The Party Wall etc. Act 1996
The Act comes from a long line of predecessors and is concerned with issues arising from works affecting neighbouring properties in three main ways:
(Section 1) When it is intended to build a new wall* straddling the boundary line ("Line of Junction"),
(Section 2) When it is intended to work** on an existing shared wall ("Party Wall"),
(Section 6) When it is intended to dig to a certain depth*** close to a neighbour's building or structure.
* The new wall will then be called a 'party wall' because the line of junction goes through it.
A wall separating two enclosed neighbouring rooms is also a party wall to the extent that it does so, regardless of the positon of the line of junction.
** There are a number of things which can be done to an existing party wall, such as underpinning it or raising it.
*** Below the level of the neighbour's foundation, within three metres, or really deep, within six metres (for example piling foundations).
What is a Party Wall Surveyor?
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 does not use the term Party Wall Surveyor, but simply the term 'surveyor'. However, the term Party Wall Surveyor has come to mean what the Act refers to as a surveyor, ie an appointee who is given statutory authority to determine a 'dispute' by means of an Award.
No 'dispute', no 'party wall surveyor'!