you carry out any extension or alteration
to your home you may need your neighbours’
you need to know.
Semi-detached and terraced houses share
walls with their neighbours. We call
these party walls. They separate buildings
belonging to different owners. A floor
separating flats can also be considered
a party structure.
there are different sized buildings,
the part that is used by both properties
alone is considered to be a party wall/structure.
The rest belongs to the person on whose
land it stands.
you want to develop, repair or alter
must serve notice on your neighbour
and obtain your neighbour's agreement
before you can start.
work requires a notice?
may also need to serve notice if you
are excavating or constructing foundations
for a new building within three or six
metres of neighbouring properties.
Party Wall etc Act
Party Wall etc Act 1996 came into force
in 1997 and property owners throughout
England and Wales must follow the procedure
when building work affects a party wall
or party fence wall or excavations are
near neighbours' walls.
Act is meant to reduce disputes by ensuring
property owners use a suitably experienced
person to determine how and when work
is carried out.
'Agreed Surveyor' can act for both owners
and is common for smaller works. Should
problems arise he will determine the
remedy and must act impartially.
Act, if followed, gives you the right
to carry out work on or next to party
walls. In return it protects the interests
of all those who could be affected by
the works be it the Building or Adjoining
works are excluded?
minimal work that does not affect the
other half of a party wall is excluded:
example: Rawlplugs; Screw fixing wall
units and shelving; Inserting or renewing
electrical sockets; Replastering your
works fall within the scope of the Act?
into a wall for bearing of a beam,
for example for a loft conversion
or through lounge.
a damp proof course deep into a wall.
the party wall or where necessary
cutting off any parts preventing this
and rebuilding the party wall.
raising the whole or part of a wall.
a flashing into an adjoining building.
a new wall on the line of junction
between two properties.
excavated within three metres of an
adjoining structure and lower than
foundations within six metres of an
adjoining structure and below a 45°
line drawn from the bottom of the
most of these works you must give written
notice to your neighbours two months
before starting any party wall works
and one month for 'line of junction'
or excavation works.
the building next door is let, you will
need to tell the landlord, as well as
the person living in the property, that
you will be carrying out building work
to the party wall. Where there are several
owners of the property or more than
one adjoining property you must let
them know as well. Written notice to
owners above or below may also be necessary.
consider it very helpful to talk to
your neighbours about the work you want
to do before serving an official written
notice, which can appear daunting when
received if no warning is given. If
you can do this amicably they may give
you written agreement in response to
your notice. They must do this within
14 days otherwise they are deemed to
Dissent and Resolution!
is where advice from a suitably experienced
Party Wall Surveyor can help to minimise
any delays that may arise or resolve
any concerns or worries you may have.
Act provides for both parties to each
appoint a surveyor or an 'Agreed Surveyor'
who should act impartially. For small
works an Agreed Surveyor is typically
surveyor/s will prepare an 'Award'.
This specifies the work that can be
carried out and how and when it may
will also record the condition of the
neighbouring property before work commences.
may also grant access to both properties
so the surveyor/s can inspect work in
Award will determine who pays (usually
the owner who is benefiting from the
works). Generally, the building owner
who started the work pays for all expenses.
damage occurs the surveyor/s will prepare
a further Award determining how this
will be remedied. They can order that
repairs are carried out or that the
cost of the repair is to be paid.
Act is separate from planning or building