• smartsurveyor

Will I always remain responsible for the Party Wall?

It's not uncommon for a property to have an outbuilding in their garden that is attached to their neighbour's matching half. These could be garages, brick sheds, old washhouses and such like. So what happens if one owner no longer wants/needs their part and wishes to remove it?


They can use the rights given under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 to demolish it, and this it comes under Section 2(2)(n) where there is a right "to expose a party wall or party structure hitherto enclosed subject to providing adequate weathering." That could be a temporary exposure or permanent - of course the necessary weather protection needed might be different in those different circumstances.


A frequently asked question that we often then get is

"What happens to the ownership and responsibility after the one half of the structure has been demolished?"

On the general basis then, if the wall was originally a Party Wall ‘type a’ (standing astride the boundary) then it's expected that it remains as a Party Wall afterwards, with the relevant ownership responsibilities (and rights) as before. That might mean then upkeep of decorations and weather protection remains with the owner of the respective side that faces them, and with wider repairs & maintenance of the structure being joint/shared between the owners.


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If that is the situation, and neither party wants shared ownership/responsibility any longer, then they could look at transferring ownership of the wall, in its entirety, into one ownership and amending the respective titles/records of ownership.


For that we would look at plans being drawn up for submitting to Land Registry.

Party Wall etc Act 1996, Section 2, Exposing a Party Wall - FAQ
Exposing a Party Wall