Party Wall Surveying

Covering London and the Home Counties.

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What you need to know when serving a Party Wall Notice

If you’re planning work to your property that involves works to the party wall or you are excavating within 3 m or 6m of the neighbouring property or structure, then the chances are you will be carrying out works that are notifiable under the Party Wall etc Act 1996. The Act is invoked by serving a party wall notice on the adjoining owner.

If you’re planning work to your property but aren’t completely sure you need to serve a Party Wall Notice, then get in touch for a free initial assessment. As members of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors and fully regulated by the RICS, you can be confident you will be in safe hands.

What is a Party Wall Notice?

This is a written communication by the Building Owner informing the Adjoining Owner of his proposed works that are notifiable under the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

The Act states that it is the duty of the Building Owner to serve notice on the Adjoining Owner. However, very often this is done by a surveyor acting on the building owner’s behalf, providing that the surveyor has been given written authority by the Building Owner to do so.

Types of work requiring a Party Wall Notice

A notice needs to be served if you are planning an extension which would require cutting into or cutting away from the party wall or excavating within 3m or 6m of your neighbour’s foundations and includes the following:

· Loft conversions and extensions

· Basements

· Removing chimney breasts or adding steels into the party wall

· Re-building or repairing a boundary wall

· Excavations within 3m of your neighbour’s property

· Building on, or up to the boundary between neighbours

How do I serve a Party Wall Notice?

We always advise that you discuss your planned work with your neighbours before you serve notice, as this allows you to maintain good communication before, during and after the works.

You don’t need to appoint a professional adviser to give Notice and there isn’t an official form, but you must include the following details:

· your name and address

· the address of the building you will be working on

· a full description of what work you propose to do

· your proposed start date.

The Notice should be dated, and we advise that you include a clear statement that it is a Notice under the provisions of the Party wall etc Act 1996.

The Notice can be delivered in person or sent by post. If you don’t know the Adjoining Owners’ names, it’s fine to address it to ‘The Owner’ although it will need to be delivered personally or displayed on a conspicuous part of the premises.

When should I serve a Party Wall Notice?

At least 2 or 3 months before you plan to start the work. This is because you have to give 2 months’ notice for certain types of works within the Act. Notices have to run, or you can start earlier but only by consent from the Adjoining Owner. The Notice is only valid for one year, so it’s best not to serve it too long in advance.

What happens after I serve a Party Wall Notice?

Your neighbour now has 14 days to respond and may:

· Give written consent for the works to go ahead

· Dissent to the notice in writing

· Do nothing.

If you neighbour doesn’t respond, it will be presumed they have refused consent and start the dispute resolution process.

What happens when the dispute resolution process is triggered?

The dispute resolution process will start if your neighbour dissents to the notice or doesn’t respond. They will then need to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor. They can decide to use the same surveyor as you i.e. an Agreed Surveyor or a different surveyor.

What happens if I don’t serve notice?

The Act carries no fines or penalties, but it is possible that the Adjoining Owner may apply to the court for an injunction ordering you to stop works.

What is the role of a Party Wall Surveyor?

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 neighbour’s property which is checked after the works are completed to determine if any damage occurred to the property during the works.

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

What costs will I incur?

All the surveyors’ fees, this includes fees for the two appointed surveyors or the Agreed Surveyor, usually picked by the Building Owner. In addition, if any damage occurs to your Adjoining Owner’s property it’s your responsibility to make good all structural, decorative and horticultural damage, in materials to match the existing fabric and finishes.

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.

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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.

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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