Party Wall Matters

Under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, property owners in England and Wales have a legal obligation to follow due procedures when building work is proposed that may affect an adjoining property or structure.

A party wall is a partition erected on a property boundary, partly on the land of one owner and partly on the land of another, to provide common support to the structures on both sides of the boundary. Effectively party walls are in the common ownership of two or more immediately adjacent property owners and as well as dividing walls may also include other party structures such as the floors dividing flats or maisonettes.

All semi-detached and terraced houses therefore have party walls and flats also have party structures that are covered under the Act. Works to detached properties may also come under the Act dependent upon their proximity to the adjacent property.

Works that typically may come under the Act include:

  • basement constructions

  • building extensions upon new foundations

  • internal or external structural alterations such as the removal of load-bearing walls and their replacement with steel beams, underpinning and superstructure repairs involving masonry reinforcement

ASASny party intending to carry out building work that will involve either structural work to a party wall or structure or work in close vicinity of an adjoining property must serve written notice upon the adjoining owner(s). An ‘”adjoining owner’ includes the freeholder and anyone with a lease on the property of longer than one year; consequently there may may be a number of adjoining owners involved. Once the notice is served, the adjoining owner(s) may appoint an independent surveyor to protect their own interests.

In the event that surveyors are appointed to act for the parties involved, a schedule of condition is prepared confirming the condition of the property prior to the commencement of works along with a party wall award, which sets out the details of the works to be carried out, along with details on the method and timing of the works to be undertaken and any other relevant information.

Once agreed by the party wall surveyors, the awards are presented to the appointing owners and the works can subsequently commence. Generally, the building owner wishing to undertake the proposed works will be responsible for the party wall surveyors fees.

Survey & Architecture Services Ltd undertake the role of party wall surveyors acting either for building owners wishing to undertake the required works or for the adjoining owners in receipt of such notices.


The Maidstone Studios, New Cut Road,
Maidstone ME14 5NZ


0845 5240270 / 07811 124256