MAKE YOUR FREE Party wall notice

  • Make your document in minutes
  • Access from any device
  • Securely sign online
Make document

Overview of the Party wall notice

For use in England and Wales only.

If you are carrying out works governed by the Party Wall Act, you need to serve a party wall notice on your neighbours. Protect yourself from disputes during home improvements by giving neighbours notice of works using this party wall notice. This straightforward party wall notice sets out clearly what improvements are needed, and the length of time within which you propose to start work. This party wall notice can be used to notify your neighbours of building works to party property including, repairing boundary walls, excavating within six metres of neighbouring property and building new walls or buildings at the boundary. For further information read Party wall matters.

Use this party wall notice:

  • when you need to carry out work to a shared boundary 

  • when you need to carry out works to the other structures used in common with your neighbour, such as chimneys, sewers or drains

  • when informing your neighbours of your intentions to start work

  • build on or at the boundary of your 2 properties

  • work on an existing party wall or structure

  • dig below and near to the foundation level of your neighbour's property

This party wall notice covers:

  • details of the work needed to the party wall or other structures used in common with your neighbour 

  • when you propose to start work

  • whether the proposed work involves special foundations

  • the appointment of a surveyor

  • acknowledgment of the notice

When you are proposing to carry out any building works to a shared wall, shared boundary or excavations near a neighbouring property, you must give all adjoining owners notice. A party wall notice is used for this. Adjoining owners can agree or disagree to the works proposed with a notice of acknowledgment. 

If you don't notify your neighbours, then they can obtain a court injunction which means they can stop you from carrying on with any works. If there is disagreement to the works provided then this can cause disputes between you and your neighbour which could affect the neighbour relationship.

A party wall is a wall that stands on the land of two or more owners that can be part of a building or structure (eg a garden wall) or a wall on one person's land that is used by others.

You must tell your neighbour if you wish to:

  • built on or at the boundary of your properties

  • work on an existing party wall or party structure

  • dig below and near to the foundation level of their property

Examples of some work include:

  • building a new wall

  • cutting into a party wall

  • making a party wall taller, shorter or deeper

  • removing chimneys from a party wall

  • knocking down and rebuilding a party wall 

You won't need to tell your neighbours about minor changes such as plastering, adding or replacing electrical wiring and sockets, or drilling to put up shelves or cabinets. 

You will need to send multiple notices for each type of work in this case. This means that you will need to complete all the relevant notices relating to the work being carried out. For example, if you intend to excavate and build a new wall at the boundary, you will need to complete two sets of notices.

Generally, the notice should be given at least two months before the work is due to commence. This can be one month if the notice is for a new party wall or structure, or is related to excavation.

The notice and any other documents required under the law may be served on any adjoining owners in person. You can also serve the notice by post and email. You can only serve the notice by email provided that the adjoining owners have agreed to receive them by email and have provided an email address to send the documents to.

After you give notice, your neighbour can either:

  • give consent in writing,

  • refuse consent (starting a dispute resolution process); or

  • serve a counter notice requesting additional works be done at the same time (they’ll have to pay for these if they benefit from the works)

Your neighbour must inform you within 14 days in writing whether or not they consent to your notice, and you must do the same with any counter notice. A counter notice must be served within one month of the first notice.

For proposed works relating to existing party walls and structures or excavation and construction, if the adjoining owners don't respond after 14 days of being served a notice, it would be considered that a dispute has arisen. 

For proposed works relating to new building on a line of junction, if the adjoining owners don't respond after 14 days of being served notice, the building owner may only build the new wall at their own expense and as an external wall wholly within their own land. 

If the neighbour dissents (or if they do not not reply within 14 days, in which case, they are assumed to have dissented), a Party Wall Award is required.

In this case, both the homeowner and neighbour can appoint an agreed surveyor, usually within ten days, who can act impartially to make an award.

The agreed surveyor should be independent and not the same surveyor the homeowner might be using for their own works. Otherwise their neighbour is unlikely to view the surveyor as neutral.

The Agreed Surveyor produces an Award which details the works proposed and a schedule of condition, including pictures, of the neighbour’s home.

If a dispute arises, both property owners need to agree on an 'Agreed Surveyor' to produce a 'Party Wall Award'. Alternatively, each owner can appoint their own surveyor to draw up an award. A third surveyor is selected where the two appointed surveyors can't agree. You cannot act as your own surveyor. 

If your neighbour refuses or fails to appoint a surveyor, you can appoint one on their behalf.

A Party Wall Award is a legal document that sets out the works to be carried out and how they are to be carried out. The appointed surveyors will decide who pays the costs in producing the award and for any necessary checks that the work has been carried out according to their instructions.

No - if there is no dispute about any party wall matters then there is no requirement to appoint a surveyor. 

If you have concerns about a party wall surveyor you should contact the Citizens Advice Bureau Consumer helpline. If the surveyor is a member of a professional body such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), they can be contacted to find out about the complaints procedures. 

If you are unhappy with the party wall award, you can appeal against the award at a county court within 14 days of receiving it. To do so, you will need to file an appellant’s notice at the county court, stating the reasons for your appeal. 

Only if the adjoining owner agrees. Otherwise you must build the wall wholly on your own land. 

You will need to pay for any work which you start on your party wall.

Your neighbour will need to pay if they ask for additional works to be done which will benefit them. They may also have to contribute to the costs if the work is needed as a result of defects or lack of repair.

If you cannot agree with your neighbour, the appointed surveyor will decide on who pays what.

Ask a lawyer for:

  • advice if you're unsure if your works are covered by the Party Wall Act

  • advice if you've started works without giving notice to all adjoining owners

  • advice if you're in dispute with all adjoining owners and can't agree on an appointed surveyor

  • advice if you are based outside of England and Wales as there are different rules in Scotland and Northern Ireland

This party wall notice is governed by the law of England and Wales.