Blog Post:

Party

Wall Agreements

A break down of all your Party Wall questions…

A party wall is a wall that makes up part of your house or garden that is shared with your neighbours, or on your properties boundary. Sometimes it’s not even a wall at all. A party structure could be a floor or other structure that maybe connects to both buildings, or joins them together in some way.


Because these walls (or ‘structures’) are shared with your neighbours, you’re going to have to tell them if you wish to build on, or sometimes even near them.


If you’re only doing minor work such as; plastering, electrics or drilling holes, don’t worry, you’re in the clear.

When do you need to tell your neighbours that you’re building on or near your boundaries?

Between2-12 months before commencing work.

How do I tell them?

It needs to be in writing (and so does their answer/your agreement).

We recommend appointing a Party Wall Surveyor to act on your behalf and serve the relevant notices.

You can do this together, or you can appoint one each.

Expect to pay between £150-£200 to hire a Party Wall Surveyor. .

What if there are disagreements?

The Party Wall Surveyor(s) would come to an appropriate and fair decision for you.

They would provide you with a ‘party wall award’ which includes what work should happen, how and when it should happen, and who will pay for what plus the costs.

For this, expect to pay about a £1200 base rate, plus an extra £1000 per neighbour/property in dispute.

What sort of agreements might our Party Wall Surveyor serve?

There are three main types of agreements (or ‘notices’) that will cover most party wall disputes.

“Line of Junction”, “Party Structure” and “Adjacent Excavation”.

Line of Junction..

..is required if you plan to alter a party structure. For example cutting into, demolishing, exposing or repairing a structure or fence that you share. An example of this could be if you are having a loft conversion done and you are needing to insert beams into the party wall. Your Party Wall Surveyor needs to issue a “Party Structure” notice.

Party Structure..

..is required if you plan to alter a party structure. For example cutting into, demolishing, exposing or repairing a structure or fence that you share. An example of this could be if you are having a loft conversion done and you are needing to insert beams into the party wall. Your Party Wall Surveyor needs to issue a “Party Structure” notice.

Adjacent Excavation..

..is required if you are planning on excavating within 3m or 6m of a neighbours structure. If you are excavating within 3m, you need to know whether your new foundation swill be lower down than your existing foundations to avoid interfering with the foundations of your neighbour’s house as this could cause them disturbance. If you’re excavating within 6m, you need to know whether your new foundations intersect with their foundations at a plane drawn downwards at a 45 degree angle from the bottom of their foundations. This may sound complicated, but is very important in insuring your neighbours foundations are not disturbed due to soil movement. Take a look at the provided diagram to visualise this. An example of excavating within 3m or 6m of a neighbours structure would be the addition of a basement under your existing home. Your Party Wall Surveyor needs to issue an “Adjacent Excavation” notice.

How fast should my neighbour respond to my permission request?

Within 2 weeks.

You too should respond to anything your neighbour responds with or requests within 2 weeks.

Does my neighbour have to share the building cost with me?

Only if the work is being done due to a mutual defect or lack of repair..

..Or of course if they ask you for extra work to be done at the same time to benefit their side of the party wall.

What if my neighbours declare that my alterations damaged their property?

It could be very important that your Party Wall Surveyor issues a ‘Schedule of Conditions Report’ prior to any work commencing. This is a document that outlines the conditions of your neighbour’s property in detail. The purpose of this document is that if any wrongful accusations or liabilities arise, they can be easily solved or proved false.

Last of all…

Once you start work, be considerate to your neighbours. Try not to cause unnecessary noise or disturbance and be sure that the works don’t damage their property. If you need access through their property, you must get permission and give them at least 2 weeks notice.

If you have any further questions, get in touch.

If we don’t know the answer.. We’ll know someone who will!



Ben Richards
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