Understanding the Party Wall Act

If you are planning to undertake any building work on your home that may affect the wall or foundations of the wall (or walls) between your property and your neighbour's it may be subject to the provisions of the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

The Act doesn't stop you carrying out the work you have planned. It does, however, ensure that your neighbour's property is protected against damage occurring during the work.

The Act sets out a procedure, to be undertaken by an independent Party Wall Surveyor, under which the condition of wall before and after the work is formally monitored. Contrary to popular ideas the Act does not automatically grant any rights to go onto your neighbour's land to undertake work.

When does the Party Wall Act apply?

Despite its name the Act does not only apply to work directly affecting the Party Wall, it applies to work near your neighbour's buildings that might affect the foundations of that building. So if you are excavating up to 6 metres from your neighbour's property the Party Wall Act may apply to ensure that no long term damage is done to your neighbours' property.

What is a Party Wall?

A wall that is shared by two properties - such as in a terrace or a semi-detached property - which separates buildings belonging to different owners.

Foundations?

The Act does, however, apply more widely. If you plan to construct foundations (for a wall) up to 6 metres from a neighbouring building the Act may apply. Do contact us to find out whether the Act applies.

The Party Wall Surveyor

If the work being undertaken is covered by the Party Wall Act you need to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor, an independent professional, to serve the required papers and draw up the Party Wall Award. TMA is very experienced in Party Wall work such as this.

What Next?

Whether you are a Building Owner, undertaking an extension, or an Adjoining Owner concerned about your neighbour's building work, contact TMA. Under the Act the Building Owner undertaking the building work is usually responsible for the fees of the independent Party Wall Surveyor. It can be more cost effective if the Surveyor acts for both sides

partywalls@tmasurveys.co.uk

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