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The Party Wall etc Act 1996 applies throughout England and Wales. The Act covers:

  • New Building works at or astride the boundary between two properties.
  • Structural work affecting an existing shared/party wall, including repairs, alterations, extending or reducing the wall, cutting in to the wall and underpinning.
  • This to include loft conversions and cellar excavations to provide living accommodation.
  • Excavating, or constructing foundations within three metres of a neighbour's building where the new foundations will go deeper than the neighbour's.
  • Excavating, or constructing foundations within six metres of a neighbour's building where the new foundations will cut a line drawn downwards at 45 degrees from the bottom of the neighbour's foundations.

Serve Statutory Notice

If you are the owner proposing to have any of the above the works carried out you must find out whether the works are governed by the Act. If so, you must serve statutory notice (one or two months depending upon the works) on the adjoining owners and get agreement to the works, before you start.

If your neighbours do not agree in writing, the preferred solution would be to appoint one surveyor to draw up a Party Wall Award. If you cannot agree a surveyor, then each side should appoint their own surveyor. The Party Wall Award will set out what can and can't be done in accordance with the Act.

Important: When you recieve a notice, we suggest you agree to a single surveyor being appointed. You may appoint your own surveyor or you may agree to the building owner's surveyor. Where a surveyor is appointed a schedule of condition of your property will be prepared (in case any damage is caused) and a Party Wall Award will be prepared. Guidance Notes: If you ignore a notice that has been served on you, it will make no differance, the Party Wall Act will continue to progress with out you and a survayor will be appointed in your absence. Contact Us.

A breach of the Act can give rise to payments of compensation or an injunction

Party Wall Act covers three main areas:

  1. Construction of new wall on /or aside the boundary between adjoining lands Section 1
  2. Works to an existing party wall or party fence wall or floor and includes repairs / disrepair to shared garden walls section 2
  3. Excavation within 3m / 6m from a neighbouring building Section 6

The Party Wall Act; was introduced to govern disputes between property owners where work must be carried out which affects a party wall or involves excavating close to a neighbouring building. A party wall is a wall shared by two properties, such as the wall which divides with a pair of semi-detached houses or properties in a terrace.

Before any work which falls within the scope of the Act can be undertaken a notice must be served on any affected adjoining owners and their written consent obtained.

Work which is typically covered by the Party Wall Act 1996 includes:

  • Extensions both loft conversions and ground based.
  • Damp proofing works
  • Structural alterations
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