council and must complete other work that the adjoining owner is authorised to require. Even where a building owner complies with these requirements, she or he may still be responsible for injury resulting from negligent building work [Development Act 1993 (SA) s 60].
A party wall cannot be built without the consent of the adjoining owner. If the owner of land proposes to build or convert an existing structure into a party wall, the building owner must serve notice on the adjoining owner describing the proposed wall. If the adjoining owner then consents to the building and its positioning, the cost of the building must be shared by the two owners in proportion to the use that each owner is likely to have of the wall. The owners must then register easements of support in respect of the party wall with the Lands Titles Office. The costs of this should be borne by the building owner. The building owner must take all reasonable steps to protect adjoining land and carry out work causing as little inconvenience as possible to the adjoining owner [Development Act 1993 (SA) s 61].
The building owner has a right to enter onto other premises to conduct building work in relation to party walls or stabilising structures and must give written notice to the adjoining owner of the proposed date and time. The notice may be given personally or by post at least fourteen days before entering the land or premises. In an emergency the notice must be given as early as possible. The building owner, accompanied by a police officer, may even break into the premises of the adjoining owner [Development Act 1993 (SA) s 63(3)].
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