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Many properties share boundaries, but in terms of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, what is the difference between a shared wall, ceiling, or even garden fence? And we discuss what works are covered by the Act, including reference to Roadrunner Properties v Dean (2003); a case that covers the consequences of apparently minor works.

Graham North, national treasurer of the party wall surveyors’ group Pyramus & Thisbe, explains the protocol required for the appointment of a surveyor or surveyors, how notice of work should be served, and how an ‘award’ is created and what it contains – including the all-important conditions survey.

We look at the Act’s remit in cases where a boundary may not be immediately obvious; for example where excavation, foundation and or piling works are required. Graham also explains the line of junction and clarifies what constitutes an adjoining owner.

As experts in party wall surveying we are well qualified to offer specialist and practical party wall advice relating to this complex legislation. 

A party wall is a dividing structure between two adjoining properties that is shared by the people residing in each property. So if you live in a terrace or semi-detached house, any wall which you share with your neighbour(s) is known as a party wall. 

Party walls can also include floors or /ceilings that form the boundary between two flats or the wall between two gardens, known as a party fence wall. 

In an instance where a wall separates two different sized buildings, often only the part that is used by both properties is a party wall, the part that isn’t shared therefore belongs to the person or persons whose land it stands on. 

As you can see Party Wall legislation is a very complex issue, which requires a specialist level of knowledge and advice.  We would always recommend using an experienced Chartered Building Surveyor to assist you with any Party Wall related matters.