The Party Wall etc Act 1996 was introduced to protect people undertaking building works, and their neighbours. In many cases extensions within 3m of neighbouring buildings and work to terraced and semi detached houses will fall within the remit of the Party Wall Act (PWA). In such cases you need to advise your neighbour in writing that you are undertaking building work, and if they do not consent then you need to enter into a legal agreement called an Award.

We can serve notices for you and act as your party wall surveyor. If your neighbour dissents to your proposal and two surveyors are appointed then expect to pay between £500 and £1200 per surveyor for a normal domestic project where a schedule of condition is undertaken, and an award drawn up. If two surveyors are appointed then the person undertaking the building work (the building owner) is usually responsible for the fees of both surveyors. In simple cases, and where the neighbour agrees, a single surveyor can be appointed to act for both sides.

As always, it is best to discuss plans which may affect your neighbour with them before planning  building work / applying for planning permission, if possible before plans are drawn. This way you can often obtain your neighbour’s consent to the proposal and save considerable money on fees.

If excavations are required which are deeper than your neighbour’s foundation and within close proximity or where proposals directly affect a party wall such as a beam insertion then a schedule of condition is useful to avoid claims for damage caused being made against you. It protects both parties.

Call us to discuss if you have any more questions. Alternatively follow this link for the government’s advisory booklet.

Party Wall Act