Party Wall Surveyor

Party Wall Surveyors ensure that your works, or the works of your neighbour, are compliant with the Party Wall Act. They also safeguard your property during the construction process.

Expert RICS Chartered Party Wall Surveyor London & the South East. Acting for owners undertaking extensions, conversions, basements, and maintenance, or those affected by party wall work next door. To enquire about a party wall matter, or for free impartial advice, call 020 7112 8877, or contact us.

Quick Enquiry

Complete the form below and we will be in touch to discuss your enquiry shortly.

royal institution of chartered surveyors RICS surveyors
p&t logo for party wall surveyors

RICS Party Wall Surveyors London & SE

Our team of RICS Party Wall Surveyors have been engaged on hundreds of party wall matters across London and the South, helping those undertaking works, as well as those living next.

We provide a full party wall surveying services, including party wall notices, meticulous schedules of condition, and party wall awards (agreements).

We offer fixed-fees on almost all of our jobs and free initial advice.

To discuss your party wall project in London or the SE, call 020 7122 8877.

a row of muse houses in London with trees to the right on the opposite side of the road

Our Party Wall Services

Our RICS Party Wall Surveyors provide a complete party wall service.
a row of brightly decorated terrace houses with a blue sky

Building Owners

If you plan to undertake construction work near another property, you may be required to server party wall notices under the Party Wall etc. Act? Our experienced RICS surveyors can help.

Find out more

a man in a high vis jacket and hard hat shows a lady something on a notepad

Adjoining Owners

Have you received a party wall notice from a neighbour? Or are your neighbours undertaking work that you think may be covered by the Party Wall Act? We can help.

Find out more

a man in a shirt with a clipboard looks up towards a house

Schedule of Condition

A detailed schedule of condition safeguards your property by providing a details record of the condition of your property before the works start.

Find out more

a row of muse houses in London with trees to the right on the opposite side of the road

Party Wall Award

Expert party wall awards (agreements) prepared by experienced RICS Chartered party wall surveyors throughout London and the South East.

Find out more

Party Wall FAQs

Below are answers to some of the questions we are most commonly asked about Party Wall matters.

The Party Wall Act, formally known as The Party Wall etc. Act 1996, is a piece of legislation that gives owners of buildings and land the rights to carry out certain types of works subject to serving party wall notices.

The works covered by the act relate to the construction of a new wall on or at the boundary with another property, excavation works near an adjoining structure or works directly to a party wall or structure.

The Act applies to all properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK Government has produced a useful party walls explanatory booklet, which gives a detailed overview of the Act.

The Act has primary purposes:

  • To enable owners to carry out certain types of construction work whilst protecting the rights of the neighbours, and
  • To avoid or reduce disputes relating to such work.

The Act sets out a process for resolving any disputes, and this is achieved by the formation of a Party Wall Award, sometimes called a party wall agreement. The award will agree any matters in dispute and stipulate how and when the works must be carried out.

If you intend to carry out works to your property, the Party Wall act defines you as the Building Owner. A Building Owner has a statutory duty to serve written party wall notices to all affected neighbours.

You need to serve party wall notices, when you intend on carrying out works which fall under three main categories:

  • Building new walls on the boundary line with another property.
  • Excavating close to an adjoining structure.
  • Works directly to a shared party wall or structure, such as inserting steel beams or removing a chimney breast.

If you intend to carry out any of the above, you will likely need to serve party wall notices on your neighbours.

If you are in any doubt about whether your works are notifiable under the Party Wall Act, we have created a table listing all the notifiable works, and this is located further down this page.

If you are in any doubt as to whether your works are notifiable, contact our RICS Chartered Party Wall Surveyors for free advice.

If your neighbour has started work without a party wall agreement (award), you can apply to the County Court to obtain an injunction to stop the works from proceeding until the process outlined in the Act has been followed.

The courts take a dim view of owners who intentionally ignore the Party Wall Act, and if it can be shown that the Act has been ignored, and no notices were served, you are very likely to be granted the injunction. However, the first action should be to inform your neighbour that you believe their works are notifiable under the Party Wall Act and that they should serve you with notice. It may well be the case that they didn’t know about the legislation in the first place.

If you are not comfortable talking to your neighbour, you can speak to a party wall surveyor, who can send a letter to your neighbor informing them that they have not followed the process in the Act and advising them of their obligations.

It may be the case that an owner only becomes aware that they need a party wall agreement (award) after they have completed the party wall works. In this case, they may want to find out about getting a party wall agreement after the works are complete, however, under the Party Wall Act there are no provisions for this. 

The Party Wall Act cannot be applied retrospectively, and therefore once the works are complete, it is too late. 

Essentially, the Act is there to protect the interests of both owners, so if there has been no damage to your property as a result of the works then there is little reason for concern. However, if you believe damage has ocurred to your property as a result of the works, then you can engage a surveyor to carry out a report on the damage to try to identify whether it was caused by the works. This can then be used to prompt your neighbour to make good the damage, or if necessary, as evidence in court.

It is worth noting that when the Party Wall Act is followed, it is for the adjoining owner to prove that any damage to their property was caused by the works, whereas if the Act is not followed, it is on the person who carried out the work to prove that the damage was not caused by them. This is effectively a reversed burden of proof, and it can be difficult and expensive to prove that your work didn’t cause damage.

It is for the above reasons that it is always recommended that you have a schedule of condition carried out of the adjoining owner’s propery before the works start to protect both owners, and make resolving any claims of damage considerably easier. 

In most circumstances, the fees for party wall surveyors will be paid by the owner undertaking the works. This includes the fees of any surveyors appointed by their neighbours.

This is because the adjoining owner is seen as an innocent bystander who would not have to go through the party wall process were it not for their neighbour carrying out the works. Additionally, it is the owner carrying out the works that stands to benefit from them, and so they pay the party wall surveyors fees, just like the fees for other consultants such as architects, engineers, and planners.

There may be cases where an adjoining owner requests additional works are carried out, or where the works are being carried out as a result of the adjoining owner failing to undertake maintenance. In these cases, the apportionment of the party wall surveyors’ fees will be determined by the party wall agreement (Award).

The cost of a party wall surveyor depends on the complexity of the work being carried out, and how much time it will take them to deal with the matter.

Many party wall surveyors charge on an hourly rate basis, whereas others will provide fixed-fees for their services.

At Murrins, when we act on behalf of the owner carrying out the work, we always provide a fixed fee quote for party wall surveying services.

Typically, in London and the South East, you can expect to pay between £800 – £2,000 +VAT for a surveyor to act on your behalf providing a full party wall service, including schedule of condition and party wall award.

It is also important to bear in mind that you will likely be responsible for the fees of any surveyors appointed by your neighbours, as well as your own party wall surveyor’s costs.

We offer a free party wall surveyor quotation to all clients, so for an exact cost, please contact us.

When do I need a party wall surveyor?

There are broadly three main types of work that are covered by the Party Wall Act. They are:

  • Works to a party structure: Works directly to party wall or structures. For example, cutting into a party wall to insert a beam or flashing, removing and chimney breast, or underpinning a shared wall.
  • Excavation within 3m or 6m: Excavating within 3m of an adjoining property of structure and to a deeper depth than its foundations. Or, excavation within 6m in the case of piles foundations.
  • Building new walls on the line of junction: Constructing a wall up to or on the boundary line with another property where a wall does not already exist.

When you intend to carry out any of the above works, the Act requires that you serve all affected neighbours with a valid party wall notice. Your neighbour can then either consent to the notice, in which case you can proceed with the notifiable works, or they can dissent to it. In the event of a dissent, a dispute is deemed to have arisen and needs to be resolved by the process set out in the Party Wall Act, which involves appointing surveyors who will then agree a party wall award, sometimes called a party wall agreement.

The party wall award will set out the manner and timings that the work will take place. It will also consider any compensation in the event of damage and advise on the rights of access to the neighbour’s land.

Watch the Party Walls explainer video from the RICS:

Play Video

Party Wall Quotation

Get a quote for party wall surveying services.

If you think your work may be covered by the Party Wall Act, get in touch for free initial advice and a quotation.

Get a Quote

What works are covered by the Party Wall Act?

The are three primary categories of works which are ‘notifiable’ under the Party Wall Act. Each has its own section under the Act, and these are detailed below, including how much notice must be given before the proposed works can start.

Party Structure Notices:

Below details notifiable works relating to party structures. Note that not all notifiable works have been included, but the most common works have been.

Section of Act Notifiable Work Notice Period
Section 2(a) Underpin, thicken or raise a party wall. For example, to underpin or raise a parapet wall. 2 Months
Section 2(b) Where a wall is defective, carry out repairs, or demolish and rebuild it. 2 Months
Section 2(e) Demolish a party wall that is not sufficiently strong, or high enough, for the intended new building or extension. 2 Months
Section 2(f) Cut into a party wall for any purpose, including inserting a damp proof course or steel beam. 2 Months
Section 2(g) To cut away projections from a wall that over hang your land. Such as removing a chimney breast. 2 Months
Section 2(h) Cut away projections over your land to the extent necessary to erect a wall. 2 Months
Section 2(j) To cut into the wall of an adjoining property, which is not a shared wall, in order to insert a flashing. 2 Months
Section 2(n) To expose a section of a party wall or structure that was previously enclosed. 2 Months

The below table details the notifiable works that are covered by the Act in connection with building new walls on the line of junction with another property.

Section of Act Notifiable Work Notice Period
Section 1(2) To construct a new wall on the boundary line with another property, which is partly on both owners' lands. 1 Month
Section 1(5) To construct a new wall on the boundary line with another property, which is wholly on your own land. 1 Month

Line of Junction Notices:

Adjacent Excavation Notices:

The table below details where excavation works are notifiable under the Party Wall Act.

Section of Act Notifiable Work Notice Period
Section 6(1) To excavate within 3m of an adjoining property of structure and to a deeper depth than its foundations. 1 Month
Section 6(2) To excavate within 6m of an adjoining property or structure and to a depth that would intersect with a 45 degree line drawn downwards from the bottom of its foundations. Typically this only applies to piled foundations. 1 Month

What is the party wall process & how long does it take?

The Party Wall Act outlines the framework, processes, and timescales for dealing with party wall matters. The timeline below gives an outline of the critical party wall process.

Time required: 1 - 2 Days
1. Service of Notices
It is a requirement of the Act that the Building Owner serves compliant party wall notices on affected Adjoining Owners. Due to the complexity of identifying all notifiable work correctly, party wall surveyors are usually appointed to prepare and serve the notices, however anyone can serve the notice. Notice periods are 2 months for party structure works, and 1 month of line of junction and adjacent excavation works.
Time required: 1 - 2 Days
Time required: 14 - 24 Days
2. Response to notice
Once your neighbour has received the notice, they have 14 days to respond to it. The three options open to them in responding are:
  • Consent: In this case the works can proceed and nothing further is required under the Act. With that said, it is still advisable to have a schedule of condition undertaken of their property.
  • Dissent and appoint their own surveyor: In this case both the Building Owner's and Adjoining Owner's surveyors will act together to agree a party wall award. The surveyors must act impartially, despite being appointed by an individual owner. The notifiable works cannot start until the award have been served on the owners by the surveyors.
  • Dissent and agree to share a single agreed surveyor: In this case a single 'Agreed Surveyor' will act impartially on behalf of both the owners to prepare a party wall award. This option is recommended only where the works are of a relatively simple nature.
Note that if no response is received from the adjoining owner after 14 days, then they are deemed to have automatically dissented. In such case, a letter will typically be sent to them giving them 10 days to appoint a surveyor, otherwise the Building Owner can appoint one for them.
Time required: 14 - 24 Days
Time required: Typically 5 - 10 days following notice response.
3. Schedule of Condition
Once the surveyors have been appointed, they will undertake a schedule of condition of the adjoining property. This will act as a record of its condition before the works start so that in the event of any damage occurring, there is a clear written and photographic record
Time required: Typically 5 - 10 days following notice response.
Time required: Typically 3 - 6 weeks.
4. Party Wall Award
The appointed surveyors will then prepare a Party Wall Award. The award will determine any matters in dispute, and will also stipulate the timings and manner that the notifiable works must take place. It will also set out any rights to compensation and for access on to adjoining land.

Once the surveyor(s) has agreed the content of the award, they will sign it, and it will then be served on the owners. If they have any problem with the content of the award, they can appeal it in the County Court within 14 days, after which point the award becomes legally binding on both parties.

Subject to there being no contests in the County Court, the Building Owner can start the works covered in the award.
Time required: Typically 3 - 6 weeks.

Want to know more about Party Wall Surveying?

The RICS has produced consumer guidance covering the Party Wall etc. Act. The guidance is written in layman’s terms and gives an overview of the rights and obligation of the Party Wall Act.

What areas do we cover?

We provide expert party wall surveying services throughout London and the South East, particularly in areas including the London Boroughs of Bromley, Wandsworth, Greenwich, Southwark, and Lambeth. We also work in Kent, Surrey, and East Sussex. If you are unsure if we cover your area, please contact us and we would be happy to confirm if we can help.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for a free quote.

If you would like to speak to a surveyor for advice about arranging a survey, or if you would like a free no-obligation quotation, click on the button below to get in touch.

Enquire Now

About Murrins RICS Chartered Party Wall Surveyors

We are firm of expert RICS Chartered Surveyors with decades of experience providing professional surveying and architectural services to clients across London and the South East.

Our range of services includes RICS Home Surveys such as Building Surveys and Homebuyer Surveys, party wall surveying, and architectural design for planning and Building Regulations applications.

For a free quote or initial advice, call 020 7122 8877.

murrins rics chartered surveyors logo
an image showing a single storey extension with large bi-folding doors and a timber decked patio
a man in a shirt with a clipboard looks up towards a house
block of flats during a rics level 2 homebuyer survey
a party wall surveyor in a high vis jacket shows a women something on a clipboard in front of a house

Enquire now about your Project

Get in touch to speak to us about your project, or for a free no-obligation quote.

Or call us on 0207 112 8877, or email your enquiry to contact@murrins.co.uk.

Get in touch

For a free, no-obligation quote for any of our services, simply complete the form and we will be in touch shortly.

Or call us on 0207 112 8877, or email your enquiry to contact@murrins.co.uk.

rics logo

Quick Enquiry

Complete the form below and we will be in touch to discuss your enquiry shortly.