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Party wall surveyor Surrey

Your guide to party walls

An integral component of the construction and renovation process for properties across England and Wales, Party Walls, or the term “party wall” refers to a shared wall or boundary which separates two or more properties (terraced or semi-detached homes). When the renovation process is not handled properly, Party Walls can often be a source of dispute.

As a form of protection, property owners and builders should dissuade from free party wall templates and instead seek the services of a surveyor to ensure full compliance with the law. Additionally, recipients of a Party Wall Notice should also seek out our services to understand their options to respond.

A Party Wall Agreement, also referred to as a Party Wall Award or Party Wall Easement is a legal agreement between owners of an adjoining property, fence or boundary line. The purpose of agreement is to establish both the rights and responsibilities of each property owner concerning the shared structure. It will outline and cover matters like maintenance, repairs, alterations as well as any other issues that might arise when the party wall or boundary is concerned.

Owners will require a Party Wall Agreement when either they, or their neighbour plans to carry out certain types of construction or renovation works that affects the shared wall, boundary or structure between the two properties.

It’s 100% essential to have a Party Wall Agreement in place. Check your local building regulations and consult with qualified surveyors and legal professionals to determine whether any planned construction on a neighbouring wall or property requires an agreement. Failing to obtain the necessary agreements often leads to disputes and legal issues with your neighbours that can result in delays and additional costs before you even get started.

Please note that not all types of construction require notice. For example, routine maintenance and repair work which does not affect the structural integrity of a party wall or fence does not always require notice. But it’s always best to check and seek advice from party wall surveyors like ourselves to ensure you comply with the Party Wall Act 1996. 

The Act is required in the following examples:

  • Building a new wall at the boundary between the two properties
  • Altering or cutting into an existing party wall
  • Excavating near an adjacent property’s foundations
  • Underpinning a party wall or fence wall
  • Demolishing or rebuilding a party wall
  • Constructing a new foundation within 3 metres of the adjacent property’s foundations
  • Any work that requires drilling into or a fixing to a party wall
  • The insertion of steal beams as part of a loft conversion
  • Construction of a dormer

You must serve a notice as a legal requirement under the Party Wall Act of 1996 to inform your neighbours of proposed work to seek their consent.

  • Prepare the notice with an appointed surveyor and identify the affected parties and the nature of the work planned
  • Include drawings that illustrate the proposals so the recipient fully understands the proposed renovations
  • The notice is to be served to all affected parties including owners and leaseholders either by post, email or in person in timely and appropriate manner

If the notices are not consented to, dissented or ignored then this will further trigger the requirement for an appointment of Surveyors to produce and service an Award. Learn more.

  1. Party Structure Notice: To be issued when a building owner intends to undertake work on existing party walls like alterations and must be served two months before the proposed start dates of work.
  2. Section 1 Notice: To be issued when a building owner intends to build a new wall between the properties. The notice must be served one month before the proposed start date.
  3.  Section 6 Notice: To be issued when a building owner intends to excavate near an adjacent property’s foundations that might affect the stability of the party wall. The notice must be served one month before the proposed start date.

Failure to serve these notices in accordance with the Party Wall Act 1996 might result in legal disputes and financial penalties.

The Party Wall Award is a legally binding document that outlines the framework for the construction works to take place safely with minimal disruption to the adjoining owner.

The Party Wall Agreement is issued by appointed surveyors, often in the event of a dispute. The Party Wall Award will not be required if the adjoining owner consents to proposed works detailed in the notices.

The Party Wall Award includes:

  • The nature and scope of proposed works.
  • The time frame of construction.
  • Any restrictions ore requirements for access to the adjoining owner’s property.
  • Any measures that need to be taken to protect the adjoining owner’s property, like the installation of shoring.
  •  Provisions to resolve any disputes that might arise.
  • Provisions for compensation in the event of damage to the adjoining owner’s property.

A Condition Survey is not mandatory under the Act but it is recommended to record the condition of the adjoining owner’s property before works begin, which can be served as evidence in case of any occurring damage. The schedule of a condition can help both parties establish the original condition of the adjoining owner’s property and assess any damage.

Once a Party Wall Award is served both parties must adhere to the terms of the agreement, with the owner ensuring that works are carried out in accordance with the terms of the Party Wall Award. So, when hiring contractors, you must ensure they are aware of these requirements. Simultaneously, the adjoining owner must allow the works to proceed and must not unreasonable withhold consent for any measures required to protect their property.

  • If a dispute arises during the works, surveyors must be called upon to resolve the dispute 
  • When works are completed, surveyors will, if required to carry out a final inspection to ensure works have been carried out to a satisfactory standard

Five-star rated

Locally trusted surveyors

Want to undertake renovation work that will invoke the Party Wall Act, or has your neighbour informed you of action that invokes the Party Wall Act?

Strictly operating through Surrey and neighbouring counties, our property consultants and surveyors specialise in Party Wall matters. 

At Westville Associates, we have helped hundreds of owners form legitimate, standing Party Wall agreements that authorise works covered by the Party Wall Act 1996.

Our services are regularly engaged in projects throughout Cobham, Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell, Camberley, Guildford, Reigate & Banstead, Surrey Heath, Woking, Waverley and so many more local areas. 

As one of the most recommended surveyors in the county, we offer fast notices, awards and agreements that protect our client’s terraced or semi-detached homes. Plus, we’re five-star rated.

We are members of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.

Fixed-fee and cost-effective party wall services

When you choose Westville Associates for your Party Wall Matters, you choose a local business and surveyors who offer competitive fees with no hidden or additional costs like travel, travel time, parking, photocopying, etc. 

Whether you’re the property owner, or the adjoining owner, we have the experience and expertise to assist you with every aspect of Party Wall Matters, from resolving disputes and issuing awards to preparing and serving notices. 

We know how stressful and complex process like this can be, so consider us as your specialist partners in Party Walls, including any work that requires party structure notices, like loft conversions or section 1 notices and section 6 notices.

The party walls act 1996

Understand your rights and obligations

If you are undertaking work on your property, you may need to serve a party wall notice for your neighbours under the Party Wall Act 1996.

The Act is a piece of legislation that allows you to undertake work within set time frames and protects your neighbour’s rights. 

The Party Wall Act of 1996 came into force on July 1st 1997, and applies to homes throughout England and Wales. 

The Act outlines particular legal requirements for Party Wall Agreements and Dispute Resolution to set out obligations of property owners who plan to undertake construction work which will affect a shared wall, involves the construction of a new wall on a boundary line, or involves the excavation of ground within certain set distances from the neighbouring structure.

Surrey Residents! Redeem Your Free Consultation Today

Whether you need our services because your neighbour is planning work or you intend to, we offer a free, 15-minute, no-obligation consultation to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. We are often thanked for simplifying the legal jargon used in the Act and explaining the obligations required of you in less technical terms.

Chris Thoume
Chris Thoume
2023-03-16
Great experience working with Simon: he took me through the process in simple terms and was always willing to provide considered pragmatic advice.
Jessica Sanzone
Jessica Sanzone
2022-11-03
Would highly recommend using Westville Associates. Appointed Brett to act for us in regards to some party wall matters. We found him to be polite and professional with a wealth of knowledge in this field. Great communication throughout the process. Great service from start to finish.
Kate Rennie
Kate Rennie
2022-11-01
I was recommended to use Westville Associates through a colleague to carry out a survey of a house we were looking to purchase. I couldn’t have been happier with the whole process. From start to finish, Simon was professional, punctual, through and gave good advice with issues that arose from the survey. I have and will continue to recommend Westville Associates to anyone wishing to carry out any surveys.
Niki Yazdanian
Niki Yazdanian
2022-10-28
Simon carried out a full building survey for us on a property in Oxted. We found him to be prompt, professional, very knowledgeable, a great service all round. We would have no hesitation in recommending him and using him again.
Sophie Beed
Sophie Beed
2022-10-28
Really recommend Westville, great communication and advice. Clear, concise and quick report and more than happy to discuss any points to help us understand our purchase better.
Sara Mahdavian
Sara Mahdavian
2021-10-21
We used Wesville Associates for a full Building Survey for our property in Claygate after a recommendation from a friend. Simon was very personable, knowledgable and professional, and was able to work around our tight timeframe. We felt in good hands from the start!
WashPod
WashPod
2021-10-19
“Westville Associates undertook a homebuyers report for us prior to the purchase of our flat in Wandsworth. The service from start to finish was exemplary. Simon booked us in, undertook the inspection and presented the report to us all within 7 working days which was appreciated as time was against us somewhat. The after sales care was also great as we had several questions about the property that were dealt with over the phone. Friendly, professional and prompt service. Would definitely recommend. Rob.”
Craig C
Craig C
2021-09-29
I have worked in Surbiton and the surrounding areas as an agent for over 10 years and could not recommend Simon highly enough. He has a wealth of knowledge and goes above and beyond to ensure his clients fully understand the fantastic reports he creates, unlike many other surveyors who just send a confusing report without further explanation of key points. I am so pleased Simon has set up his solo venture - Westville Associates and will be recommending him to all of my clients.