Party Wall Notices

Party wall notices are legal documents that need to be served on adjoining owners when you plan to undertake work covered by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. With experience of preparing and serving hundreds of party wall notices for projects across London and the South East, Murrins Surveyors are your go-to firm for ensuing your party wall notices are compliant and professional.

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Party Wall Notices for projects in London & the South East.

As RICS Chartered Party Wall Surveyors, we can expertly prepare party wall notices for your extension, conversion, or build project, ensuring compliance with the Party Wall Act.

We have prepared hundreds of party wall notices, and can identify what works require notice under the Party Wall Act, and identify all affected adjoining owners.

We offer fixed-fees for all party wall notices, so don’t hesitate to contact us to get a quote.

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

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Party Wall Notice FAQs

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

A party wall notice is a legal document that is required to be served when you undertake any work covered by the Party Wall Act.

The notice must be in a specific format, and include at least the following information:

  • The names of the owners.
  • The addresses of the properties.
  • A description of the proposed works.
  • When the proposed works will start.

Certain types of notice must also be served with certain additional information in order to be valid. For example, a notice for adjacent excavation must include a detail drawing showing the proposed excavation and its depth, as well as a plan showing the layout of the proposed excavation.

It is essential that your notices are compliant because if they are found to be invalid and the matter should end up in court, it will be deemed that no notice was served.

As RICS Chartered Party Wall Surveyors, we can identify all notifiable work, and all affected adjoining owners, ensuring that your party wall notices are 100% compliant with the Party Wall Act.

To speak to a RICS Surveyor about party wall notices, contact us.

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.

The Party Wall Act sets out statutory timeframes for when notices must be served depending on the type of work being carried out.

At the very minimum, party wall notices must be served no later than the following:

  • Excavation near an adjoining property – 1 month.
  • New walls on the boundary line – 1 month.
  • Works directly to a party wall or structure – 2 months.

Yes, you can prepare and serve part wall notices yourself. But you must be sure that you understand the requirements for what is included in the notices, and the statutory timescales for serving them, otherwise you run the risk of the notices being invalid.

You must also be sufficiently knowledgable of what works are notifiable under the Party Wall Act, and ensure that the correct types of notices are served.

Additionally, you must also ensure that you serve the party wall notices on all affected adjoining owners. Under the Act, an adjoining owner can be a freeholder, a leaseholder, a tenant who has lived at the property for more than a year, or anyone with a financial interest in the property. Because of this, a single property can have multiple adjoining owners, and each one must be served with a valid party wall notice. This saves a lot of stress, time, and often money in the event that you incorrectly serve your party wall notices yourself.

If you are in any doubt at all about what works are notifiable, or about who needs to receive a notice, you should engage an experienced RICS Party Wall Surveyor to prepare your notices for you.

If you need fully compliant party wall notices prepared by RICS surveyors who have prepared hundreds of party wall surveyors, don’t hesitate to contact us for a quote and free initial advice.

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. For party wall notices alone, you can expect to pay between £175 – £300 +VAT per adjoining owner.

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:

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Party Wall Quotation

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

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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.

Our Party Wall Services

Our RICS Party Wall Surveyors provide a complete party wall service.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Party Wall Award

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

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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.

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

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