Chartered Surveyors and Commercial Property Agents on the Isle of Wight & South Coast


When Does The Party Wall etc Act Apply?

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 came into force on 1st July 1997 throughout England and Wales. If you intend to carry out building work which involves one of the following categories:-

  • Work on an existing wall or structure shared with another property
  • Building a free standing wall or a wall of a building up to or astride the boundary with a neighbouring property
  • Excavating near a neighbouring building

You must find out whether the work falls within the Act. If it does, by Law, you must notify all affected neighbours. If you proceed with works without notifying adjoining owners, they may seek to stop the work through a Court injunction or seek other legal redress.

Can My Neighbour Stop The Works?

A neighbour cannot stop someone from exercising the rights given by the Act, but they can influence how and when the work is done. The Act also says that a building owner must not cause unnecessary inconvenience. In addition, the building owner may have to provide compensation for any damage and must provide temporary protection for buildings and property where necessary.

What About Very Minor Works?

Although minor works on a party wall are usually considered to be too trivial to come under the remit of the Act, the key point to be considered is whether any planned work will have consequences for the structural strength and support functions of the party wall. For this reason it is essential that advice is sought from an experienced Chartered Surveyor at the earliest possible stage.

Gully Howard are experts in the field of party wall issues and can provide advice with regard to the implications of the Act considering your specific development proposals, or provide professional advice to any adjoining owners who may be concerned about works being undertaken by a neighbour, which might fall under the jurisdiction of the legislation.

Initial Consultation Without Obligation

We are pleased to provide initial advice in a without obligation consultation so that the appropriate Notices are served at the appropriate time minimising potential delays. The possibility of any dispute can be identified and considered. If necessary an award can be drawn up to clearly set out the work to be undertaken, how and when the work will be carried out, record the condition of adjoining structures and inspect the works whilst they are being undertaken.

If you are any doubt that works you propose may require specific action as a result of the Party Walls etc Act, or alternatively you are concerned with regard to adjoining works being undertaken we would be pleased to advise further.

Please call or e-mail Gully Howard to discuss your queries.