What is a Party Wall?

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What is a Party Wall?

party wall surveyor Lewisham and Kingston

A party wall surveyor Lewisham is a dividing partition between two adjoining buildings that is shared by the occupants of each residence or business. Typically, the builder lays the wall along a property line dividing two terraced houses, so that one half of the wall’s thickness lies on each side.

The Party Wall etc. Act recognises two main types of party wall. 

Party wall type A 

A wall is a “party wall surveyor Kingston” if it stands astride the boundary of land belonging to two (or more) different owners. 

Such a wall: 

  1. is part of one building  
  2. or separates two (or more) buildings  
  3. or consists of a “party fence wall”  

A wall is a “party fence wall” if it is not part of a building and stands astride the boundary line between lands of different owners and is used to separate those lands (for example a masonry garden wall). This does not include such things as wooden fences or hedges. 

Party wall type B 

A wall is also a “party wall” if it stands wholly on one owner’s land but is used by two (or more) owners to separate their buildings. 

An example would be where one person has built the wall in the first place, and another has built their building up against it without constructing their own wall. 

Only the part of the wall that does the separating is “party” – sections on either side or above are not “party”. 

The Act also uses the expression “party structure”. This is a wider term, which could be a wall or floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings approached by separate staircases or entrances for example flats. 

Walls that are not Party Walls: 

These may include boundary walls (a fence wall/garden wall built wholly on one owner’s land) and external walls (the wall of a building built up to but not astride the boundary).

Party Structure

The Act also uses the expression “party structure”, as in “Party Structure Notice”. As well as the party walls described above this term encompasses dividing structures such as floors or other partitions. It is rare that structures of this type are the subject of a Party Wall Agreement.

Party Fence Wall 

A “party fence wall” is not part of a building. It stands astride the boundary line between lands of different owners and is used to separate those lands. Wooden fences, or even fences with concrete posts, are not party fence walls.


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