WHAT IS THE PARTY WALL ACT?

The Party Wall Act 1996 is a framework in place to prevent or resolve disputes between neighbouring properties where work is being undertaken near or on a party wall or a boundary wall. The building owner must give adequate notice to the adjoining owners prior to the commencement of any works, this must be done in accordance with the Act.

HOW MAY THIS AFFECT MY PROJECT?

The Party Wall Act is completely separate to planning permission or building regulations. Once a Party Wall Act notice has been served the adjoining owner can agree or disagree with the proposed works. Where they disagree the Act will provide a framework for resolving the issues. There are three main types of party wall:

  • A wall that forms part of a building and stands on the land of 2 or more owners.
  • A wall that does not form part of a building, such as a garden wall (not including a timber fence) and stands on the land of two or more owners.
  • A wall that separates two or more buildings but is solely on one owners land.

SERVING NOTICE

While there is no official form to give notice under the Act you must ensure you serve the correct type of notice, in most cases this will be more than one. Any notice must include particular details to be valid.

There are 3 main types of party wall notice:

  • Line of Junction
  • Party Structure
  • Adjacent Excavation

There is no requirement to appoint an adviser to give notice on your behalf but it is important that any notice is served correctly. It is obviously best to discuss any proposed works with any adjoining owners before you giving notice to iron out any concerns at an early stage.