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The Party Wall Act 1996 explained

Party Wall Agreements, what you need to know is, that we look after all of this for you...

Our Party wall surveyor loves to handle all the problems in this area for you so you needn't worry about compliance with the act, it's all part of our complete service.

The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and gives you rights and responsibilities whichever the side of the 'wall' you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on a relevant structure or if your neighbour is.

This Act is intended to protect adjoining properties when work is being carried out on a party wall or boundary, or in certain circumstances when work is within 3 - 6 metres of the boundary. However, although a Party Wall Award is a legal requirement in these circumstances, Council Planning Departments have no involvement in the process and therefore are very unlikely to inform you about it.

We have considerable experience in dealing with the above Act and can take on the responsibility of complying with the requirements of the Act on your behalf, we would be pleased to give you any further information you require.

The Party Wall Act does not affect any requirement for Planning Permission or Building Regulation Approval for any work undertaken. Likewise, having Planning Permission and/or Building Regulation Approval does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.

The Party Wall Act comes into effect if someone is planning to do work on a relevant structure, for the purposes of the Act 'party wall' does not just mean the wall between two semi-detached properties, it covers:

  • A wall forming part of only one building but which is on the boundary line between two (or more) properties.
  • A wall which is common to two (or more) properties, this includes where someone built a wall and a neighbour subsequent built something butting up to it.
  • A wall forming part of only one building but which is on the boundary line between two (or more) properties.
  • A garden wall, where the wall is astride the boundary line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the properties but is not part of any building.
  • A wall forming part of only one building but which is on the boundary line between two (or more) properties.
  • Floors and ceilings of flats etc.
  • A wall forming part of only one building but which is on the boundary line between two (or more) properties.
  • Excavation near to a neighbouring property.

As with all work affecting neighbours, it is always better to reach a friendly agreement rather than resort to any law. Even where the work requires a notice to be served, it is better to informally discuss the intended work, consider the neighbours comments, and amend your plans (if appropriate) before serving the notice.