What are ‘party wall’ matters?

A wall is a ‘party wall’ if it stands astride the boundary of land belonging to two (or more) different owners. The Party Wall Act 1996 provides a building owner, who wishes to carry out various sorts of work to an existing party wall, with additional rights going beyond ordinary common law rights. Section 2 of the Act lists what work can be done. The most commonly used rights are:

If work falls on to a party wall, it is a requirement to have a ‘Party Wall Agreement.’ You must notify all neighbours in writing at least two months before the planned start date for work to the party wall. The notice is only valid for a year, so shouldn’t be served too long before you wish to start.