Party Wall etc Act
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundry walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.
A building owner proposing to start work covered by the Act must give adjoining owners notice of their intentions in the way set down in the Act.
What is a party wall?
The main types of party walls are:
- A wall that stands on the lands of 2 or more owners and forms part of a building - this wall can be part of one building only or separate buildings belonging to different owners
- A wall that stands on the lands of 2 owners but does not form part of a building, such as a garden wall but not including timber fences
- A wall that is on one owner’s land but is used by 2 or more owners to separate their buildings
The Act also uses the expression ‘party structure’. This could be a wall or floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings in different ownership, such as in flats.
What the Act covers
The Act covers:
- A new building on or at the boundary of 2 properties
- New work to an existing party wall or party structure
- An excavation near to and below the foundation level of neighbouring buildings
This may include:
- Building a new wall on or at the boundary of 2 properties
- Cutting into a party wall
- Making a party wall taller, shorter or deeper
- Removing chimney breasts from a party wall
- The knocking down and rebuilding of a party wall
- Digging below the foundation level of a neighbour’s property