Party Walls

Party Walls

We take personal appointments to act as Party Wall surveyors, following the framework set out in the Party Wall etc Act 1996. Our surveyors are experienced Party Wall Surveyors and have been acting as Appointed Surveyors for Building Owners and Adjoining Owners for many years.

View our party wall process flow chart

Party Walls Explained

The Party Wall Etc. Act 1996 is legislation giving Party Wall surveyors the role of trying to avoid or solving certain construction related disputes between neighbours by administering the Act’s dispute resolution mechanism. Some works near or adjoining your neighbour are notifiable under the Act and require a Notice to be served on them prior to undertaking construction.

For both parties this is a useful document as it records existing condition, and protects them against any unforeseen damage resulting from construction.

What does the Act do?

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 came into force on 1 July 1997 and applies throughout England and Wales. (The Act does not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland).

The Act provides owners of land and buildings with certain rights and obligations to other owners in relation to party walls and other structures near the boundary. It provides a framework to allow owners to properly exercise these rights and meet its obligations in a structured manner. The framework also provides for preventing or resolving disputes which may arise in relation to the notifiable works on or near the boundary or party wall.

Anyone intending to carry out work (anywhere in England and Wales) 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.

Where the intended work is to an existing party wall (section 2 of the Act) a notice must be given even where the work will not extend beyond the centre line of a party wall.

Do I need to serve a Party Wall Notice?

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 allows owners to undertake ‘Notifiable Works’ to or near their Party Wall. A Building Owner is also obligated to serve Notice on the Adjoining Owner up to two months before commencement of the works to allow the them the chance to ‘Consent’ or ‘Dissent’.

Below is a non exhaustive list of Notifiable Works that a Building Owner is permitted to do following service of the appropriate Notice:

Line of Junction Notice (Section 1)
Erection of a wall

Party Structure Notice (Section 2)
Repair to the Party Wall | Insert a Damp Proof course | Underpin the whole thickness of a wall | Cut into a Party Wall to support a beam | Raise the height of a Party Wall | Extend a Party Wall downwards | Demolish and rebuild a Party Wall

As part of the works, excavations for foundations or a basement may be required. If the Building Owner’s excavations are within a certain distance (noted below) of the Adjoining Owners structure, they are obligated to serve the appropriate Notice.

Excavation Notice (Section 6)

Excavations within 3 meters that are also to a lower depth than the neighbouring owners’ foundations.

Excavations within 6 meters that intersect with a 45 degree line down from the lowest point of the neighbouring owners’ foundations.

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