Building work near boundaries and neighbours

The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in England and Wales in 1997.

If you plan to carry out work which involves one of the following, you must find out whether that work falls within the Act:

  • Building a free standing wall or a wall of a building up to or astride the boundary with a neighbouring property (section 1 of the Act)
  • Work on an existing wall or structure shared with another property (section 2 of the Act)
  • Excavating near or adjacent to a neighbouring building (section 6 of the Act)

If it does, you must notify all affected neighbours in writing informing them of the work you plan to do and how you will ensure their safety during construction works.

The Act is separate from Planning and Building Regulations so you must remember that reaching agreement with your neighbour under the Act does not remove the possible need for planning permission or building regulations approval.