The Party Wall Etc Act 1996

An Act to provide a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.

A building owner proposing to start work covered by the Act must give adjoining owners notice of their intentions in the way set down in the Act.

Building Owners

As a building owner proposing to carry out works covered by the Act, you must give adjoining owners notice of your intentions in the way set down by the Act.

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Adjoining owner

Typically as an adjoining owner you may only become aware your neighbour’s proposed works when a Party Wall Notice has been served.

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Practical Party Wall Limited are here to offer advice and guide both building owners who are wishing to carry out such works, as well as the adjoining property owners through The Party Wall Act ensuing protection for all parties is met. As the Act is separate from obtaining planning permission or building regulations approval, Party Wall Surveyors do not have any control over any concerns you may have with regards to size and appearance of the proposals, this would need to be addressed separately through the planning process.

What is a Party Wall?

The Act also uses the expression ‘party structure’. This could be a wall or floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings in different ownership, such as in flats. The main types of party walls are:

A wall that stands on the lands of 2 (or more) owners and forms part of a building – this wall can be part of one building only or separate buildings belonging to different owners.
A wall that stands on the lands of 2 owners but does not form part of a building, such as a garden wall but not including timber fences.
A wall that is on one owner’s land but is used by 2 (or more) owners to separate their buildings.

Do I need to serve a Party Wall Notice?

The Party Wall etc Act. 1996 requires Building owners in England and Wales to serve Notice when any of the following works are being carried out and there are adjoining or neighbouring properties in close vicinity of the following proposals -

Loft Conversion

Extensions

Re-roofing

Underpinning

Drainage or substructure works

Internal refurbishment

What options does an Adjoining owner have?

On receipt of Notice, an adjoining owner has the right too

  • Consent to the works being carried out.
  • Dissent to the works being carried out.
Please note the Building owner has the legal responsibility to pay for whichever choice the Adjoining owner opts for.

What are the benefits of following the The Party Wall Act?

Not only does the Act outline the rights & duties of both Building owners and party wall surveyors it’s here to provideprotection to Adjoining Owners and safeguards neighbouring propertieswhen proposed works commence.
Whilst failing to observe the act is not an offence, your neighbours can take civil action against you and have an injunction issued to stop further work until a party wall agreement is arranged which may in turn increase building cost and lead to your neighbours seeking compensation. For more information please follow here.

We are happy to give advice with respect to any proposed building works.