Shared walls and boundaries

This page gives you some information about The Party Wall etc Act 1996 and how it may affect you and your building works, although we, at Tendring, have no involvement in the application or enforcement of the requirements of this Act.

What is the Act for?

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 came into effect on 1st July 1997 throughout England and Wales. The Act provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings. It is based on some tried and tested provisions of the London Building Acts, which applied in inner London for many decades before the Act came into force.

The Party Wall Etc Act 1996 will apply if you intend to carry out building work which involves:

  • Work on an existing wall shared with another property
  • Building on the boundary with a neighbouring property
  • Excavating near a neighbouring building

How does the Act work?

You must find out whether the work you propose falls within the scope of the Act. If it does you must serve the statutory notice on all those defined by the Act as adjoining owners.

At least 2 months' notice must be given for works to an existing party wall; and 1 months' notice for a planned new wall or for excavation within the specified distances.

For most works you should be able to reach an agreement with the adjoining owners and they may give their consent or serve a counter notice on you within 14 days. If this is not done a dispute is regarded as having arisen.

If you cannot reach an agreement there are procedures for appointing a "surveyor" and resolving any issues.

Further information

The Local Authority has no involvement in the application or enforcement of the requirements of this Act.

Compliance with the requirements does not obviate the need to obtain any necessary Building Regulation or Town Planning Approvals.

Last updated on: 04/09/2014 - 13:15