A Party Wall Agreement is a legal requirement here in the UK under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. This legislation applies to England and Wales. It is designed to regulate the construction and alteration of party walls, boundary walls, and excavations near neighbouring properties. The purpose of the Act is to prevent disputes between neighbours by establishing a framework for communication and agreement when building work might affect shared walls or boundaries.
Under the Act, if you intend to carry out certain types of construction work, such as building a new wall on or along a boundary, cutting into a party wall to insert beams, or excavating near a neighbouring property, you must serve notice to your affected neighbours. The notice explains the work you plan to do and its potential impact on their property. If your neighbours agree, this becomes a Party Wall Agreement. If they don’t agree, a dispute resolution process is outlined in the Act.
In summary, while not all construction work requires a Party Wall Agreement, certain types of work are covered by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 does necessitate this legal agreement to ensure proper communication and resolution between neighbours. It’s recommended to consult with a qualified surveyor or legal professional to determine if your proposed work falls under this requirement and how to proceed.