Update on the Party Wall etc Act 1996

The Explanatory Booklet on the Party Wall Act (external link) has been revised by MHCLG and can only be found online.

The Party Wall Act applies to England and Wales and provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.

The MHCLG’s Party Wall Act Explanatory Booklet provides guidance on the Act for building owners wishing to carry out work under the Act and adjoining building owners. The Party Wall Act Explanatory Booklet has been simplified and updated to provide some answers to regularly asked questions.

The requirements of the Act are not well known but anyone planning to carry out building work which could affect a party wall or party fence, or is on a boundary, should familiarise themselves with their responsibilities. The fundamental requirements have not changed and two months notice is still required to be given to the adjoining owner. It is important for everyone to realise that this is civil law and not criminal law. It is therefore a matter for building owners to resolve between themselves or to follow the guidance and employ a Party Wall Surveyor/s.

Useful Documents

Circulars from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (external link)

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 – Revised Explanatory Booklet (external link)