A party Wall award can often be required when you undertake construction works either on an existing or for a proposed building.

Many people look at the title of the act which is the “Party Wall etc Act” and are under the misconception that it only relates to works that are carried out on the wall between two joined premises which is known as the “Party Wall” but this is not the case. There are a number of other items covered by the Act and the clue is in the etc. suffix at the end of the title.

A few examples of items that would be included are such things as Adjacent Excavation notices. If you’re digging in the back garden of your house for an extension and the excavation will be lower than those of your next­door neighbour within a distance of 3 m then you need to let the neighbours know under the terms of section 6 of the party wall legislation. If you’re piling different distances and depths apply. Within flats for example you can have such things as Party Structures which refer to that part of the building that separates different homes or areas accessed by their own staircase or entrance.

If example you’re in a first­floor flat in doing work to your floors such as putting insulation in for sound purposes of even a level access shower tray you need to let the ground floor premises know as your floor is their ceiling and you are under an obligation to notify the neighbours which could include not only leaseholders but the freeholders as well.