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Party walls are common in many areas of the UK, particularly in built-up urban areas where buildings are in close proximity.

A party wall is a division that stands on the boundary between two properties and is shared by the owners of those properties. These walls can cause disputes between neighbours, particularly when one party wants to carry out work that may affect the wall.

In such cases, party wall agreements are required before the work can proceed. But can surveyors make a party wall award without notice? Let's read on to find out:

Understanding Party Wall Agreements or Awards

Party wall agreements or awards are legal documents that outline both the rights and responsibilities of both parties when work is being carried out on a party wall. These agreements must be in place before any work can commence. A party wall agreement aims to protect both parties' interests and ensure that the work is carried out safely and responsibly. The agreement will set out the details of the proposed work, the timetable for the job, and any other relevant information.

The Role of Surveyors in Party Wall Awards

Surveyors play a crucial role in party wall awards. They are responsible for assessing the impact of the proposed work on the party wall and ensuring the work is carried out safely and responsibly. Both parties appoint surveyors and work together to prepare the party wall agreement.

Can Surveyors Make a Party Wall Award Without Notice?

Party wall surveyors were traditionally believed to only have the authority to make an award if the building owner had provided proper notice. This concept was supported by the Louis v Sadiq case, which stated that the neighbouring owner would need to seek an injunction without proper notice.

The decision for the case was made based on Section 55 of the London Building Act of 1939. This section states that the appointed surveyor, or if necessary, the three surveyors or any two of them, must resolve any issues related to a notice under this part of the Act by making an award.

The Party Wall Act of 1996 significantly expanded and altered the previous law, eliminating the need for a Party Wall Act notice to be issued before surveyors could make an award. As a result, surveyors can now be appointed and issue awards even if notices were not served. This is a more practical approach than an injunction, particularly when the building owners have initiated works requiring notification and there is no risk to the neighbouring property. The owner may appoint a surveyor instead of incurring the expense of applying for an injunction.


Party walls are essential features in many urban areas of the UK, and their maintenance and repair often require party wall agreements or awards. Surveyors are crucial in ensuring that the work is carried out safely and responsibly and that both parties' interests are protected.

While there was a time when surveyors could not make awards without proper notice, the Party Wall Act of 1996 has expanded and altered the previous law, eliminating this requirement. This practical approach allows building owners to appoint surveyors and issue awards even if notices were not served, avoiding costly injunctions.

Ultimately, party wall agreements and awards are vital for promoting peaceful coexistence between neighbours and ensuring the safety of all parties involved in building works.

Icon Surveyors provide residential surveying services across England and Wales, specialising in Party Wall Surveying, Boundary Surveying, Building Surveying, and Valuation. Our primary focus lies in building surveying. However, we have gained extensive expertise in Party Wall Surveying due to our vast experience and knowledge in the field. Our dedicated surveyors are committed to achieving results by offering our assistance and working diligently. Contact our experts to learn more about our services!

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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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