Civil & Structural Consulting Engineers

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The Party Wall Act

The Party Wall Act 1996 applies throughout England and Wales.  The Act covers:

1. New Building works at or astride the boundary between two properties.

2. Structural work affecting an existing shared/party wall, including repairs, alterations, extending or reducing the wall, cutting in to the wall and underpinning.

3. Excavating, or constructing foundations within three metres of a neighbour's building where the new foundations will go deeper than the neighbour's.

4. Excavating, or constructing foundations within six metres of a neighbour's building where the new foundations will cut a line drawn downwards at 45 degrees from the bottom of the neighbour's foundations.

Building Owners

If you are a building owner proposing to have the works carried out you must find out whether the works are governed by the Act.  If so, you must serve statutory notice (one or two months depending upon the works) on the adjoining owners and get their written agreement to the works, before you start.

If your neighbours do not agree in writing, the preferred solution would be to appoint one surveyor to prepare a Party Wall Award. This surveyor should be independent and should not be involved in the design or specification of the works.  If you cannot agree a surveyor, then each side should appoint their own surveyors who will prepare a party wall award.  The Party Wall Award will set out what can and can't be done in accordance with the Act and what safeguards are nessesary for the protection of the adjoining building and its occupants.

Adjoining Owners

If you are the adjoining owner and receive a party wall notice, you may agree to the proposed works if you are entirely happy that there will be no damage or consequences to your property.  Otherwise, if you do not agree or ignore the notice, then you must agree to a single surveyor being appointed, or appoint your own - if your do neither then a surveyor should be appointed for you by the building owner carrying out the works.  Where a surveyor is appointed, a schedule of condition of your property will be prepared (in case any damage is caused) and a Party Wall Award will be prepared.

The building owner who is carrying out the works normally pays the fees of the surveyors.  Fees for such services vary according to the nature and extent of the works.  We can usually agree a fixed fee for the service.

Please contact us to discuss your requirement in more detail.


Party Wall

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