A Quick Overview

As the name suggests, The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is there to protect both parties when building works are being carried out on or close to a boundary.

For example

If you live in a semi-detatched or terrace house; then you share a wall or walls with your neighbour.

The Act becomes applicable when the planned alterations could affect the structural integrity of a party wall or close enough to affect the property’s foundations.

This could include load bearing steels inserted into a shared wall or the construction of new walls on the boundary or works that require an excavation within 3 metres of a neighbouring property (such as underpinning & basement work).

The Act is designed to enforce a common sense process that avoids or minimises disputes by making sure:

✓ Those carrying out building works on or near the boundary
notify their neighbours in advance.

✓ Adjoining owners have access to expert advice and the right to influence the way in which those works are carried out -  most often at the cost of the one doing the building works.

The Building Owner carrying out the works has to notify the Adjoining Owner about the planned works affecting the party structure at least 2 months before starting the works.

The Adjoining Owner has up to 14 days to give written consent or request that an impartial Party Wall Surveyor be appointed for the purposes of drawing up a document called an ‘Award’ which outlines all conditions and commitments relating to the works and the way in which they will be carried out.

Whether you are the one carrying out the building works or you’re the adjoining owner, it’s a good idea to take advice from a chartered surveyor and party wall expert.

Most often we act as impartial surveyors for both parties ensuring all the necessary structural design and drawing information is in place and a pre-work condition survey has been done. We also facilitate a common sense agreement as to how the works are to be carried out so as to avoid damage and unreasonable disruption while maintaining security and privacy for the Adjoining Owner during the project.

What’s your situation?

Whether you are the Building Owner (ie the one carrying out the building works) or the Adjoining Owner(the neighbour effected by the works), you can CALL US for FREE ADVICE  about how to comply with your obligations and/or protect your interests under the Act.

Click below to learn how the Act applies to your situation.

I am planning building works

As the Building Owner you have certain obligations under the act before you even get started on the project. Find out the 5 things you need to know and do and how we can help you.

My neighbour is going to be building

As the Adjoining Owner you will want to make sure that there is agreement about how the project is run and how you can recover costs for any damage caused to your property.

Related Articles