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The Party Wall Act

Most people won't of heard of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 until such time as they prepare to undertake building works that fall within the Act or they receive a Party Wall Notice from a neighbour planning on carrying out such work.


The Party Wall Act can be a confusing and complicated process to those not familiar with its workings. Nevertheless it is a legal requirement in the same way as Planning Permission and Building Regulations are. As such it is imperative that the Act is carried out correctly. 

BTN Surveyors are a specialist firm of Party Wall Surveyors and we are here to assist in all aspects of the Act, from providing free and friendly advice to administering the Act on behalf of either or both parties.

Below we have endeavoured to outline and explain the Act and its purpose in more detail, however we welcome your call or email should you have any further questions or would like to discuss a specific project.

What is the Party Wall Act?

The Party Wall Act 1996 is piece of legislation designed to avoid the spread of fire between properties in densely populated towns and cities, hopefully saving lives and property. 

It is a framework in which adjoining building owners can resolve disputes over Party Walls, Party Structures, Party Fence Walls and the digging of land within a distance of risk to an adjoining owners property, without having to resort to expensive, stressful and time consuming legal battles between neighbours.  

If you are intending to carry out any work that falls under the jurisdiction of the Party Wall you have to by law, give due notice to the adjoining owner(s). 

Should you have any specific questions about the Act, below, (strictly for reference) is a copy of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. 

The Party Wall etc Act 1966

An Act to make provision in respect of party walls, and excavation and construction in proximity to certain buildings or structures; and for connected purposes. [18th July 1996]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows: - 

There are various annotations and case law that define the way the act is interoperated and administered in practice. Some of these annotations are included on the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 document available on the government website which can be read here.

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