Party Wall Surveying

Party wall surveying is a specialised area of property surveying, governed by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, which aims to facilitate property development and prevent disputes between property owners sharing a common boundary. This legal framework provides essential guidance for homeowners considering construction or renovation work near neighbouring properties. Icon Surveyors, a leading provider of residential surveying services in England and Wales, boasts extensive experience and knowledge in party wall surveying, alongside our expertise in boundary surveying, building surveying, and valuation services. Our goal is to provide educational, informative, helpful, and diversified content that enlightens clients and readers about the Party Wall Act, its associated procedures, and the value of engaging expert surveyors when undertaking projects involving party walls.

In this blog post, we will be delving into the intricacies of party wall surveying, including an overview of the Party Wall Act, the key procedures property owners need to be aware of, and the importance of enlisting the help of qualified surveyors to ensure compliance and protect the interests of both parties. By understanding the role of the Party Wall Act in property development, and engaging the services of professional party wall surveyors, homeowners can more confidently navigate the complexities of property projects involving shared walls or boundaries, and uphold positive relationships with their neighbours during the process.

As we explore the world of party wall surveying, we will discuss the core principles of the Party Wall Act, the procedures and requirements involved in complying with the legislation, and the benefits of engaging expert party wall surveyors. Throughout the article, we aim to equip property owners and stakeholders with the knowledge and tools necessary for a successful, amicable, and lawful property project involving party walls or shared boundaries.

Understanding the Party Wall Act

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is a legislative framework in England and Wales, designed to regulate projects involving party walls, boundary walls, and excavations near neighbouring properties. Its central objectives are to prevent and resolve disputes and ensure smooth progress of construction work. The Act is applicable in scenarios where a building owner undertakes work that may impact shared walls or boundaries, or excavations within specified distances of adjoining properties. Key aspects of the Act include:

1. Notice Requirements: The Act mandates building owners to serve written notice to adjoining owners before commencing any work affecting party walls or boundaries, with notice periods ranging from one to two months depending on the nature of work.

2. Dissent and Dispute Resolution: Adjoining owners may consent to or dissent from the work outlined in the notice. In case of dissent, the Act provides provisions for dispute resolution, which may involve the appointment of an Agreed Surveyor or separate surveyors representing each owner to reach a Party Wall Award.

3. Party Wall Awards: A Party Wall Award is a legally binding document outlining the work to be carried out, how and when it should be performed, and any provisions for compensation or damages. Awards are typically prepared by the appointed surveyors, who also serve as impartial advisors throughout the process.

4. Appeal and Enforcement: Building owners may appeal a Party Wall Award within 14 days of its service, while its enforcement is a civil matter and failure to comply could result in legal action.

Key Procedures and Compliance Requirements

Adhering to the procedures and requirements outlined in the Party Wall Act helps protect property owners from potential disputes or liability. Key steps in the compliance process include:

1. Determine Applicability: Before initiating any work on your property, determine if the Party Wall Act is applicable. Consult with a knowledgeable party wall surveyor if you are unsure.

2. Serve Notices and Await Response: If the Act applies to your project, serve the relevant notice(s) to all affected neighbours promptly and await their response. Should they provide written consent, you are free to proceed with your project.

3. Engage Surveyors and Resolve Disputes: If neighbours dissent or fail to respond within the statutory time frame, you must engage the services of a party wall surveyor to handle the dispute resolution process.

4. Finalise and Serve Party Wall Award: Work closely with your appointed surveyor(s) to finalise a Party Wall Award, which outlines the terms of work, schedules, and any compensation or damages provisions. Serve the Award to all parties involved.

5. Perform the Work and Comply with Award: Once a Party Wall Award is in place, commence work in accordance with its terms and ensure compliance with all provisions throughout the project.

The Importance of Engaging Expert Party Wall Surveyors

Enlisting highly-skilled party wall surveyors is crucial for the successful resolution of party wall disputes and compliance with the Party Wall Act. Experienced surveyors offer the following benefits:

1. Expert Knowledge and Guidance: Professional surveyors possess extensive knowledge of the Act and its legal implications, providing invaluable advice and guidance on navigating complex party wall matters.

2. Accurate Assessments and Documentation: Expert surveyors ensure accurate assessments of proposed work, providing objective advice and drafting legally binding Party Wall Awards that protect the interests of both parties.

3. Dispute Resolution and Mediation: Surveyors act as impartial advisors in the event of a dispute between parties, efficiently mediating negotiations and facilitating agreement between building and adjoining owners.

4. Protection of Property Interests: Engaging a qualified party wall surveyor helps safeguard your property interests, minimise conflicts with neighbours, and ensure compliance with all statutory requirements.


Understanding the fundamentals of party wall surveying, the Party Wall Act, and the importance of engaging expert party wall surveyors is crucial for property owners undertaking projects involving shared walls or boundaries. By familiarising yourself with the core principles of the Party Wall Act, adhering to the relevant procedures and requirements, and partnering with skilled party wall surveyors, you will be better equipped to handle disputes and achieve compliance throughout your property projects. Icon Surveyors, as experienced and skilled residential surveying specialists in England and Wales, offers outstanding party wall surveying expertise, ensuring reliable guidance, accurate assessments, and unyielding professionalism at every stage of your property journey, safeguarding your investment, and fostering positive owner and neighbour relationships.

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We are a team of party wall surveying experts based throughout London and the surrounding areas. Here, we share informative property survey blogs created by industry experts.



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