The Party Wall Act

The Party Wall Act 1996  provides a legal framework for the prevention and resolution of disputes in relation to party walls/party structures. The Act empowers the person undertaking works, by ensuring that their building works are lawful, whilst also protecting the adjoining owners in the event that damage occurs to their property.

what IS A pARTY wALL?

  •  A wall/structure that stands on the land of two or more owners that is part of a building. This could also be a floor/ceiling partition in the case of flats.
  •  A wall that stands on the land of two owners and is not part of a building.
  •  A wall that is on one owner’s land but is used by other owners to separate their buildings.

Works Covered by the ACt

The Party Wall Act requires building owners to serve written notice for;

  • Works to an existing party wall structure
  • Building on the boundary line
  • Excavations within 3m or 6m of a structure on the adjoining owner’s property.

Once notice has been served the adjoining owners have 14 days to either consent or dissent to the notice. If the adjoining owners consent, building works can continue as planned.  However if the adjoining owners do not respond, they automatically go into dissent and a dispute is deemed to have arisen and a Party Wall Surveyor must be appointed.