Party Wall Surveyor in Central London

Make Hamilton Darcey LLP your party wall surveyor in Central London. We are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Pyramus and Thisbe Club. Our specialist team works with all homeowners and developers across England and Wales. We cover the whole of London, including north, east, south and west London. 

What Is a Party Wall?

Section 20 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 defines a Party Wall as either:

  • A wall which stands on the land of two owners, to a greater extent than simply projecting foundations; or
  • A wall which stands on the land of one owner that separates the buildings of two owners. In this situation, only the part of the wall separating the buildings of the two owners is a party wall.

A party structure is a generic term but is defined in Section 20 of the Party Wall etc. Act as either a party wall, floor partition or other structure which separates parts of a building each with separate entrances.

As part of the Party Wall Agreement, the Surveyors will form an opinion on party walls and structures.

When Is a Party Wall notice required?

If a property owner plans to undertake construction or renovation work that would affect a party wall, they are required to serve a party wall notice to the adjoining property owner at least two months prior to construction. 

These construction activities include but are not limited to cutting into, demolishing, rebuilding and underpinning a party wall. It also includes decreasing or increasing the height or width of the wall. 

If a property owner plans to excavate near to a neighbour’s structure then they may also need to serve a Notice of Adjacent Excavation, which needs to be served at least one month prior to the works. 

The final type of works that can invoke the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 include constructing a new wall at the boundary. Again, this Line of Junction notice must be served at least one month prior to commencing the works. 

The neighbouring property owner can respond to a party wall notice in one of the following ways:

Consent to the Construction Work

In this case, the neighbouring property owner consents to the proposed construction works involving party walls. This means they will not receive a Party Wall Award but they may have a Schedule of Condition undertaken prior to the works commencing. This will record the condition of their property, in detail, before the works start.

As a result of the neighbour consenting, the property owner who is planning for construction works will be free to commence anytime.

Dissent and Appoint a Surveyor

By dissenting to the party wall notice, the neighbouring property owner has the freedom to appoint a party wall surveyor to assess the proposals on their behalf and represent their interests. 

The party wall surveyor will study how the proposed construction works might affect the neighbouring property and recommend any additional safeguards.

Both owners will receive a Party Wall Award, which includes a Schedule of Condition.

Agree on a Party Wall Surveyor

This option is similar to the second, which is to get a party wall surveyor involved in the process. 

By dissenting and appointing an agreed party wall surveyor, however, the property owners will decide on one party wall surveyor to act on behalf of both of them. Again, both owners will receive a Party Wall Award.

Note that the property owner who is planning the construction works will typically be responsible for all costs, expenses and fees related to the notifiable works, including party wall surveyors’ fees, regardless of the neighbouring property owner’s response. Our London-based party wall surveyors can walk you through the process.

Building Owners

Hamilton Darcey LLP minimises avoidable party wall issues for building owners by giving advice on design and construction proposals. We work at the design stage to address all possible concerns early on. 

As London’s trusted party wall surveyors, we also deal with all required notices and appointments related to the party wall. We do this to avoid project delays and avoid neighbour disputes.

We serve timely notices that follow the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 to prevent construction project delays. Notice periods are typically between one to two months, depending on the type of proposed construction work. It might take longer to agree a Party Wall Award for complex projects, such as basement excavations.

Developers come to us for assistance with serving valid notices to adjoining property owners. We make sure the project starts as soon as possible and still ensure compliance with the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

If you need to liaise with adjoining property owners and their representatives, contact our London-based party wall surveyors.

Our services include:
  • Party Wall Advice at Design Stage
  • Party Wall Notices
  • Schedules of Condition
  • Neighbour Liaison
  • Party Wall Awards
  • Boundary Advice
  • Oversail Agreements

Adjoining Owners

Whether you are the freehold owner, head-lessee or a leaseholder, we will act on your behalf to ensure your property is properly safeguarded and prevent unnecessary inconvenience from works to a neighbouring property. Our role as your appointed Surveyor involves reviewing the Building Owner’s proposals from a technical point of view as well as proactive management of party wall issues arising throughout the construction phase and thereafter, ensuring the building owner is fully aware of their obligations as defined in the award.

When you are served with a notice from the Building Owner, it is important to act quickly to appoint a suitably qualified Surveyor to advise you on the implications of the proposed works on your property.

Frequently Asked Questions

It covers three types of work: party structure works, new wall construction at the property boundary and excavation works near to the neighbouring property.

Any work that could potentially disturb the party wall, such as building a basement extension near the wall or removing chimney breasts attached to it, would require the services of a surveyor. This is where a Schedule of Condition is required, to record the condition of the neighbouring property prior to the commencement of works.

A Line of Junction Notice should be served one month before building a new wall at the boundary. 

A Party Structure Notice should be served two months before carrying out works to the party wall or party structure.

A Notice of Adjacent Excavation should be served one month prior to excavating within 3m or 6m of the neighbouring property to specified depths (we will advise).

Our London-based party wall surveyors will estimate the total cost based on the plan of the construction works. We always provide transparent and competitive estimates.

Why Choose Hamilton Darcey LLP for Party Wall Surveys

Our London-based party wall surveyors are always responsive to your concerns and transparent about party wall-related processes. Whether you are a property owner with questions about starting a construction project, or a neighbouring property owner who wants to know how the project affects your property, we are ready to help.

Boundary Determination

Our surveyors address all neighbourly concerns regarding property boundaries, from analysing deed plans to providing insights on where the paper boundary lies.

Right to Light

We work with property developers and adjoining owners to determine the potential impact on light to properties adjacent to a proposed scheme.

Crane & Scaffold

Our team works with property developers and adjoining owners. We are ready to assist you with design negotiations and formal licence agreements.

Ask for Party Wall Advice Today

Hamilton Darcey LLP’s party wall surveyors are regularly appointed to represent property owners in and around London. We also provide our services throughout England and Wales.