Do I really need a local party wall surveyor?

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Do I really need a local party wall surveyor?

If you’re planning any construction work near a shared wall, fence, or property with a neighbouring property, you may need to involve a local party wall surveyor. A RICS surveyor or an agreed surveyor plays a critical role in administering the details of a party wall agreement. At the same time, it may seem like an unnecessary expense, but getting a neighbourhood boundary expert involved can save you from costly disputes and legal issues down the line that could potentially derail your project entirely.

What is a Party Wall?

party wall is a wall that stands astride the boundary of land belonging to two different owners, often managed under a party wall agreement. It could be part of a semi-detached or terraced house or simply a garden wall dividing two properties, which may involve a party wall survey for any proposed work. Party walls are covered under the Party Wall Act of 1996, which lays out requirements for providing notice and following proper procedures when working on or near these shared boundaries, as prescribed by the party wall Act.

When Do You Need a Party Wall Surveyor?

You’ll need to appoint an adjacent property surveyor and go through party wall procedures if you plan to carry out any of the following types of work, indicating the services of a specialist party wall surveyor could be required.

  • Building a new wall on or directly adjacent to the boundary line with a neighbor
  • Demolishing and rebuilding an existing party wall
  • Cutting into a party wall to install beams, make chases for pipes/cables, or make other structural alterations necessitates a party wall agreement and possibly the consultation of an RICS surveyor.
  • Raising the height of an existing party wall or boundary wall requires a party wall agreement between the building owner and the adjoining property.
  • Building an extension, basement, or other addition within 6 meters of a neighbouring property in certain cases may invoke the party wall, etc. Act’s jurisdiction and necessitate a party wall notice.
  • Underpinning foundations that extend under the neighbouring property

Role of a Local Party Wall Surveyor

The party wall consultant assesses the proposed work, ensuring the building owner complies with the party wall, etc. Act. They serve proper notice to neighbours and negotiate a fair Party Wall Award with all impacted parties before work starts, ensuring a party wall notice is duly served. This legally binding document details exactly how the work will be carried out, any protective measures required, and provisions for making good or repairing damage.

Failure to follow the party wall rules can anger neighbours. It can lead to disputes, work injunctions, and even demolition. This can happen if the work is found to be illegal or recklessly damaging to the neighbours and their property.

Why Hire a Local Property Partition Survey Expert?

You could try to handle the party wall matters yourself. However, hiring an experienced RICS surveyor or an agreed surveyor can streamline the process. Party wall surveyor has key advantages for ensuring the process goes smoothly:


Party wall legislation is quite complex, with many potential pitfalls and opportunities for missteps that could derail your project. A professional surveyor deeply understands all the nuances of the law and requirements. They can ensure you are fully compliant with the party wall, etc. Act, often by employing the expertise of chartered surveyors.


Party wall surveyors must act impartially to represent the interests of both property owners. This neutrality helps prevent disputes from arising and resolve any conflicts.

Clear Communication

An experienced surveyor can act as a go-between. They explain matters clearly to all affected parties and negotiate party wall awards that protect everyone’s rights.

Avoidance of Costly Delays

Having the proper notices, awards, and protections prevents disastrous delays. They can also stop forced work stoppages on your project.

Peace of Mind

By hiring a local party wall surveyor, you can have full confidence. They will handle all party wall matters properly, including the issuance of the party wall notice and agreement. They are a regulated professional with deep experience in property matters.

Avoiding Liability

If any damage occurs to a neighbouring property due to a party wall issue, following the surveying and award process helps limit liability and legal exposure.

Hiring a good local party wall surveyor can make the process much smoother. They must be well-informed about the area and its buildings. These local experts understand the neighbourhood dynamics and are often chartered surveyors with a specialization in party wall agreements. They know the common issues that may arise. They are aware of the conditions and typical constructions found in homes of that era.


In conclusion, there is an upfront cost. But, hiring a local party wall surveyor is highly recommended. This is true if your plans involve shared boundaries, working near neighbours, or affecting party walls or foundations. The surveyor’s expertise and guidance, along with their formal party wall award, provide vital protection and assurances to the building owner. This makes investing in their services a wise choice to safeguard your interests and your project plans.



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