Faulkners Surveyors is an independent firm of building property surveyors that specialise in the

Party Wall etc. Act 1996 acting for Structure Owners, Adjoining Owners and as the Agreed Surveyor throughout London and the House Counties.

Party Wall (WikiPedia)

A party wall (occasionally parti-wall or parting wall, also known as common wall or as a demising wall) is a dividing partition between two adjoining buildings that is shared by the occupants of each residence or business. Typically, the builder lays the wall along a property line dividing two terraced houses, so that one half of the wall’s thickness lies on each side. This type of wall is usually structural. Party walls can also be formed by two abutting walls built at different times. The term can be also used to describe a division between separate units within a multi-unit apartment complex. Very often the wall in this case is non-structural but designed to meet established criteria for sound and/or fire protection, i.e. a firewall.

Party Wall


We value that lots of people wanting to carry out deal with their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late stage in the pre-construction process. We likewise comprehend it can be a daunting procedure for those that have actually not experienced it in the past. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, among our senior surveyors, provides his “novices guide” which intends to provide an outline understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …

What is the Party Wall Act?

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 supplies a treatment to follow when constructing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to carry out particular particular works, consisting of work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time safeguarding the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is designed to avoid or minimise conflicts by making sure property owners alert their neighbours in advance of certain proposed works.

The Act supplies a mechanism for solving disagreements and enabling works to proceed. It likewise needs that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or property surveyors will figure out the time and method which those works are carried out.

What is a party wall?

Party walls typically different buildings belonging to various owners however could consist of garden walls constructed astride a border– called party fence walls. Where a wall separates two various size structures often only the part that is used by both properties is a party wall, the rest comes from the individual or persons on whose land it stands.

The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so consisted of since the provisions of the Act are not limited to party walls, they likewise include party structures and party fence walls.

Section 20 of the Act specifies each:

” party fence wall” indicates a wall (not belonging to a structure) which stands on lands of different owners and is used or built to be used for separating such adjoining lands, but does not consist of a wall built on the land of one owner the artificially formed support of which tasks into the land of another owner;

” party structure” suggests a party wall and also a flooring partition or other structure separating structures or parts of structures approached entirely by separate staircases or different entrances;

What is covered by the Act?

There are specific products of work that you can only be done after alerting the adjoining owners and either getting written contract of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.

Notifiable works include (but are not restricted to):.

Notices are likewise required if it is proposed to build a new wall on the line of junction (limit line). A party wall surveyor will usually have the ability to validate which work is notifiable and suggestions the notice duration and type of notice needed.

What is not covered by the Act?

The Act relates just to particular specific types of work and is permissive in nature. It should not be viewed as a technique of objecting to or preventing works and it is not planned to be applied to small jobs that do not impact the structural stability or loading of a party wall.

It is generally concurred that works such as repairing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are small works and do not need a notice.


The functions of the Act are always instigated by the of providing notifications. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the concern of valid notifications, no additional action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.

Written notice should be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjoining owners need to be served a notification and there are likely to be circumstances where there is more than one adjoining residential or commercial property and more than one owner of each property (ie: if the adjacent home is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Functions to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or flooring, will likewise need a notification to adjoining owners living above or below.

Valid notices must include the following information as a minimum:.

It is vital to consist of the right details on a notification as, if they are considered void, then any subsequent actions are likewise invalid.

Responses To Notices.

On invoice of a notice, an adjacent owner has three possible strategies:.

If the adjacent does not react within 14 days then a considered dispute is said to have occurred and the individual carrying out the work should appoint a property surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf.

If adjoining owners offer composed grant the works as set out within the notices, then there is no conflict to solve and no more requirement for party wall surveyors or, undoubtedly, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work profits as detailed within the notice and no damage is triggered, then no further participation is necessary.

Resolving Disputes.

If adjacent owners dissent to the works (or if no response is received and a deemed dissent has arisen) then a dispute has occurred which must be dealt with under the requirements of Section 10 of The Act. It deserves repeating that the Act is among enablement, it is not there to prevent works from taking place and it provides a path to end disagreements at every stage. Where composed agreement is not offered, the solution the Act offers is for both celebrations to appoint an ‘concurred surveyor’ who will act impartially or for each owner to appoint a surveyor who in turn select a 3rd property surveyor. The property surveyors then work together to concur the terms under which work may proceed. The surveyor( s) will review the plans, notices and structural information of the works and, after considering the impact of the works, will draw up an agreement which sets out the terms under which work can be performed (the Award).

The Party Wall Award.

The award will generally tape-record the condition of the pertinent part of adjoining property prior to work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act however is thought about good practice and is properly offered by the majority of excellent property surveyors). The award might likewise approve access to both homes so that the works can be securely performed and the surveyor/s can check work in development.

Generally, the structure owner who started the work spends for all expenditures of work and the sensible expenses incurred by all celebrations as a result, this will consist of the surveyors costs for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.

We value that numerous individuals wanting to carry out works on their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late phase in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, uses his “newbies guide” which intends to provide an overview understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …

What is the Party Wall Act?

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 offers a procedure to follow when building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and brand-new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to carry out particular specific works, consisting of work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time protecting the interests of anyone else who may be impacted by that work. Composed notice needs to be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months prior to beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).

Related Articles

Around the Web