Party Wall Surveying

Covering London and the Home Counties.

RICS Surveying Services

Condition, Homebuyer & building surveying.

Architectural Services

Refurbishment & building project services.

What is a Party Wall Notice?

You’ve just been served a Party Wall Notice from your neighbour informing you that they are building an extension. For many, this is the first time they have ever seen a Party Wall Notice;  in fact, many people aren’t even sure what a party wall is!

We’re here to guide you through what the Party Wall Notice means, what you need to do next and look at some of the other questions you might have.

If you’ve been served a Party Wall Notice and are looking for a good party wall surveyor, get in touch for a free initial assessment. We are fully regulated by RICS and a member of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors, so you can be confident you will be in safe hands.

What is a party wall?

A party wall is a shared wall which divides the building of two owners. So, for example, it could be a wall separating terraced or semi-detached houses or it could be a wall that stands completely on your neighbour’s land, but you have a structure that leans against it, such as a garage. Only the part of the wall that is enclosed by that building is a party wall.

So, what is a Party Wall Notice?

This is a document from a home owner (“Building Owner”) informing owners of adjoining or neighbouring properties (“Adjoining Owner”), that they are planning to undertake work which could affect the party (shared) walls of those adjoining properties or they are plan to excavate within 3m or 6m of the neighbouring property.

So, if your neighbour is planning an extension which would require cutting into or cutting away from the wall that separates your two properties or excavating within 3m or 6m of your foundations, legally they have to give you notice of their intended works.

Why have I received a Party Wall Notice?

Because your neighbour wants to undertake work to their property that may affect yours, they need to serve you notice of their intention which gives you the option to consent or dissent under the Party wall etc Act 1996.

So, what do I have to do now?

You now have 14 days from receiving the Party Wall Notice to respond. You can :

• Give consent to the Party Wall Notice: If you’re happy with the works laid out in the notice and don’t expect them to affect your property, simply give written consent for the proposed works to go ahead. We would recommend that you also ask for a ‘schedule of condition’ of your property. This will make it easier to identify if any damage has been done to your property during the works. The cost for the schedule should be covered by the Building Owner.

• Dissent to the notice: if you are concerned about possible damage to your property, you can refuse consent. This will trigger the dispute resolution process and you must appoint a surveyor. The surveyor can be either the same surveyor as your neighbour i.e. an Agreed Surveyor or a different surveyor than your neighbour.

The Agreed Surveyor or the two appointed surveyors will draw up a legal document called a Party Wall Award. This provides a set of guidelines on how the proposed works should progress; drawings detailing the proposed works; and a “schedule of condition” survey of your property which is checked after the works are completed to determine if any damage occurred to your property during the works. The Party wall etc Act 1996 states that it is the Building owner’s responsibility to make good all structural, decorative and horticultural damage to the Adjoining Owner’s property occasioned by the works, in materials to match the existing fabric and finishes.

A Party Wall Award may include other items as well. Take a look at our Party Wall Guidance for a full breakdown.

Remember, you must respond to a Party Wall Notice within 14 days. If you don’t, it will be presumed you have refused consent and start the dispute resolution process.

What happens if I consent to a Party Wall Notice, but then have a problem with the works?

The Party Wall etc Act is a dispute resolution Act and if damage has occurred after consent, you are working outside of the Act. It is therefore a civil matter. You can ask the Building Owner to rectify the damage or instruct a surveyor to determine the extent of the damage. If the Building Owner refuses to make good the damage, you can take the matter up in court to claim back the damages.

Will I have to pay for anything?

As a rule, the Building Owner pays for all the surveyors’ fees, this includes fees for the two appointed surveyors or the Agreed Surveyor.

Do I have to give my neighbours access through my property?

The Party wall etc Act 1996 gives rights of access to your property under certain conditions. Essentially, access is given , if they can’t finish the notifiable works under the Act without access to your property If they do need access, they should give you an appropriate notice period – 14 days is considered acceptable.

I’m worried about the noise and disturbance from the building work next door? Is there anything I can do?

The award states hours of noisy working, but this relates to the notifiable works under the Act only. Your local council also has restricted hours of working for construction noise and the contractors usually follow this. These are usually 8am to 5.30pm weekdays , 8am to 1pm on Saturdays and no noisy working on Sundays and public holidays.

You can file a complaint to your local council if the contractor is working outside of these restricted hours.

Get in touch for a free initial Party Wall assessment

Our Company Ethos

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We always strive to deliver the best level of expertise and service possible whether we are conducting surveys, providing full planning services or handling matters relating to Party Walls’ legislation.

Bhamra Associates Ltd Architectural Services logo

We believe in being honest with our clients and will only ever offer you genuine advice and guidance based on your particular property rather than making generic assumptions.

Bhamra Associates Ltd Architectural Services logo

We will take the time to discuss and understand your needs to ensure that we provide a service that is focused on you and your objectives. Our aim is simply to give you peace of mind.


  • We would like to thank you for solving the problems we were experiencing with the builders at the property next door. It was causing us a great deal of stress, upset and damage to our property. You took the matter over, dealt with it and brought it to swift conclusion, resulting in a lovely new fence and paving repairs.

    Jack & Marg
  • Having moved in a few months now. I’ve had time to reflect and would like to personally thank everyone at Bhamra Associates for the way they dealt with producing a thorough inspection, which followed with a detailed building survey report prior to our xchange on our first property.

    Adrian Sear
  • Just a quick note to thank you for your fantastically prompt and efficient service recently. My client needed a valuation for mortgage purposes on a flat in London – and needed it done virtually straight away. You organised a valuation at a day’s notice and provided the written report a day later. My client is very happy – and so am I!

    Mike Lupton
  • It is certainly true to say that your help with our party wall agreement has been invaluable.

    Louise Goodridge