The Party Wall Act 1996
The Party Wall Explanatory Booklet (external link) has been revised by MHCLG and can only be found online.
For reference, The Party Wall Act (PWA) 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 Explanatory Booklet provides guidance on the Act for building owners wishing to carry out work under the Act and adjoining building owners. The 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 all parties involved 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.
Please be aware that some works undertaken to the party wall may still be notifiable to the local authority. Although we don’t handle the notice served to the neighbours, we will still be involved in any structural alterations undertaken. For a list of common projects, please go to our Common Projects page.