Party Wall Awards
Before starting any building work you will need to check whether the Party Wall Act applies for your particular project.
Party Walls are walls that sits on the land of 2 or more owners and that form part of the building or boundary wall. Party wall structures also cover wall or floor partitions that separate buildings owned by different owners such as flats and maisonettes.
The Party Wall Act protects the interests of all owners, it also prevents and resolves any disputes that may arise in relation to party and boundary walls as well as excavations.
If you have a shared wall and and are carrying out building works within 3 metres of the party wall you may need a Party Wall Award.
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary 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.
Adjoining owners can agree or disagree with what is proposed. Where they disagree, the Act provides a mechanism for resolving disputes.
The Act is separate from obtaining planning permission or building regulations approval.
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 owner
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:
new building on or at the boundary of 2 properties
work to an existing party wall or party structure
excavation near to and below the foundation level of neighbouring building
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
knocking down and rebuilding a party wall
digging below the foundation level of a neighbour’s property