Party walls—shared costs and security for damage

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

  • Party walls—shared costs and security for damage
  • Sharing the cost of party wall works
  • Security for damage and expenses

Party walls—shared costs and security for damage

This Practice Note explains the circumstances in which the cost of party wall works can be shared, the right of adjoining owners and building owners to seek security for damage and expenses, and the surrounding case law.

Sharing the cost of party wall works

The cost of works under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 (PWA 1996) (referred to in PWA 1996 as ‘expenses’) must be met by the building owner, unless an exception applies. These exceptions include:

  1. where a building owner builds a new party wall or party fence wall, to which the adjoining owner consents, the expense is shared between the two owners having regard to the use made (or to be made) by each owner, and to the cost of labour and materials prevailing at the time of that use. There is therefore scope for a building owner to receive no contribution at the time a new wall is built (because the adjoining owner will make no use of it at that time), but to seek payment in future if (for example) the adjoining owner later uses the wall as part of a building on their own property. The contribution of the adjoining owner would reflect the then-current costs of the wall, not the sums actually incurred by the building owner

  2. where the work

    1. is to underpin,

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