Party Wall Act 1996

The Party Wall Act 1996 provides a framework for preventing or resolving disputes in relation to party walls, party structures, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.

Anyone intending to carry out work of the kinds described in the Act must give Adjoining Owners notice of their intentions. The Act applies even to Crown, Government and Local Authority owned property.

What is a Party Wall?

A wall that stands astride the boundary of land belonging to two (or more) different owners.

Party Wall Type A –

  • The wall stands on the lands of two (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.
  • The wall stands on the lands of two owners but is not part of a building – for example a garden wall.

Party Wall Type B –

  • The wall stands wholly on one owner’s land but is used by two (or more) owners to separate their buildings

The Act also uses the expression “party structure”. This term is used for a wall or floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings approached by separate staircases or entrances for example flats.

Examples where Party Wall notice must be served

  • Excavations for new foundations within 3m or 6m of a boundary or party wall.
  • Underpinning the whole thickness of the party wall.
  • Increasing the height, demolishing and rebuilding of the party wall.
  • Full/partial removal of a chimney built into the party wall.
  • Cut into party wall to support the end bearing of a structural beam.

If you plan to build a party wall or party fence wall astride or against the boundary line, you must inform the Adjoining Owner by serving a notice. However, there is no right to build astride the boundary without your neighbour’s consent in writing.

VKHP Consulting

VKHP-consulting are an affiliate company who can provide advice on party wall matters including the preparation of Notices and negotiation of Party Wall Awards with your neighbours. Their Party Wall Surveyors are members of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.

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