I am undertaking building work - do I need to serve a party wall notice?


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Types of work that are likely to need a Party Wall Notice include:

  • Loft conversions and extensions

  • Basements

  • Re-building or repairing a boundary wall

  • Excavation within 3m of your neighbours property [even if you are not attached to them]

  • Building on, or up to the boundary between neighbours.

Find out whether you have a “party wall”, a ”party fence wall” or a “party structure” for example:

  • A wall which divides two properties

  • A ceiling/floor which divides flats

  • A boundary wall astride the line of junction

Check if your neighbours property is within 3m of any excavations you need to carry out, for example:

  • Forming foundations

  • Reducing ground levels

  • Constructing a basement

  Check if you need a Party Wall Notice
If you want to carry out building work which affects any of the above, then you may need a Party Wall Notice. See Collier Stevens flowchart to work if you should have/need to serve a notice.

Who can help with a Party Wall Notice?

You can issue your own notices, but will need certain forms Make sure you:

  • Get the information on the notice correct

  • You might need to serve several notices under different sections of the Party Wall Act

  Alternatively, engage an experienced RICS Chartered Surveyor. For example Collier Stevens.
  Remember to serve a notice to all neighbours with an interest of longer than 12 months.
If you have a block of flats next door, this may mean each flat and the freeholder.
Check you are giving the required (In most cases) two months notice before you start work.
What happens if the neighbours accept?
If your neighbour consents in writing to the work they can appoint a surveyor – within 14 days of your notice.
What happens if they don’t reply?
If they do not reply after 10 days have elapsed you can appoint a surveyor to act for them.

If your neighbour dissents from the work:

  • They will need to appoint a surveyor or agree with you to use one surveyor to act independently for both sides

  • The surveyors will look over your plans and may ask for more details or some changes to make sure that the work is unlikely to cause damage to your neighbours buildings

  • The surveyors will visit your neighbour’s property and agree a record of its condition before your work starts

  • The surveyors will agree and serve an agreement known as a Party Wall Award, this will set out the works that are authorised and what happens if something were to go wrong

  • The Award may also include direction as to how the work is undertaken, access to your neighbour, security and will deal with any costs – in most cases you will be responsible for your neighbours costs

  • If the surveyors cannot agree then they will refer the matter to a “Third Surveyor” for arbitration, the third Surveyor will prepare and serve a binding award.


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner OBE, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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