Party Wall

A party wall surveyor provides a specialist role in resolving disputes between neighbours under the Act.

Party Wall arrangements

Correct Valuations

By underinsuring your assets you may not get fully compensated to reinstate the damage.

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You must tell your neighbours if you want to carry out any building work near or on your shared property boundary, or ‘party wall’, in England and Wales.

Party walls stand on the land of 2 or more owners and either:

form part of a building
don’t form part of a building, such as a garden wall (not wooden fences)
Walls on one owner’s land used by other owners (2 or more) to separate their buildings are also party walls.

Party structures
You can also have a ‘party structure’. This could be a floor or other structure that separates buildings or parts of buildings with different owners, eg flats.

Party wall agreements are different from planning permission or building regulations approval.

You must tell your neighbour if you want to:

build on or at the boundary of your 2 properties
work on an existing party wall or party structure
dig below and near to the foundation level of their property
Examples of this type of work include:

building a new wall
cutting into a party wall
making a party wall taller, shorter or deeper
removing chimneys from a party wall
knocking down and rebuilding a party wall

What you don’t need to tell them about

You don’t need to tell your neighbor about minor changes, eg plastering, adding or replacing electrical wiring or sockets, or drilling to put up shelves or cabinets.

When and how to tell them

You must give notice to your neighbour between 2 months and a year before you plan to start building works. Include what you plan on doing.

You can speak to your neighbour to explain the work you want to carry out, before giving notice in writing.

Once you’ve given notice your neighbour can:

Give consent in writing
refuse consent, which will start the dispute resolution process
and serve a counter notice requesting additional works be done at the same time (they’ll have to pay for these if they benefit from the works)
Your neighbour must let you know in writing within 14 days if they consent to your notice, and you must do the same with any counter notice. A counter-notice must be served within a month of the first notice.

The dispute resolution process will also start if they don’t respond to your notice within the given time.

You must appoint a surveyor if you and your neighbour can’t agree. You can appoint a surveyor together or each appoint your own. The surveyors will then agree on a ‘party wall award’.

This is a legal document which says:

what work should happen
how and when it will be carried out
who will pay for which part and how much will be paid (including surveyor’s fees)

You can appeal against an award at a county court within 14 days of receiving it. You need to file an appellant’s notice in a county court, explaining why you’re appealing.