Party Wall etc. Act 1996
What does the Party Wall etc. Act do?
The Act came into force on 1 July 1997 and applies throughout England and Wales (the Act does not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland).
The Act provides a framework for preventing or resolving disputes in relation to party walls, party structures, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.
The Act provides a Building Owner, who wishes to carry out various types of work to an existing party wall, with additional rights going beyond ordinary common law rights. The most commonly used rights are:-
- Excavation works for an extension within three metres proximity of a neighbouring property or shared structure.
- Cutting into the party wall to insert beams for a loft conversion.
- Removing chimney breasts on a party wall.
- Underpinning a party wall for a basement extension.
Further information may be found on our Building Owner’s page.
Essentially, an Adjoining Owner is anyone who is an owner of land, buildings or rooms adjoining those of the Building Owner. Also, for the purposes of section 6 of the Act, a property shall be deemed to be “adjoining” if it is within the relevant distance, even if it is not actually adjoining.
The adjoining property may have a freehold owner and/or a leasehold owner, all of whom may be an “Adjoining Owner” under the Act.
Further information may be found on the Adjoining Owner’s page
Who pays the surveyor's fees?
The surveyor (or surveyors) will decide who pays the fees for drawing up the Award and for checking that the work has been carried out in accordance with the Award. Usually and in most cases the Building Owner will pay all costs associated with drawing up the Award if the works are solely for the Building Owner’s benefit.
Please feel free to contact Hindwoods on 020 8858 3377 to speak to one of our Chartered Building Surveyors who will be pleased to discuss the matter further