Party Wall works—notices, disputes and awards

The following Property Disputes practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Party Wall works—notices, disputes and awards
  • Definitions
  • Party Walls
  • Party fence wall
  • Party structure
  • Owner
  • Further guidance
  • Types of work affected
  • Work on an existing party wall
  • New building on the boundary line
  • More...

Party Wall works—notices, disputes and awards

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 (PWA 1996) imposes rights and obligations on property owners who wish to:

  1. work on existing party walls or structures

  2. construct a new wall or structure at the boundary line with an adjoining property, or

  3. excavate within three or six metres of an adjoining building or structure (depending on the depth of the works)

PWA 1996 requires owners intending to do works to serve notice on any affected adjoining owners. In most cases, unless they consent a dispute resolution process will follow, requiring the appointment of surveyors, and leading to a party wall award authorising works subject to certain conditions.


PWA 1996 uses a number of technical terms.

Party Walls

A party wall is a wall which is part of a building and either:

  1. sits across a boundary (to a greater extent than merely its footings or foundations), or

  2. stands wholly on one owner’s land but separates buildings belonging to different owners. Only the part of that wall that is used by both buildings forms the party wall. Anything above, below or to the side of that jointly used part is not a party wall to that extent

Therefore, the term does not include a wall:

  1. that is part of one building only and stands next to (but not across) the boundary line (even where the footings or

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