Working in partnership

Party Wall Act

 

Image of Party Wall Act brochure

The Party Wall Act 1996 came into effect on 1 July 1997 to provide guidelines for preventing or resolving disputes between neighbours regarding their party walls. If you intend to carry out work that affects a wall between you and your neighbour, for example:


then you must find out if the Party Wall Act is relevant in your case. If the work you carry out is covered by the Act, then you must follow the relevant procedures to inform your neighbours that such work is to take place.

Please note: The Party Wall Act is not enforced by Local Authorities. Any grievances have to be resolved either within the terms of the Act or via private Legal action instigated by the aggrieved person.

Informing your neighbours

If the work you are undertaking is covered by the Act, then you must inform your neighbours with at least the following information:


You must serve the notice at least two months before you start the work on party walls or one month for party fence walls of excavations that are close to your neighbours walls. The notice is only valid for one year.

After the notice is served

Once you have served a notice on your neighbour they can:


If you receive a counter notice requiring extra work to be carried out, you must respond to it within 14 days. If you fail to respond to this counter notice a dispute will be regarded as having arisen.

Resolving disputes

If either you or your neighbour have objected to the others notice and the dispute cannot be settled by way of a friendly discussion, then the problem should be resolved by the appointment of surveyor. A surveyor may be appointed by both parties or each party may appoint their own surveyor. The surveyor or surveyors will draw up a document which will include:


The surveyor will decide who pays the fee for drawing up the document, although it is usual for the person undertaking the work to pay all costs.

Conclusion

As most buildings or building work will be close enough to the neighbour’s property to be covered by the Act, it is essential that all those involved in the construction process understand the purpose and effects of the Act.

The Party Wall Act 1996 Explanatory Booklet can be downloaded free of charge

This booklet has been produced by the Department of Communities and Local Government to explain in simple terms how the Party Wall etc Act 1996 (''the Act'') may affect someone who eithe wishes to carry out work covered by the Act (the ''Building Owner''), or receives notification under the Act of proposed adjacent work (the ''Adjoining Owner'').

Additional information is also available from:


Association of Building Engineers
Lutyens House
Billing Brook Road
Weston Favell
Northampton
NN3 8NW

Website: www.abe.org.uk


Royal Institute of British Architects
66 Portland Place
London WIN 4AD

Website: www.architecture.com


Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
12 Great George Street
Parliament Square
London SW10 3AD

Website www.rics.org


Architecture and Surveying Institute
Register of Party Wall Surveyors
St. Mary House
15 St. Mary Street
Chippenham
Wiltshire SN15 3WD

 






Fareham Borough Council
Gosport Borough Council