Party Wall etc. Act 1996

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996, enables property works to take place whilst protecting adjoining owners. The obligation is on the owner who wishes to undertake works. They must notify neighbours in writing of the proposed works. When applicable, the Act provides statutory procedures for appointing surveyors. The Surveyors then resolve matters by way of a “party wall award“. An award lists the format, the owner undertaking the work is required to adopt. It does not allow an adjoining owner to prevent a building owner from exercising their rights to conduct work under the Act, however, it does ensure that the works are performed in a manner that protects the adjoining owners’ interests.

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 covers three different types of work:

  • Works directly to a Party Wall or Party Structure

    Works directly to a Party Wall, Party Structure or Party Fence Wall

  • Excavations within 3m or 6m to a depth lower than the adjoining owner’s (the neighbour’s) foundations

    Excavations within 3m or 6m to a depth lower than the adjoining owner’s (the neighbour’s) foundations

  • New walls built up to, or astride, the line of junction

    New walls built up to, or astride, the line of junction

What is a Party Wall Notice?

Party Wall Notice’s are served by the property owner undertaking the construction works, or their chosen representative. The Party Wall Notice gives the neighbouring owner the legal right to select one of three Party Wall Notice responses:

  • Consent to the Party Wall Notice

    Consent To The Party Wall Notice

    This means that the adjoining owner reserves the protections of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, allowing the you (building owner) to commence with your proposed construction work.

  • Dissent and appoint a Party Wall Surveyor to act on my behalf

    Dissent And Appoint A Party Wall Surveyor To Act On My Behalf

    When adjoining owner’s dissent to Party Wall Notice’s they are invoking the formalities and protections set out by the Party Wall etc Act 1996. Choosing to appoint their own Party Wall Surveyor, will make the building owner duty-bound to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor, the two appointed Party Wall Surveyors will follow the required procedures and agree a Party Wall Award legally protecting both owners.

  • Dissent and appoint an Agreed Party Wall Surveyor

    Dissent And Appoint An Agreed Party Wall Surveyor

    This option mirrors the second Party Wall Notice response. The only difference being, one Party Wall Surveyor acts impartially on behalf of both yourself (building owner) and the adjoining owner.

Party Wall Surveyors Role

  • Party Wall Initial Review by Icon Surveyor

    Initial Review

    Your Icon Party Wall Surveyor initial review, will look at the listed documents below, and how they will interact with any adjoining owner’s properties.

    • Land Registry Title Deeds and Plans.
    • Existing and Proposed Architectural/Structural Drawings.
    • Construction Method Statements.
    • Structural Calculations
    • Party Wall Notices (if applicable)
    • Review and or issue a letter of appointment
    • Issue Party Wall Notices (if applicable)
  • Schedule Of Condition Inspection

    Schedule Of Condition Inspection

    Your experienced and qualified Icon Surveyor will visit your property prior to your neighbours, construction work commencing. We will accommodate ourselves with the lay of the land, thus ensuring that we have taken all aspects the Building Owner’s construction works and risk into account. Whilst on site we record a detailed document ensuring we have clear concise photographic evidence, of your property. This will then form part of your Party Wall Award, providing both yourself and the Building Owner with full legal protection if damage is caused.

  • Party Wall Award

    Party Wall Award
    (Legally Binding Document)

    Upon completion of the two previous steps, we will be in a position to undertake a full review of the works, taking into account any associated risk. We will then proceed in agreeing your Party Wall Award, this will include:

    • Work Scope.
    • Protective clauses that your contractors will need to adhere to.
    • Protective Construction methods, for your neighbours contractors to adhere too in specific high-risk areas of their work.
    • Implemented procedures if the construction works cause damage to your property.
    • Working hours for the Party Wall Notifiable construction works
    • Access provisions for the contractors, within your land or airspace.
    • Variations to the construction works post, Party Wall Award service.
    • Procedures, in the event you are due compensation.
  • Post Work Inspection

    Post Work Inspection

    Once the Building Owner has completed their construction work, your Icon surveyor will visit your property and insure that, no changes or damage has occurred as a result of the works. This inspection is commonly known as a Check off Inspection. If there has been damage to your property, Icon will assist ensuring it is repaired by the Building Owners contractor, or ensuring you are compensated for the repair costs. The Building Owner, would bear these costs.

Party Wall etc Act 1996
Notifiable Construction works

  • Loft Conversion

    Loft Conversion

    A Loft Conversion is a common type of construction work, that falls within the remit of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and require Party Wall Notices to be issued. Loft Conversions commonly invoke two sections of the Party Wall Act, first is due to the removal of the existing roof, thereby exposing the Party Wall. Second, cutting into the Party Wall for the insertion of the steel support beams.

  • Internal Works

    Internal Works

    There are various internal works that fall within the remit of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and require Party Wall Notices to be issued. The most common is Chimney Breast removal. Both cutting away the Chimney Breast attached to the Party Wall, and the associated support, for the remaining stack or breast, are covered by the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

  • Home Extension

    Home Extension

    Home extensions are the most common type of construction work that falls within the remit of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, they often require Party Wall Notices to be issued. Home extensions commonly invoke two sections of the Party Wall etc Act 1996. First, relates to the excavation for the extensions foundations. Second, is dependent on the location of the extensions flank wall, if this is built up to or astride the boundary line, this will require the service of Party Wall Notices.

  • New Walls

    New Walls

    Construction of new walls can fall under the remit of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, and often require Party Wall Notices to be issued. If a new wall is being up to, or astride the boundary line. A Party Wall Notices will be required under the Party Wall etc Act 1996. This will also facilitate access to the adjoining owners land, to ensure the wall is completed safely and to a good standard.

  • Basement Conversions

    Basement Conversions

    Basement Conversions fall within the remit of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and require Party Wall Notices to be issued. When undertaking a basement extension, both the deep excavations and underpinning to the existing Party Wall or adjoining owner’s wall, are what the industry call higher risk works. It’s common practice to have a checking engineer appointed and Security for Expenses requested by an adjoining owners Surveyor.

  • Other Works

    Other Works

    The Party Wall etc Act 1996 covers various types of works, commonly misunderstood to fall within the Acts remit. Want to know more? Give us a call now, we are more than happy to discuss your Party Wall Surveying requirements.

Team Accreditations


What is a Party Wall Surveyor?

A Party Wall Surveyor administers Party Wall Surveying Procedures on behalf of their appointing owner, this could be the Building Owner (owner undertaking works) or Adjoining Owner (neighbouring property to works).

A Party Wall Surveyor’s role is to ensure Building Owner’s work proposes the minimal risk possible to the Adjoining Owner’s property as well as ensuring it is fully protected from the proposed construction works.

The time to complete Party Wall Surveying Procedures can vary depending upon a number of different variables including:

  • The construction works.
  • Party Wall Notice, response times.
  • Access is granted, to undertake the Schedule of Condition Report.
  • Party Wall Surveyors handling the file
  • Surveyors agreement to clauses within the Party Wall Award

Generally speaking, 1 – 3 months from the point at which the Party Wall Notices are served upon the Adjoining Owner.

Party Wall Surveying costs / Surveyor’s fees will vary dependent on the construction works taking place as well as the types of property the works are being undertaken on.

Here at Icon Surveyors, both our Building Owner Party Wall Surveyor and Agreed Party Wall Surveyor jobs are competitively priced at a fixed cost.

A Party Wall Award is a legal document that is both drafted and agreed upon by either an Agreed Surveyor or two respective Party Wall Surveyors.

Party Wall Awards are served upon completion of the Party Wall Surveying Procedures. The Party Wall Award gives the Building Owner the legal right to commence the construction works covered within the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

The Party Wall Award, includes various clauses governing the construction works,  ensuring the risks posed to the Adjoining Owner’s properties are  kept to a minimum.