Party Wall


If you live in a semi-detached or terraced building you share a wall or walls with your neighbour. Such walls are known as party walls. Your neighbours agreement must be obtained before certain building works such as extensions, damp proofing works or structural alterations can begin.

The Party Wall Act 1996 regulates construction work to party walls and in the vicinity of property boundaries. Where this work leads to a dispute between neighbouring owners, the Act makes provision for the appointment of surveyors to resolve it.

The Act was drawn up to minimise disputes by ensuring that owners appoint a surveyor to determine the time and way in which the work is carried out. The Act provides for both parties to appoint a surveyor, or a sole surveyor to act as the agreed surveyor who will act impartially for both the building owner and adjoining owner.

The surveyors will draw up a document called an Award which sets out the details of the work to be carried out together with a record of the condition of the adjoining owners property prior to the work commencing.

The surveyors will monitor the works and ensure that any damage sustained as a result of the works is repaired at the Building Owners expense. Generally, the building owner having the work done will be responsible for all expenses including the surveyors fees.