Introduction and explanation of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996

What is the Party Wall Act?

It is a legal Act normally administered by surveyors and engineers to protect the structural integrity of adjoining property from construction works, whilst respecting property boundaries. It provides scope to record condition prior to the works to protect against erroneous damage claims, and conversely gives recourse to remedy any damage caused if it occurs.

How does it work?

Once it is established that any building work triggers the Party Wall Act, the person(s) undertaking the work (the ‘Building Owner’) must serve the correct notices upon their adjoining or adjacent neighbours (the ‘Adjoining Owner’). If the neighbour disagrees to the work proposed, the full process to obtain a party wall award is required.

Examples of when it applies:

– Roof level loft extensions

– Ground / basement floor extensions

As further illustrated on the gov website: The Party Wall etc Act 1996: explanatory booklet – GOV.UK (


When undertaking construction works, as a ‘Building Owner’ the most severe sanction available under the Party Wall Act is a court injunction, which would stop any ongoing party wall works for an unlimited period, whilst the pertinent facts are investigated, and remedial measures are assigned by the court.

As an ‘Adjoining Owner’, it is best to appoint your own surveyor whose reasonable costs are covered by the Building Owner, to advise on any damage issues, nuisance issues, access requests, financial settlements or any other matter that may arise.


Get in Touch

If you are undertaking construction work that may trigger the Party Wall Act or have been served notice of construction work adjacent to you, please contact us on the below details so that we can smoothly administer matters on your behalf.

For London and Southeast enquiries please contact Jamie Curtin 07977 566740

For Midlands enquiries please contact Stefan Oehl 07977 094600


Jamie Curtin

Author, Jamie Curtin