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Party Wall

Are you about to undertake works to or near a shared Party Wall? Or, are you concerned about your neighbour’s planned works? With our expert help, we can efficiently deal with all Party Wall matters.

What is a Party Wall?

A Party Wall is a dividing partition between two adjoining buildings that are shared by the occupants.

Why Do You Need a Party Wall Surveyor?

When you decide to have work done to or near a neighbour’s wall, you have a legal duty to serve a Party Wall Notice to all affected neighbours.

A “building owner” is the person carrying out the works, whereas the “adjoining owner” is the neighbour not carrying out the works.

An official agreement must be in place between the building owner and the adjoining owner for work to commence.

Suppose an adjoining owner does not consent to the proposed works within 14 days of receiving notice under the Party Wall, etc. Act 1996, the parties will be deemed “in dispute.” At this point, both building owner and adjoining owner will need to appoint a surveyor for an agreement to be settled.

Overview of Our Service

A Party Wall agreement (“Award”) is necessary for building work to commence and is produced by two party wall surveyors or one
“Agreed Surveyor” acting for their respective owners. The agreement consists of three parts:



Show the design of the proposed works.


Schedule of Condition

Record the condition of the adjoining owner’s property prior to works commencing.


Determination on what works may proceed, how and when.


Notifiable works under the relevant sections of the Act (such as excavating within 3 metres of a neighbouring foundation) will require a notice. By serving such a notice, this invokes the Party Wall, etc. Act 1996.

Once the Act has been invoked, an adjoining owner (one who has had a notice served upon them) may consent or dissent. Dissenting to a notice will require a Party Wall Award to be drawn up by the surveyor(s).


If a dispute occurs between the building owner and adjoining owner before or after the Award has been served, they would then bring this to the surveyor(s), who would have an impartial quasi-judicial role in resolving the dispute.

The surveyor(s) would inspect the property and reason with what has occurred within the framework of the Party Wall Award. Often, these issues can be resolved efficiently and without involving lawyers. Problems such as illegal works are covered under common law; however, Party Wall Awards often have the function of negating court action.

This is the purpose of the Act: to achieve resolve between neighbours in a bid to avoid costly legal proceedings.

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A Party Wall Award is a legally binding agreement that can nevertheless be
used in court.

It contains all the relevant details from:

  • the building owners and adjoining owners
  • surveyors
  • the type and description of works
  • relevant sections of the Act applicable to the works

The Award should also include all architect’s plans;
engineer’s drawings/calculations; ground investigation reports; and method statements for more tricky areas in order to set out exactly how the works are to be carried out. This documentation helps keep the surveyor(s) and adjoining owner informed of precisely what is occurring next door as permitted under the Act (e.g. where the foundations will be built).

Deviating From the Agreement

Once an Award is drafted, there can be no deviation from the notifiable works without the owners’ or surveyors’ written permission. Suppose deviations from the plans and notifiable works occur: this can be brought to the building owner’s attention to rectify, preventing a contractor from potentially carrying out any (further) illegal works. If unauthorised works continue, an injunction may be taken out by the adjoining owner.


The Party Wall Award also sets out the building owners’ obligations, such as providing support to retain the neighbouring land and buildings: this will include protection measures against even minor issues, such as dust and debris resulting from the works. The building owner will be held responsible for keeping the neighbouring property free from defects and nuisances.


The Award will ensure that the building owner is held responsible for any damages occurring due to the notifiable works. If damages occur to a neighbouring property, the adjoining owner can communicate this to the building owner via their surveyor to achieve resolution. However, disagreements can happen, and it’s not always clear-cut.

A Party Wall Award usually includes a Schedule of Condition: this details any pre-existing damage to the adjoining owner’s property and forms a part of the documents registered in the Award. If neighbours are in disagreement about damages, they can then refer to the surveyor(s) to award damages if applicable. The Schedule of Condition will help prove whether damages occurred as a result of the works.

Adjoining Owner's Surveyor Fees

We are appointed to oversee matters related to the Party Wall and are not involved in the building project. Therefore, we can act as an Agreed Surveyor to both the building owner and adjoining owners. However, if you are a building owner and your neighbour’s (adjoining owners) decide to appoint their surveyor, you will be responsible for their fees, which must be reasonable. These are likely to be charged at an hourly rate of between £100 and £250.

At Prinsegate, we try to minimize the adjoining owner’s surveyor’s time by providing them with all the information they require from the offset and keeping to only essential negotiations.

Why You Should Appoint Prinsegate

Our team of Chartered Surveyors has extensive property experience and is here to provide you with the best support.

The following are reasons why we are fast becoming the go-to Party Wall surveying service in the UK. We offer:

  • Start to Finish Service

  • Free Consultation

  • Free Enforcement Guidance

  • Efficient Completion Times

  • Balanced, Fair & Impartial Service

  • Legally Binding Awards

  • Free Post-Work Inspection

  • Tips to Avoid Hidden Statutory Costs

  • Competitive Prices

  • Performance Guarantee

  • Communication Available 24/7

Our Professional Standards

Our surveying practice is widely recognised for its professionalism and we are members of the following regulatory bodies:

Get in Touch

There are many more elements that make up an award. Give us a call for FREE advice regarding the Party Wall Act.

What is a Party Wall?

Our Party Wall Surveyors are often asked to explain what a party wall is; this is never a simple answer. As with all party wall matters, this can be complex.

Role of a Party Wall Surveyor & The Party Wall Act

The Act covers new buildings on or at the boundaries of two properties. It also includes works to existing party walls or party structures. Furthermore, excavations near to and below the foundation level of the neighbouring building or structures.

This could include building a new wall. If you are planning to remove chimney breasts, the Act may cover this.

As there are too many variables to explain here, please contact us for more information.

Party Wall Surveyor Surrey
Party Wall Surveyor Surrey

What is a Party Wall?

A party wall is defined as a wall within a building. This wall joins two properties and forms the boundary between them.

There is also a party fence wall; this wall stands astride the boundary of the two properties. It does not form part of the building.
Usually, party walls will be declared in the deeds.

Fences are not covered by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

Our Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team has all the experience required to help you with these matters.

The Work of a Party Wall Surveyor

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 recognises two types of Party walls.

  1. A wall standing astride the boundary. The boundary would be on the land of the two adjoining owners. Usually positioned at the centre of a wall, but not always.
  2. Two owners will use a wall standing wholly on one owner’s land to separate their buildings; this could be where one neighbour has a structure against a wall owned by the other neighbour. The party wall is the wall that is enclosed by the lean-to structure.

For further information regarding this matter, please contact one of our specialists here.

Party Wall Surveyor Between Neighbouring Houses
Party Wall Surveyor Between Neighbouring Houses

Party Walls Becoming External Walls

Party walls can sometimes become external walls; this can happen when, for example, works are needing to be done on the road; this could be road widening works; this would mean the demolition of the party wall to some degree.

If you are experiencing this situation, please seek advice. We can give you all the information you require regarding this matter.

Walls that Are Not Party Walls

These may include boundary walls and external walls. The boundary wall would be a fence/garden wall built wholly on one owner’s land. Exterior walls would consist of the wall of a building built up to but not astride the boundary.

Confusion Over Party Fences and Walls

Sometimes there is confusion over party walls, party fence walls, and a party structure.

Here is a basic overview of each of these items:

Party Wall Surveyor London
Party Wall Surveyor London

Party Fence Wall

A party fence wall stands astride the boundary of the two properties. It does not form part of a building. Walls that stand on just one person’s land are not party fence walls. Wooden fences and fences with concrete posts are not party wall fences.

Party Structure

This is any part of a building that divides it from other parts owned by someone else; this can include walls and floors between flats.

It’s essential to have all the right information. Experience in dealing with this matter is paramount to our Party Wall Surveyor Team.

Excavating Near a Neighbour’s Property

If you want to carry out works near a neighbour’s property, please speak to our Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team first; this, as with all party wall matters, is a complex subject. The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 needs to be adhered to. The Government has a free explanatory booklet available. Please click this link to download.

Even if you are just planning on digging a hole on your land, notice must be served. We are often asked why this needs to happen. Excavation works close to structures can cause a risk to the foundations. The structure could be compromised and movement could occur. Our Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team can provide more information relating to this matter.

Establishing a Party Wall

From the above information, you can see how important it is to get this established. By talking to our Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team, we can help you clarify this matter. Establishing a party wall is an integral part of the process. Questions often arise in this regard.

Other Information Relating to Party Walls

If you plan to carry out any of the work listed below, please contact our Party Wall Surveyor Team. We will advise whether this falls within the Party Wall etc. Act 1996:

  • Building a free-standing wall or a wall of a building up to or astride the boundary with the neighbouring property – Section 1 of the Act.
  • Work on an existing party wall or party structure/building against a party wall or party structure – Section 2 of the Act.
  • Excavating near a neighbouring building – Section 6 of the Act.

If you would like to read the full Party Wall etc. Act 1996 please click here.

If you are experiencing a dispute with regard to party walls, the Government has provided useful information here.

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