I received a party wall notice from my neighbour, what should I do now?

When your neighbour is planning to do building work that involves a party wall, they are required to serve a party wall notice to the owners of adjacent buildings.

Your rights when receiving a party wall notice

When you receive a party wall notice, it is your right to appoint a party wall surveyor to act on your behalf.

The fees for your party wall surveyor are paid by the building owner who is planning the building works, if the building works are solely for their benefit.

Find a party wall surveyor in your area.

The party wall surveyor will liaise with the other party and put forward your preferred outcome. They will create an award that agrees in writing on details like:

  • the work that will be carried out
  • when and how the work is to be carried out, for example to minimise the inconvenience caused by noise, dust etc
  • any additional work required or measures to protect from damage
  • the condition of the adjoining property before the work, so that any damage can be monitored and fixed
  • access for the surveyors to inspect the works as may be necessary

Remember that the surveyors have a duty to resolve matters in a fair and practical way!

Works that require a party wall notice

Works that require to serve a party wall notice are:

  • new building on or at the boundary of 2 properties
  • work to an existing party wall or party structure
  • excavation near to and below the foundation level of neighbouring buildings

 

In practice, it means your neighbour might be planning to:

  • build a new wall on or at the boundary of 2 properties
  • cut into a party wall
  • make a party wall taller, shorter or deeper
  • remove chimney breasts from a party wall
  • knock down and rebuild a party wall
  • dig below the foundation level of your property

More information on the Party Wall etc Act 1996

You can find detailed guidance on how the party wall works on the official pages from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government here. The resources also include an explanatory booklet.

On our website, we have detailed guides on Party wall agreements for loft conversions and on How to plan building works that don’t require party wall agreements.

Get in touch with us for introductions to recommended party wall surveyors in your area