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November 30, 2021

Party Wall vs. Boundary Wall: What’s the Difference?Whitley Bay

When it comes to property ownership, understanding the boundaries and structures on your land is crucial.

Two terms that often come up in property disputes are party walls and boundary walls.

While they may seem similar, they have different legal implications and responsibilities.

In this article, we will explore the key differences between party walls and boundary walls.

What is a Party Wall?

A party wall is a shared wall between two or more properties which may serve as a physical boundary or as part of a building. Party walls can be made of various materials such as stone, brick or concrete. Examples of party walls include walls used in supporting buildings on one side of a boundary or those which separate semi-detached or terraced houses.

In the UK, party wall matters are governed by the Party Wall Act 1996. The law requires that individuals planning to carry out works that potentially affect a shared wall must serve notice to their neighbour(s) and obtain their consent. This consent can be obtained through a party wall agreement.

To comply with these regulations, a party wall notice must be served no later than two months before the works begin. This ensures that all parties involved are aware of the proposed works and can provide their consent or any objections, thus maintaining a harmonious relationship with the neighbours.

What is a Boundary Wall?

A boundary wall is a wall that marks the edge of a property. It may be a physical barrier, such as a garden wall, or an imaginary line that separates two properties. Boundary walls can be made of various materials, such as timber, brick, or metal.

Unlike party walls, boundary walls do not have a specific legal framework governing their maintenance or construction. However, it is important to clarify the ownership and responsibilities of a boundary wall with your neighbours, as disputes can arise if the wall needs repairs or alterations.

Key Differences between Party Walls and Boundary Walls

  1. Ownership: While party walls are owned jointly by the adjacent properties, boundary walls may be owned solely by one property owner.
  2. Legal Framework: Party walls are governed by the Party Wall Act 1996, while there is no specific legal framework for boundary walls.
  3. Notice Requirements: If you plan to carry out works that may affect a party wall, you must serve notice to your neighbour(s) and obtain their consent or a party wall agreement. There are no specific notice requirements for boundary walls.
Advantages of Party Walls and Boundary Walls

Party Walls:

  • Provides support and stability to adjacent buildings
  • Reduces noise transmission between properties
  • Can be a cost-effective option for shared boundary walls

Boundary Walls:

  • Provides clear boundaries and privacy for your property
  • Can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property
  • Can provide security and safety for your property

Conclusion

Understanding the differences between party walls and boundary walls is important for property owners.

While party walls are jointly owned and have a specific legal framework, boundary walls may be owned solely by one property owner and have no specific legal framework.

It is important to clarify ownership and responsibilities with your neighbours to avoid disputes. Contact Faulkner Surveyors for expert advice on party wall matters.