A party wall award lays out the rules that must be adhered to while building works are taking place within a property, that can have an effect on any neighbouring properties. 

Building Owner? – Your rights under the Act

The Act provides a Building Owner, with additional rights which go beyond ordinary common law rights. The most commonly used rights include:

  1.  To raise the height of a party wall (for example, adding another storey).

  2. To extend a party wall downwards (for example, to form a basement)

  3. To cut into a party wall to take the bearing of a beam (for example for a loft conversion).

  • You must inform all adjoining owners (freeholders and leaseholders), before any works have taken place, sometimes giving either one to two months notice ahead of time (depending on what works are being conducted).  

  • We advise that Building Owners speak to their neighbours before serving the formal notice. Neighbours that feel they are being kept informed are more likely to “play ball” and consent to your works taking place. If work starts without a notice being given, an adjoining owner can seek to stop the work through a court injunction or seek other legal redress.

  • We recommend that Building Owners have their plans checked over by an experienced party wall surveyor, to confirm whether the works come within the scope of the Act.

Adjoining Owner? – Your rights under the Act.

An Adjoining Owner is anyone who is an owner of land, buildings or rooms adjoining those of the building owner (which may include the local authority).

If your neighbour serves you a Party Wall notice about intended work, you have 3 options:

  1. Consenting to works – The surveyor will contact the Building Owner and let them know that they can proceed with the works. No further documentation is needed.

  2. Dissent to works (option 1) – You can appoint the Building Owner’s surveyor to act on your behalf also (Agreed Surveyor). The Agreed Surveyor, will act impartially and prepare all the necessary documentation. The Agreed Surveyor, will have further discussion with you, to achieve full clarification of the works and the processes involved.

  3. Dissent to works (option 2) – Dissent to the works and appoint your own surveyor (Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor).