Party Wall Act
Generally the walls that surround property and
fields are erected and maintained by the land owner. These are
erected to provide security, privacy and to mark boundaries between
The Party Wall Act came into effect on 1st July
1997 throughout England and Wales. This Act provides a framework
for preventing and resolving disputes that may arise between
neighbouring owners regarding party wall and similar matters when
building works are undertaken.
The Act has implications for all building
owners intending to carry out work which involves:
- Work on an existing wall shared with another property
- Building on the boundary with a neighbouring property
- Excavating near a neighbouring building
This can include works such as the formation of
a through-lounge, removal of chimney breasts, extensions and loft
conversions, even if the work will not extend beyond the centre
line of the party wall.
- You must find out whether the work proposed falls within the
- If it does, you must notify all affected
neighbours (in writing).
- This can be up to two months before you start work so you must
ensure that you allow sufficient time.
- If you commence work without having first given notice in the
proper way, adjoining owners may seek redress through the
- This Act is independent of the Building Regulations and
- Neither Building Control nor Planning can act on your behalf
concerning these matters.
- If you are not sure whether the Act applies to the work you are
planning you should seek independent professional advice.
A free publication – The
Party Wall, etc Act 1996 – Explanatory Booklet (opens in new
window) is available to download from the Communities