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 owners
- 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
There are also 'party structures', such as a wall or floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings in different ownership, such as in flats.
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall Act applies in any case where building work is proposed to be carried out affecting a wall that adjoins a neighbouring property. This Act is not administered by us and is a private matter between the two parties affected by the Party Wall in question. However it is often an important element to consider before embarking on building work to your property.
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 buildings.
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.
Carrying out work
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.
Further information is available on the GOV.UK website. This link provides guidance on the Act as well as further contacts for professionals that can assist.