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Party Wall etc. Act 1996

The Party Wall Act provides guidance for preventing and resolving disputes about party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.

If you intend to carry out building 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;

you must find out whether that work falls within the Act. If it does, you must notify all adjoining neighbours.

What is a Party Wall?

According to the Act a wall is a 'party wall' if

  • it stands astride the boundary of land belonging to two or more different owners and is part of one building
  • or it belongs to one owner but separates two or more buildings

A wall is also a 'party wall' if it stands wholly on one owner's land but is used by two or more owners to separate their buildings

A 'party fence wall' is not part of a building, and stands astride the boundary line between lands of different owners eg a garden wall

A 'party structure' could be a wall, floor partition or similar which separates buildings or parts of buildings eg. flats

The Act covers work on existing party walls, new buildings on the boundary line between neighbouring pieces of land and excavation near neighbouring buildings.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996: Explanatory Booklet

The explanatory booklet covers work done by building owners, as well as how this affects adjoining owners.  There is also a section on frequently asked questions.

Also included is a series of example letters covering how to give notice of works involving party walls etc. and how to accept and decline permission for this work.

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