The Party Wall etc Act 1996 - What is covered?

Who is the Building Owner

The person or company carrying out building works to your property.

What type of buildings are covered by the Party Wall etc Act 1996

All types, residential, commercial, industrial, Hotels, Churches, Schools, Museums and infrastructure assets, amongst others.

What works are planned?

The kind of building works where the Act can apply tend to be;

• New buildings or structures close to adjoining properties
• Loft conversions,
• Rear extensions
• Side extensions,
• Internal structural works
• Basements
• Piling
• Underpinning

What type of works are covered by the Party Wall etc Act 1996

• Cutting steel beams into a party wall for loft conversion
• Cutting steel beams into a party wall to support load bearing wall above
• Cutting steel beams into a party wall to support
• Removal of chimney breasts
• Carrying out structural repairs,
• Underpinning or raising the wall
• Opening up a roof and exposing the party wall
• Weathering at junction of the walls
• Inserting damp proof course
• Demolishing and re building or altering a party fence wall
• Building a new wall on or at the boundary of another property
• Excavating near a neighbouring building or structure (6m rule).
• Piling near a neighbouring building (6m rule).

What type of works are Not covered by the Party Wall etc Act1996

• Fixing Plugs in sockets
• Screwing in wall units or shelving
• Adding or replacing electrical wiring or sockets
• Re plastering your walls
• Excavations or piling more than 6m away

Please note other consents outside the Act may apply such as Building Regulations, Freeholder consent for leasehold properties, modification of restrictive covenants, amongst others.

What do I need to do if the Act applies

You are obliged to serve prior notice upon your neighbour before proceeding with the works. This is because they have an interest in the party wall which both of you share or adjoining land in close proximity. There can be more than one interest or owner where each require separate notices. You also need appropriate drawings to include in some notices.

There are three types of notices, which have different timescales and requirements and you may need to serve all three, depending on your planned building works.

Notice type Period

Line of Junction One Month

Notice of Excavation One Month

Party Structure Notice Two Months

To ensure these notices are valid we usually recommend these are prepared and served by a qualified experienced surveyor. We would be delighted to assist and do contact us.

Depending on the response will determine the way forward.

What is a Party Wall Award

An Award is a legal document which is prepared by the Surveyors or Agreed Surveyor acting impartially, that details the work to be carried out, when and how it will be done and usually records the condition of the relevant parts of the adjoining property. It may also deal with access issues, fees, security and compensation. Generally, the building owner who plans the construction works pays for all expenses of work together with the reasonable fees and costs, but these in some instances can be apportioned where appropriate.

On more complex projects there may also be other matters to consider such as, security of expenses and advising engineers, amongst, others

Do get in touch if you need a surveyor.