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What are Party Wall Notices & Awards and do you need one?


The Party Wall procedure can be very confusing and if your undertaking building works it is crucial to ensure you meet the requirements laid out in the Party Wall Act 1996. That’s where we can help....

What is a Party Wall Notice?

The party wall notice starts the party wall process. Depending on the type of works, notice is served under Section 1, Section 3 or Section 6 of the Party Wall Act etc 1996.

Section 1 Notice

Building on or adjacent the boundary line.

Section 3 Notice

Building Works to a Party Wall or Party Fence Wall (such as cutting into the wall, removing a chimney breast, raising the wall, underpinning the wall etc)

Section 6 Notice

Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building or excavations with 6 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavations will bisect an imaginary line drawn at 45 degrees from the neighbouring foundations.

What is a Party Wall Award?

A Party Wall Award is the final documentation in the party wall process and ensures that the Adjoining Owner(s) are adequately legally protected in the event that damage is caused resulting from the works. The Award is commonly known as a Party Wall Agreement.

Do my works require a Party Wall Notice and Award?

Generally speaking, works requiring Party Wall Notices fall within 3 categories:

  • 1
    Works directly to the shared party wall, such as cutting into the wall (such as to insert beam and padstones), removing chimney breasts from the party wall, cutting back the footings to any foundations of a party wall, raising a party wall etc.
  • 2
    Excavations within 3 meters of a neighbouring building to a depth beneath their foundations. The other area where excavation works will require party wall notices is when the building owner is excavating within 6 metres of the adjoining owners building and the excavation works bisects an imaginary 45 ̊ line drawn from the centre of the adjoining owner’s foundations. As shown on the drawing below.
  • 3
    Constructing a wall either on the boundary line or adjacent the boundary line.

Common works which generally require a Party Wall Notice include rear extensions, loft conversion works, removing chimney breasts and basement extensions.

Download Party Walls Diagram
Download Party Walls Diagram

What is a Party Wall?

A Party Wall is simply a wall forming part of building which stands on the lands of different owners.

Download Party Fence Walls Diagram
Download Party Fence Walls Diagram

What is a Party Fence Wall?

Surprisingly a Party Fence Wall is not a fence, but a wall which stands on the land of two owners but is not part of a building. Party Fence Wall does not include a wall on the boundary where only the foundations project onto the neighbours side.

Download Party Structure Diagram
Download Party Structure Diagram

What is a Party Structure?

A Party Structure means a Party Wall and also a floor partition separating two owners. For example, this could Flat A be a floor between two flats.

What are your Party Wall Surveyor Fees?

For acting as the Building Owners’ Party Wall Surveyor, unlike our competitors who tend to operate on an hourly rate, we offer a set fee scale which can be found here. For acting as the Neighbours/Adjoining Owner’s Party Wall Surveyor we charge an hourly rate of £150 per hour +VAT. The reasonable fees of the Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor are paid by the Building Owner and therefore in all usual circumstances our services, there will be no charge to you.

What is a Building Owner and Adjoining Owner?

The parties within a Party Wall Agreement are known as the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner(s). The Building Owner is the party who is carrying out the building works. The Adjoining Owner(s) are those whose property is adjoining the proposed building works.

How do I know how many Adjoining Owners will be affected by my works?

This largely depends upon how many neighbours you have within close proximity to the works. Generally, your works will only affect your direct neighbours those to either side of you. However, there may be further adjoining owners if say you are building close to your rear boundary or you are excavating down to such a depth that you are within 6 metres of other neighbours’ foundations. You should also bear in mind that the act refers to owners which have an interest in the property of greater than a year being an adjoining owner. Therefore, in the case of neighbouring properties being flats they will likely have at least two adjoining owners: a freeholder and one or more leaseholders.