Non-delegable duties - the hard road for building owners in party wall cases

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Building owners carrying out notifiable party wall works, usually basement extensions, which cause damage to adjoining owner's buildings, have been known to say "Terribly sorry old chap, but you will understand that I employed top-notch contractors, and the law says that I am not responsible for the negligent acts of my independent contractors".

In party wall matters, however, the much relied upon "independent contractor" defence to general negligence claims, does not apply.

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