The Party Wall etc. Act 1996

Introduced in 1996, the Act provides protection to existing buildings and structures, and rights to building owners and adjoining owners where work is proposed to take place. The Act contains mechanisms which allows the adjoining owner to dispute the works and to appoint a party wall surveyor who will review the proposed works and produce a Party Wall Award which sets out the requirements of the works in order to protect the adjoining owner.

What is a Party Wall?

A party wall is a wall that encloses one or more buildings and is built on the boundary line of the building owner’s and adjoining owner’s land. A party wall can either divide two buildings such as in a terraced property, or it can form an external wall of only one building such as in an end of terrace or semi-detached property.

What is a Party Fence Wall?

A masonry wall i.e. brickwork or render that does not enclose on a building, but is built on the boundary line of the building owner’s and adjoining owner’s land, is defined as a party fence wall under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

A typical timber fence does not fall under the definition of a party wall or party fence wall under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

Does the Act only cover walls?

No, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 covers more than just walls, hence the “etc.” within its title. There are also Party Structures, and this includes dividing floors and walls, for example in flats.

Need Further Help?

Here at Quatrefoils Ltd, we have a wealth of knowledge regarding the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 amongst many other issues surrounding the topic. If you need some advice or want some help on a project you are planning to undertake, please get in touch.