The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 – What does the Act cover?

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - What does the Act cover?

Monday 23rd November 2020
Abbie Reid MSc BA Hons MFPWS

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 came into force throughout England and Wales. It provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes relating to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings. Anyone who intends on carrying out works described in the Act must give Adjoining Owners notice of their intentions. (To see whether your works are notifiable under the act, please contact us on 0208 426 1448 or send an email to

Where the work is to an existing party wall (section 2 of the Act), a Notice must be given even where work will not extend beyond the centre line of a party wall. Owners should consider themselves "joint owners" of the whole Party Wall, rather than the "sole" owner of half or part of it.

Adjoining Owners can agree with the Building Owners' proposed works, or reach an agreement with them on any changes in the method of working and timing of the works. Where no written consent or agreement exists, then the Act provides for the resolution of "disputes".

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 covers:

  • Various work that is going to be carried out directly to an existing Party Wall, Party Fence Wall or Party Structure (Section 2 of the Act);
  • New building at or astride the boundary line between properties (Section 1 of the Act);
  • Excavation within 3 or 6 metres of a neighbouring building, or buildings, or structure(s), depending on the depth of the hole or proposed foundations (Section 6 of the Act).