What is a party wall?


If you live in a semi-detached or terraced building, you share a wall or walls with your neighbour.

Such walls are known as party walls. Party walls separate buildings belonging to different owners.

Where a wall separates two different sized buildings, only the part that is used by both properties is considered to be a party wall. The rest of the wall belongs to the person on whose land it stands.

If the work to be performed on your neighbours side of the party wall is minor and it presents no risks of damage to your property or interests, then you the Land and Conveyancing Acts 2009 gives you no extra rights save what would have normally been available under common law and easement rights.

It is always preferable that neighbours reach agreement on their own about the building works to be carried out without the need to resort to litigation. You cannot prevent your neighbour from exercising their legal rights under the Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 and repairing their property through works of construction. However, you may well be able to influence how and on what dates and times the work is done if it impacts you.

Party wall advice

Any construction work, including new building, renovations, extensions, or excavations, is likely to have an impact on a Party Wall. A wall is considered a party wall if it meets either of the following two conditions:

1. The wall stands astride a boundary of land belonging to two or more different owners; this means that approximately half of the given wall is situated on land belonging to at least two different parties. The party wall may be part of a single building, it may separate two or more buildings, or it could serve as a party fence wall separating two properties.

2. A wall is also deemed to be a party wall when it stand entirely on a single owners property but it is used by two or more owners to separate their buildings. A good example is where one owner built a wall, but another owner has built up against it without constructing their own private wall.

If you are the adjoining owner are building on or astride the boundary wall this may affect your property when you decide to sell or building your own extension at a later stage. An adjoining owner is defined under the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 “as meaning the owner of any estate or interest in the building or unbuilt on land adjoining that of the building owner”.