Party Wall FAQs

We have collated some Party Wall FAQs to provide answers to questions we are often asked about the Party Wall Act

Party Wall issues are commonplace in cities around the UK.

We hope these FAQs provide answers to any queries you have on the Act, how it works in practice and how it affects building owners and adjoining owners.

If you have any further queries about the Party Wall Act that we haven’t covered please submit them using our Contact Us form.

We will be in touch to help answer them, and will also update our FAQs regularly.

For a quick online quote for Party Wall advice, send us the details of your project.

Party Wall FAQs

  • Do I need to serve a party wall notice?

    You must tell your neighbour if you want to :

    • Build on or at the boundary of your two properties
    • Work on an existing party wall or party structure
    • Excavate below and near to the foundation level of their building or structure

    Where work falls under the provisions of the Act you must inform all Adjoining Owners by giving written notice, normally at least two months before the planned start on site. The notice is only valid for a year, so it is also important that it is not be served too early.

    We always advise building owners to speak to their neighbours before serving a formal notice. Neighbours that feel they are being consulted and kept informed are far less likely to immediately appoint a surveyor when a notice is served. This can avoid running up a large bill for surveyor’s fees.

    Follow the link for more information on the types of Party Wall Notices and when to issue them.

  • How much notice do you have to give before starting work under the party wall act?

    Normally at least two months before the planned start of work to the party wall. The notice is only valid for a year, so it should not be served too early.

    Follow the link for more information on Party Wall Notices and when to issue them.

  • Who pays a Party Wall surveyor’s fees?

    Usually the Building Owner will pay all costs associated with drawing up the award including the adjoining owner’s surveyors’ fees, if the works are solely for the Building Owner’s benefit.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

    It is therefore important that the whole process is managed efficiently to keep to keep adjoining owner’s surveyors fees to a minimum.

    Adjoining owners’ surveyors are not required to quote in advance so their fees are calculated by reference to an hourly rate with the final figure being agreed with the building owner’s surveyor.

    Should the two surveyors fail to agree upon a reasonable amount the matter can be referred to the Third Surveyor who has the final say.

    See our detailed Party Wall Fact Sheet for more guidance on surveyor’s fees.

  • Can you reach a party wall agreement without a surveyor?

    Surveyors are only appointed where a dispute occurs, either because an adjoining owner does not respond, or where they respond and indicate there is a dispute.

    Adjoining owners may instead consent to a notice and this consent can be conditional, for instance provided a record of the condition of their premises is undertaken before the works begin.

    However, providing consent to a notice should not be provided lightly. It will transfer liability for resolving any dispute to the Adjoining Owner. See our detailed article on providing consent to a party wall notice for more guidance.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • Does a party wall award transfer to a new adjoining owner?

    An Award transfers to any subsequent adjoining owners provided it remains valid.

    However, if the owners proposing the work change, then the Award is void and the process must begin again

  • What is an Adjoining Owner under the party wall act?

    The adjoining owner is the owner of a property adjacent to where work is proposed. See our detailed article with more Adjoining Owner guidance.

    The owner of the property where the work is proposed is referred to as the building owner

  • Does the party wall act allow access to a neighbours’ property?

    There are rights to access your neighbour’s land to carry out works authorised by the Party Wall Act but only where the proposed access is reasonably necessary to carry out that work.

    Notice must be given, which is normally 14 days, unless access is required urgently to deal with an emergency.

    Access should only be allowed if ‘necessary’ so if there is another way to undertake work without requiring access, even if it costs more to do so, that’s what you should do.

  • Can a neighbour refuse a party wall agreement?

    No, provided the correct procedures are followed your neighbour cannot stop you undertaking works which you are authorised to do under the Party Wall Act.

    A Party Wall agreement takes the form of a Party Wall Award. This sets out details of the work, how it is to be completed, restriction on noise and time of work etc.

    See our recent article for a more detailed answer to this question.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • What is the definition of a party wall?

    A party wall is a wall which either separates buildings, or is built astride the boundary and forms part of a building.

    See our Party Wall Glossary for a more detailed definition.

  • Undertaking excavation near neighbouring buildings?

    Excavation within three metres of and below the level of a neighbour’s foundations is work falling under the Party Wall Act.

    Deep excavation within 6 metres of a neighbour’s foundations may also fall under the Party Wall Act.

    See our article on Party Wall Notices for more information on dealing with excavation near neighbouring buildings.

  • What is a party fence wall?

    A wall built astride the boundary which does not form part of a building.

  • Can I build against a party wall?

    Yes, this work may fall under the Party Wall Act if it involves cutting into or away from the party wall, or excavating below the foundations of the party wall.

  • How long does a party wall agreement last?

    Generally one year from the date of the Award.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • Does the Party Wall act apply in Scotland?

    The Party Wall etc Act applies in England & Wales only.

  • Is a wooden fence a party wall?

    No, although references are sometimes made to shared or ‘party fences’.  These do not fall under the Party Wall Act.

  • Can I build an extension on a party wall?

    Party walls may be raised to form extensions, but not lengthened without your neighbour’s consent.  Party fence walls can also be raised or used to form extensions.

  • Who is responsible for repairing a party wall?

    Maintenance of party walls is shared according to the responsibility for any defect or want of repair and the use to which the owners make of the wall.  For instance, a party wall could form part of one person’s building but be only a boundary wall for another owner.

  • What is a party fence?

    Generally, a fence shared by two owners.  These do not fall under the Party Wall Act.

  • What is the difference between a party wall and a boundary wall?

    A party wall either separates buildings, or is built astride the boundary and forms part of a building.

    A party fence wall stands astride the boundary but does not form part of a building. A garden wall is described as a Party Fence Wall if sits on the boundary and separates two owners’ land. If a Building Owner wishes to undertake work to a Party Fence Wall then notice should be served in the same way as if works were to a Party Wall.

    A boundary wall does not form part of a building, and does not stand astride the boundary but on one person’s land or the others.

  • Can I raise a party wall?

    Raising a party wall is authorised by the Party Wall Act provided the correct procedures are followed.

  • How close to a party wall can I build?

    Excavation within three metres of and below the level of a neighbour’s foundations is work falling under the Party Wall Act.

    Deep excavation within 6 metres of a neighbour’s foundations may also fall under the Party Wall Act.

    If you are not excavating below the level of a party wall, the Party Wall Act does not define how close you can build, but if the work involves cutting into or away from the Party Wall it will fall under the Party Wall Act and the correct procedures must be followed.

  • The Party Wall Act 1996 isn’t just best practice guidance.

    It’s a legal requirement for you to fulfil your obligation to Adjoining Owners if the work you wish to undertake is covered by the Act. It’s worth double-checking with an experienced party wall surveyor whether this applies to the work your planning before you start.

    If the work you wish to carry out isn’t covered under the Act, you have peace of mind and assurance you can continue without breaching any rules.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • Can the Party Wall Act be applied retrospectively?

    When talking about ‘applying’ the Party Wall Act, Owners often mean whether they can have works agreed on by Adjoining Owners after the work has been carried out.

    While there is no reference to this in the Party Wall Act, it’s a big risk to take. If the Adjoining Owners dissent (disagree with the work) matters can end up in court with the associated costly legal fees this will incur. The Courts take a very dim view in instances where the Party Wall process has not been followed.

    It’s better to be safe than sorry. Check with an experienced party wall surveyor before starting works. Most surveyors will happily provide some initial advice for little or no fee.

    If the work you’re planning is covered by the Party Wall Act, appoint a surveyor and follow the Party Wall process. If your neighbour consents to the work you will be free to carry on, with all parties assured that matters have been properly dealt with from a legal perspective, having incurred modest fees in the process.

    If your neighbour dissents, then you need a Party Wall surveyor to properly move forward with the works.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • Who enforces the Party Wall Act?

    The Party Wall Act isn’t ‘enforceable’ as such but any works that go ahead without consent risk an injunction being awarded by the Courts stopping all works. The usually substantial cost of any legal action to enforce the Party Wall process will in almost all instances be awarded against the owner carrying out the works.

    Adjoining Owners can take homeowners to court over unapproved works, especially if the works cause damage to the adjoining structure/s. A local council won’t be interested if somebody informs them Owners have undertaken work without consulting relevant parties, but parties can, and often do, litigate.

  • What work does the Party Wall Act cover?

    The Party Wall Act covers three types of work: building along a property boundary, excavating within given distances of a shared or adjoining structure, and altering a party structure. 

    We always advise that if you are at all unsure if your works fall into these categories please give us a call on 020 3744 2374 so we can give you peace of mind.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • My neighbour has agreed to works on a Party Wall without being served notice. Can I go ahead?

    People often think a verbal consent from Adjoining Owners is all they need but unfortunately this is not the case.

    If an Adjoining Owner has said they agree to works without being served a party wall notice and officially consenting in writing, this won’t hold up.

    The Adjoining Owner/s must issue a written consent within 14 days of being given a party wall notice. 

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • What happens to a party wall notice when 14 days are up?

    If Adjoining Owners have given their agreement within 14 days, you can order a schedule of condition (if needed) and commence building works once the notices period expire.

    If Adjoining Owners have dissented, the process of reaching an amicable agreement via the production of an ‘Award’ begins.

    If after giving them a further 10 days, the Adjoining Owner hasn’t confirmed either way, they are deemed as dissented and a surveyor can be appointed on their behalf to produce the Award.

  • Can building work start before a Party Wall agreement is reached?

    The Party Wall Act is very clear that either written consent to the work or a ‘Party Wall Award’ must be in place to allow works to go ahead.

    This means not a single piece of work, even preparing the land or the surfaces, can go ahead before this happens or the Adjoining Owners may have a claim against you.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • Is a garden wall a party wall?

    A garden wall is described as a Party Fence Wall if sits on the boundary and separates two owners’ land, and does not form part of a building. If a Building Owner wishes to undertake work to a Party Fence Wall then notice should be served in the same way as if works were to a Party Wall.

    If the wall sits on one side of the boundary only then this would not be considered a ‘party fence wall’ under the Party Wall Act. This is often referred to as a boundary or garden wall.

  • How long is a Party Wall Notice valid for?

    A Party Wall Notice will cease to have effect if the work to which it relates has not started within twelve months of the date on which the notice was served. 

    A Notice must be served at least two months before work will begin.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • Who pays for a Party Wall surveyor?

    Usually the Building Owner will pay all costs associated with drawing up the award including the adjoining owner’s surveyors’ fees, if the works are solely for the Building Owner’s benefit. It is therefore important that the whole process is managed efficiently to keep to keep adjoining owner’s surveyors fees to a minimum.

    Adjoining owners’ surveyors are not required to quote in advance so their fees are calculated by reference to an hourly rate with the final figure being agreed with the building owner’s surveyor.

    Should the two surveyors fail to agree upon a reasonable amount the matter can be referred to the Third Surveyor who has the final say.

  • What party wall noise regulations are there?

    There is no specific requirement in the Party Wall Act to regulate noise from works. However, Section 7.1 of the Act contains the following provision :

    ‘A building owner shall not exercise any right conferred on him by this Act in such a manner or at such time as to cause unnecessary inconvenience to any adjoining owner or to any adjoining occupier.’

    A good Party Wall Award will incorporate this provision with a restriction on the hours that noisy works can be undertaken, and limiting such work to the working week.

  • Can I do a Party Wall agreement myself?

    No, unfortunately not.

    The Party Wall Act requires the appointment of a ‘surveyor’ who is not party to the matter.

    This means that it cannot be either of the owners, either the Building Owner undertaking work or the Adjoining Owner affected by the work next door. See our article on selecting a Party Wall surveyor for more guidance.

    However, you can go ahead without a Party Wall agreement if your neighbour provides consent in writing for you to do so.

    This consent doesn’t have to be in any particular form, but it should include architects drawings to ensure your neighbour is clear about exactly what they are approving. However, consent to Party Wall works should not be given lightly. See our article for more detail of the implications of consent.

    No matter how amicable relations, many neighbours will want to protect their property with a properly qualified surveyor to oversee matters.

    In some instances your neighbour might settle for an ‘agreed surveyor’, who can act for both parties with independence and impartiality.

  • Party Wall agreement when selling a house?

     If you are selling your house, you might be asked to provide evidence that if you undertook work defined in the Party Wall Act, you served a notice and reached a party wall agreement with your neighbour, or that surveyors resolved the dispute.

  • My Neighbour has started work and ignored the Party Wall Act – what can I do?

    Failure to comply with the Party Wall Act can result in significant legal consequences.

    If a dispute arises between you and your neighbour due to non-compliance with the Party Wall Act they have the right to initiate legal action against you. When such matters come before the Courts they often take a dim view of anyone failing to comply with the statutory obligations of the Party Wall Act. 

    One of the most significant consequences of facing legal action is the cost. If a Building Owner has failed to follow their obligations under the Party Wall Act they are likely to be held liable for all the costs of legal action to stop work and resolve matters which will include both parties solicitors and court fees. This is likely to far exceed the cost of complying with the Party Wall Act in the first place, by issuing notice and appointing surveyors. In a recently reported case the Building Owner was found liable for costs and compensation estimated to be in the order of £100,000.

    The court can order an injunction to halt any work until the matter is resolved, causing significant delays and financial losses. Injunctions can be granted swiftly and stop the works immediately, until the Party Wall Act process is followed with the appointment of surveyors etc. Ignoring an injunction is normally punishable as a contempt of Court and can lead to imprisonment.

    It is also possible for an Adjoining Owner to apply for a mandatory injunction. If granted by the Courts such an injunction could require the Building Owner to remove the structure that had been unlawfully constructed.

    If your neighbour has started work to the Party Wall and you have any concerns please give us a call.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • What is a Party Wall agreement?

    A party wall agreement is a legal contract between property owners who share a wall or boundary. A Party Wall agreement is more properly described as a Party Wall Award. An Award defines the rights and responsibilities of a Building Owner who wants to undertake construction or renovation work that could affect a shared structure.

    The agreement outlines details like the proposed work, working hours, and precautions to protect the neighbor’s property. It also covers costs, wall maintenance, and liability for damages. The purpose of a Party Wall Awrad is to ensure fair treatment and resolve disputes related to the construction work in a legally binding way.

Party Wall FAQs

  • Do I need to serve a party wall notice?

    You must tell your neighbour if you want to :

    • Build on or at the boundary of your two properties
    • Work on an existing party wall or party structure
    • Excavate below and near to the foundation level of their building or structure

    Where work falls under the provisions of the Act you must inform all Adjoining Owners by giving written notice, normally at least two months before the planned start on site. The notice is only valid for a year, so it is also important that it is not be served too early.

    We always advise building owners to speak to their neighbours before serving a formal notice. Neighbours that feel they are being consulted and kept informed are far less likely to immediately appoint a surveyor when a notice is served. This can avoid running up a large bill for surveyor’s fees.

    Follow the link for more information on the types of Party Wall Notices and when to issue them.

  • How much notice do you have to give before starting work under the party wall act?

    Normally at least two months before the planned start of work to the party wall. The notice is only valid for a year, so it should not be served too early.

    Follow the link for more information on Party Wall Notices and when to issue them.

  • Who pays a Party Wall surveyor’s fees?

    Usually the Building Owner will pay all costs associated with drawing up the award including the adjoining owner’s surveyors’ fees, if the works are solely for the Building Owner’s benefit.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

    It is therefore important that the whole process is managed efficiently to keep to keep adjoining owner’s surveyors fees to a minimum.

    Adjoining owners’ surveyors are not required to quote in advance so their fees are calculated by reference to an hourly rate with the final figure being agreed with the building owner’s surveyor.

    Should the two surveyors fail to agree upon a reasonable amount the matter can be referred to the Third Surveyor who has the final say.

    See our detailed Party Wall Fact Sheet for more guidance on surveyor’s fees.

  • Can you reach a party wall agreement without a surveyor?

    Surveyors are only appointed where a dispute occurs, either because an adjoining owner does not respond, or where they respond and indicate there is a dispute.

    Adjoining owners may instead consent to a notice and this consent can be conditional, for instance provided a record of the condition of their premises is undertaken before the works begin.

    However, providing consent to a notice should not be provided lightly. It will transfer liability for resolving any dispute to the Adjoining Owner. See our detailed article on providing consent to a party wall notice for more guidance.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • Does a party wall award transfer to a new adjoining owner?

    An Award transfers to any subsequent adjoining owners provided it remains valid.

    However, if the owners proposing the work change, then the Award is void and the process must begin again

  • What is an Adjoining Owner under the party wall act?

    The adjoining owner is the owner of a property adjacent to where work is proposed. See our detailed article with more Adjoining Owner guidance.

    The owner of the property where the work is proposed is referred to as the building owner

  • Does the party wall act allow access to a neighbours’ property?

    There are rights to access your neighbour’s land to carry out works authorised by the Party Wall Act but only where the proposed access is reasonably necessary to carry out that work.

    Notice must be given, which is normally 14 days, unless access is required urgently to deal with an emergency.

    Access should only be allowed if ‘necessary’ so if there is another way to undertake work without requiring access, even if it costs more to do so, that’s what you should do.

  • Can a neighbour refuse a party wall agreement?

    No, provided the correct procedures are followed your neighbour cannot stop you undertaking works which you are authorised to do under the Party Wall Act.

    A Party Wall agreement takes the form of a Party Wall Award. This sets out details of the work, how it is to be completed, restriction on noise and time of work etc.

    See our recent article for a more detailed answer to this question.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • What is the definition of a party wall?

    A party wall is a wall which either separates buildings, or is built astride the boundary and forms part of a building.

    See our Party Wall Glossary for a more detailed definition.

  • Undertaking excavation near neighbouring buildings?

    Excavation within three metres of and below the level of a neighbour’s foundations is work falling under the Party Wall Act.

    Deep excavation within 6 metres of a neighbour’s foundations may also fall under the Party Wall Act.

    See our article on Party Wall Notices for more information on dealing with excavation near neighbouring buildings.

  • What is a party fence wall?

    A wall built astride the boundary which does not form part of a building.

  • Can I build against a party wall?

    Yes, this work may fall under the Party Wall Act if it involves cutting into or away from the party wall, or excavating below the foundations of the party wall.

  • How long does a party wall agreement last?

    Generally one year from the date of the Award.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • Does the Party Wall act apply in Scotland?

    The Party Wall etc Act applies in England & Wales only.

  • Is a wooden fence a party wall?

    No, although references are sometimes made to shared or ‘party fences’.  These do not fall under the Party Wall Act.

  • Can I build an extension on a party wall?

    Party walls may be raised to form extensions, but not lengthened without your neighbour’s consent.  Party fence walls can also be raised or used to form extensions.

  • Who is responsible for repairing a party wall?

    Maintenance of party walls is shared according to the responsibility for any defect or want of repair and the use to which the owners make of the wall.  For instance, a party wall could form part of one person’s building but be only a boundary wall for another owner.

  • What is a party fence?

    Generally, a fence shared by two owners.  These do not fall under the Party Wall Act.

  • What is the difference between a party wall and a boundary wall?

    A party wall either separates buildings, or is built astride the boundary and forms part of a building.

    A party fence wall stands astride the boundary but does not form part of a building. A garden wall is described as a Party Fence Wall if sits on the boundary and separates two owners’ land. If a Building Owner wishes to undertake work to a Party Fence Wall then notice should be served in the same way as if works were to a Party Wall.

    A boundary wall does not form part of a building, and does not stand astride the boundary but on one person’s land or the others.

  • Can I raise a party wall?

    Raising a party wall is authorised by the Party Wall Act provided the correct procedures are followed.

  • How close to a party wall can I build?

    Excavation within three metres of and below the level of a neighbour’s foundations is work falling under the Party Wall Act.

    Deep excavation within 6 metres of a neighbour’s foundations may also fall under the Party Wall Act.

    If you are not excavating below the level of a party wall, the Party Wall Act does not define how close you can build, but if the work involves cutting into or away from the Party Wall it will fall under the Party Wall Act and the correct procedures must be followed.

  • The Party Wall Act 1996 isn’t just best practice guidance.

    It’s a legal requirement for you to fulfil your obligation to Adjoining Owners if the work you wish to undertake is covered by the Act. It’s worth double-checking with an experienced party wall surveyor whether this applies to the work your planning before you start.

    If the work you wish to carry out isn’t covered under the Act, you have peace of mind and assurance you can continue without breaching any rules.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • Can the Party Wall Act be applied retrospectively?

    When talking about ‘applying’ the Party Wall Act, Owners often mean whether they can have works agreed on by Adjoining Owners after the work has been carried out.

    While there is no reference to this in the Party Wall Act, it’s a big risk to take. If the Adjoining Owners dissent (disagree with the work) matters can end up in court with the associated costly legal fees this will incur. The Courts take a very dim view in instances where the Party Wall process has not been followed.

    It’s better to be safe than sorry. Check with an experienced party wall surveyor before starting works. Most surveyors will happily provide some initial advice for little or no fee.

    If the work you’re planning is covered by the Party Wall Act, appoint a surveyor and follow the Party Wall process. If your neighbour consents to the work you will be free to carry on, with all parties assured that matters have been properly dealt with from a legal perspective, having incurred modest fees in the process.

    If your neighbour dissents, then you need a Party Wall surveyor to properly move forward with the works.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • Who enforces the Party Wall Act?

    The Party Wall Act isn’t ‘enforceable’ as such but any works that go ahead without consent risk an injunction being awarded by the Courts stopping all works. The usually substantial cost of any legal action to enforce the Party Wall process will in almost all instances be awarded against the owner carrying out the works.

    Adjoining Owners can take homeowners to court over unapproved works, especially if the works cause damage to the adjoining structure/s. A local council won’t be interested if somebody informs them Owners have undertaken work without consulting relevant parties, but parties can, and often do, litigate.

  • What work does the Party Wall Act cover?

    The Party Wall Act covers three types of work: building along a property boundary, excavating within given distances of a shared or adjoining structure, and altering a party structure. 

    We always advise that if you are at all unsure if your works fall into these categories please give us a call on 020 3744 2374 so we can give you peace of mind.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • My neighbour has agreed to works on a Party Wall without being served notice. Can I go ahead?

    People often think a verbal consent from Adjoining Owners is all they need but unfortunately this is not the case.

    If an Adjoining Owner has said they agree to works without being served a party wall notice and officially consenting in writing, this won’t hold up.

    The Adjoining Owner/s must issue a written consent within 14 days of being given a party wall notice. 

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • What happens to a party wall notice when 14 days are up?

    If Adjoining Owners have given their agreement within 14 days, you can order a schedule of condition (if needed) and commence building works once the notices period expire.

    If Adjoining Owners have dissented, the process of reaching an amicable agreement via the production of an ‘Award’ begins.

    If after giving them a further 10 days, the Adjoining Owner hasn’t confirmed either way, they are deemed as dissented and a surveyor can be appointed on their behalf to produce the Award.

  • Can building work start before a Party Wall agreement is reached?

    The Party Wall Act is very clear that either written consent to the work or a ‘Party Wall Award’ must be in place to allow works to go ahead.

    This means not a single piece of work, even preparing the land or the surfaces, can go ahead before this happens or the Adjoining Owners may have a claim against you.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • Is a garden wall a party wall?

    A garden wall is described as a Party Fence Wall if sits on the boundary and separates two owners’ land, and does not form part of a building. If a Building Owner wishes to undertake work to a Party Fence Wall then notice should be served in the same way as if works were to a Party Wall.

    If the wall sits on one side of the boundary only then this would not be considered a ‘party fence wall’ under the Party Wall Act. This is often referred to as a boundary or garden wall.

  • How long is a Party Wall Notice valid for?

    A Party Wall Notice will cease to have effect if the work to which it relates has not started within twelve months of the date on which the notice was served. 

    A Notice must be served at least two months before work will begin.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • Who pays for a Party Wall surveyor?

    Usually the Building Owner will pay all costs associated with drawing up the award including the adjoining owner’s surveyors’ fees, if the works are solely for the Building Owner’s benefit. It is therefore important that the whole process is managed efficiently to keep to keep adjoining owner’s surveyors fees to a minimum.

    Adjoining owners’ surveyors are not required to quote in advance so their fees are calculated by reference to an hourly rate with the final figure being agreed with the building owner’s surveyor.

    Should the two surveyors fail to agree upon a reasonable amount the matter can be referred to the Third Surveyor who has the final say.

  • What party wall noise regulations are there?

    There is no specific requirement in the Party Wall Act to regulate noise from works. However, Section 7.1 of the Act contains the following provision :

    ‘A building owner shall not exercise any right conferred on him by this Act in such a manner or at such time as to cause unnecessary inconvenience to any adjoining owner or to any adjoining occupier.’

    A good Party Wall Award will incorporate this provision with a restriction on the hours that noisy works can be undertaken, and limiting such work to the working week.

  • Can I do a Party Wall agreement myself?

    No, unfortunately not.

    The Party Wall Act requires the appointment of a ‘surveyor’ who is not party to the matter.

    This means that it cannot be either of the owners, either the Building Owner undertaking work or the Adjoining Owner affected by the work next door. See our article on selecting a Party Wall surveyor for more guidance.

    However, you can go ahead without a Party Wall agreement if your neighbour provides consent in writing for you to do so.

    This consent doesn’t have to be in any particular form, but it should include architects drawings to ensure your neighbour is clear about exactly what they are approving. However, consent to Party Wall works should not be given lightly. See our article for more detail of the implications of consent.

    No matter how amicable relations, many neighbours will want to protect their property with a properly qualified surveyor to oversee matters.

    In some instances your neighbour might settle for an ‘agreed surveyor’, who can act for both parties with independence and impartiality.

  • Party Wall agreement when selling a house?

     If you are selling your house, you might be asked to provide evidence that if you undertook work defined in the Party Wall Act, you served a notice and reached a party wall agreement with your neighbour, or that surveyors resolved the dispute.

  • My Neighbour has started work and ignored the Party Wall Act – what can I do?

    Failure to comply with the Party Wall Act can result in significant legal consequences.

    If a dispute arises between you and your neighbour due to non-compliance with the Party Wall Act they have the right to initiate legal action against you. When such matters come before the Courts they often take a dim view of anyone failing to comply with the statutory obligations of the Party Wall Act. 

    One of the most significant consequences of facing legal action is the cost. If a Building Owner has failed to follow their obligations under the Party Wall Act they are likely to be held liable for all the costs of legal action to stop work and resolve matters which will include both parties solicitors and court fees. This is likely to far exceed the cost of complying with the Party Wall Act in the first place, by issuing notice and appointing surveyors. In a recently reported case the Building Owner was found liable for costs and compensation estimated to be in the order of £100,000.

    The court can order an injunction to halt any work until the matter is resolved, causing significant delays and financial losses. Injunctions can be granted swiftly and stop the works immediately, until the Party Wall Act process is followed with the appointment of surveyors etc. Ignoring an injunction is normally punishable as a contempt of Court and can lead to imprisonment.

    It is also possible for an Adjoining Owner to apply for a mandatory injunction. If granted by the Courts such an injunction could require the Building Owner to remove the structure that had been unlawfully constructed.

    If your neighbour has started work to the Party Wall and you have any concerns please give us a call.

    For a quick Party Wall Quote for your project send us the details of your planned work here.

  • What is a Party Wall agreement?

    A party wall agreement is a legal contract between property owners who share a wall or boundary. A Party Wall agreement is more properly described as a Party Wall Award. An Award defines the rights and responsibilities of a Building Owner who wants to undertake construction or renovation work that could affect a shared structure.

    The agreement outlines details like the proposed work, working hours, and precautions to protect the neighbor’s property. It also covers costs, wall maintenance, and liability for damages. The purpose of a Party Wall Awrad is to ensure fair treatment and resolve disputes related to the construction work in a legally binding way.

Find out more about the party wall act that came into force in 1997.

Party Wall & Neighbourly Matters Services

Development Agreements

Movement & Vibration Monitoring

Neighbourly Liaison

Rights of Way & Easements

Crane Oversail & Scaffold Licensing

Further Guidance when appointing a Party Wall Surveyor

For information on how the Party Wall Act affects you as a Building Owner or as an Adjoining Owner, see our Party Wall Fact Sheet.

For advice on a range of Party Wall subjects, see our recent articles below :

You can also find guidance on choosing a Party Wall Surveyor in our recent news article.

There is some further information in the government’s explanatory booklet on the Party Wall process.

We will be updating our Party Wall FAQs regularly with any further questions that come up.

With offices in LondonBirminghamManchesterBristol, NorwichPlymouth we have surveyors based locally to your property all around the UK.

If you have further questions on the Party Wall process that we haven’t answered please submit them using our Contact Us form.

For a quick online quote for Party Wall advice, send us the details of your project.

Local Party Wall Surveyors

To contact a Party Wall surveyor that’s local to you, see details of our teams in :

If you are planning work covered by the Act, or if you have received notice of work from a neighbour and want advice on how best to protect your property, please call our Enquiry line on 020 4534 3135 or contact:

Link: Contact Us

Team members shown:

  • Rickie Bloom
  • Mark Amodio
  • Geoffrey Adams
  • Mark Crowley