The Act came into force on 1 July 1997 throughout England and Wales.
It provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party structures. The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 applies to:
- Work on an existing wall shared with another property
- Building a free standing wall or a wall of a building up to or astride the boundary with a neighbouring property
- Excavating near a neighbouring building (within 6m if deep foundations)
(A party structure can be a wall or floor that divides two properties in different ownerships.)
The act is not administered or enforced by the Local Authority. You may need to seek private, professional advice from a specialist Party Wall surveyor.
If a dispute cannot be avoided the matter can ultimately only be resolved by Civil Action being taken.
The most recent Government guidance is available at Party Wall Act Guide