Party Wall Surveyor Cost

What are the costs of a Party Wall Surveyor?

If you plan to make changes or alterations to and around the party wall or property boundary, you may be required to abide by the Party Wall Act 1996. This may require you to serve notice on the neighbouring properties (Adjoining Owners). Depending on the works proposed the notice period is either one or two months minimum. Once the adjoining owner receives the notice they have three options:

  1. Consent to the works, in which instance no further action is required, although we would advise a schedule of condition is taken to record the condition of the neighbouring property prior to the works commencing.
  1. Dissent to the notice, but agree upon the same surveyor as the individual(s) undertaking the works.
  1. Dissent to the notice and appoint their own surveyor. Under the Act, in most scenarios, the person(s) carrying out the works (building Owner) are responsible for the fees for the neighbours surveyor.

With the latter two options, a schedule of condition is produced of the neighbouring property which is in close proximity to the works. The schedule of condition acts as a record of the properties condition prior to the works commencing, if any damage is caused to the neighbouring property which is attributable to the notifiable works the Building Owner will be at liberty to make good. A Party Wall Award will also be produced which will lay out the rights and duties of the parties with regards to the party wall.

Naturally, disputes between surveyors (in option 3) are not uncommon, which is why a third impartial surveyor is appointed before any work begins. If the initial two surveyors can’t reach an agreement, the third surveyor will have the final say.

At Harding Chartered Surveyors, we’re always transparent with our pricing, which is why we offer free quotes either online or over the phone to building owners. However, because we don’t have full control over the adjoining owner’s surveyor’s fees, it’s virtually impossible to provide a quote for the total party wall surveyor cost. Below, we explain how the adjoining owner’s surveyor’s fees are calculated and agreed upon.

Party Wall Surveyor Cost | Party Wall Agreement Cost | 2023, Harding Chartered Surveyors

Party Wall Surveyor Quote

Negotiations Between the Two Surveyors

The building owner’s surveyor is responsible for deciding how much the adjoining owner’s surveyor should get paid. Therefore, the building owner’s surveyor will usually check the other surveyor’s timesheet to check for accuracy and ensure all claims are fair. The building owner’s surveyor may dispute the adjoining owner’s proposed fees for a host of reasons, from unreasonable travel fees to unfair hourly rates.

If the two surveyors appointed by the building owner and adjoining owner can’t reach an agreement, the matter may be passed on to the third appointed surveyor. Acting as an impartial advisor, the third surveyor will usually have the final say on how much should be paid to whom.

How Much Does a Party Wall Surveyor Cost?

Most party wall surveyors charge a fixed hourly rate for all tasks related to party wall matters. This typically ranges from £150-£270.

The Adjoining Owner's Surveyor’s Fees

The building owner’s surveyor is responsible for deciding whether the adjoining owner’s surveyor’s fees are reasonable. The total cost should take a range of factors into account, including:

  • Distance between site and office
    The longer it takes for the adjoining owner’s surveyor to reach the building, the higher their fee will be. We usually agree to cap the travel time to around 45 minutes as to prevent congestion, roadworks and other unforeseen events from causing travel fees to spiral out of control.
  • The Quality of the Building Owner’s Surveyor’s ReportDraft Award and Schedule of Condition
    If the building owner’s surveyor does a thorough job and creates an accurate report, the adjoining owner will naturally have less work to do, reducing the hours required to finish the job.
  • The Quality of the Design Team’s Drawings and Other Information
    Again, the more information the surveyor has access to, the less time it should take to compile a party wall award.
  • The complexity of the works proposed
    If the works are more complex the adjoining owner may seek to utilise other experts to check the design team's drawings, specifications etc. This normally takes the form of a checking engineer and is common in basement excavations and big projects.

The adjoining owner’s surveyor will propose an hourly rate, which the building owner’s surveyor can accept or reject. The building owner’s surveyor will usually check the adjoining owner’s surveyor’s timesheet to decide whether the fee is fair.

Party Wall Surveyor Cost | Party Wall Agreement Cost | 2023, Harding Chartered Surveyors

The Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor’s Timesheet

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ adjoining owner surveyor’s timesheet because each job is unique, which is just one reason why it’s usually impossible to provide a fixed quote for both surveyors’ costs upfront. However, some of the tasks that the adjoining owner’s surveyor is responsible for carrying out and charging for include:

  • Review of the initial notice and any associated drawings
  • The exchange of appointment letters and selection of a third surveyor
  • Assessment of the adjoining owner’s property conditionAssisting the Building Owner’s surveyor carry out the schedule of condition
  • Review of the draft Schedule of Condition and Award
  • Agreement of any outstanding points with the building owner’s surveyor
  • Review and approval of the fair copies of the award
  • Checking off of the Schedule of Condition after the works have been completed

Note that the final two tasks on the list above are completed after the fee is agreed upon, which means the total time spent for each of said tasks is estimated.

The Third Appointed Surveyor's Fees

Naturally, in the interest of minimising costs, it’s better to involve the third surveyor as little as possible. However, should the matter of payment end up being the third surveyor’s decision, th They will apportion their costs between the parties?

Often, the adjoining owner’s surveyor will discuss their proposed fees with their client before taking the matter to the third surveyor. The adjoining owner’s surveyor may explain the financial risks associated with letting a third surveyor have the final say. If the adjoining owner thinks they may be liable to cover extra costs, they may agree to pay their surveyor’s requested fee.

If either party is dissatisfied with the terms of the Award, they may appeal at the local county court within 14 days. Adjoining owners should be aware that building owners have a right to alter party walls provided the planned changes fall within the bounds of the law. If you intend to appeal an Award, you might want to seek legal advice first.

Party Wall Surveyor Cost | Party Wall Agreement Cost | 2023, Harding Chartered Surveyors

Party Wall Agreement Cost

The cost of a Party Wall Agreement can vary greatly depending on the extent of the works and complexity of the project. On average, fees for a simple agreement can range from £800 to £1,500 per adjoining property owner. However, more complex cases involving multiple adjoining owners or significant construction works can drive costs upwards of £2,000 to £3,000.

The agreement cost typically includes the preparation of a Party Wall Notice, a Schedule of Condition for the adjoining property, and the final Party Wall Award. It is important to note that each property owner is generally responsible for their surveyor's fees, unless otherwise agreed upon.

In some cases, the property owner undertaking the works may offer to cover the costs of their neighbour's surveyor. This can be a gesture of goodwill, and can also speed up the process, as it may encourage the neighbour to consent to the works more readily.

To keep costs in check, it is advisable for homeowners to obtain quotes from multiple surveyors before selecting one. Furthermore, agreeing on a single surveyor to act for both parties as an "Agreed Surveyor" can be a cost-effective alternative. However, this should only be considered if both parties feel comfortable with the surveyor and confident in their impartiality.

What is the Party Wall Act?

The Party Wall Act, formally known as the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, is a piece of legislation in the UK that governs the rights and responsibilities of property owners when undertaking construction or alteration works that directly affect a shared wall or boundary between neighbouring properties. The primary aim of the Act is to prevent and resolve disputes between property owners, ensuring that any works carried out are done so in a manner that protects both parties' interests.

The Act encompasses three key areas: Party Wall, Party Structure, and Line of Junction. A Party Wall is a shared wall that separates two adjoining properties, whereas a Party Structure refers to any wall, floor, or partition that separates buildings or parts of a building occupied by different owners. Lastly, the Line of Junction is the point where two properties meet, even if they are not physically connected by a wall.

Under the Party Wall Act, the property owner intending to carry out works must serve a Party Wall Notice to the adjoining owner(s), detailing the proposed works and providing sufficient information. The notice must be served at least one or two months before the planned start date, depending on the type of works involved. Upon receiving the notice, the adjoining owner(s) can either consent to or dissent from the works.

If the adjoining owner consents, the works may proceed as planned. If they dissent or fail to respond within 14 days, the property owners must appoint a Party Wall Surveyor or surveyors to prepare a Party Wall Award. This legally binding document outlines the terms and conditions of the works, along with any necessary protection measures for the adjoining property.

It is essential for property owners to comply with the Party Wall Act, as non-compliance can lead to legal disputes, delays, and additional costs. By adhering to the Act and maintaining open communication with their neighbours, property owners can ensure that their construction or alteration works are carried out smoothly and with minimal disruption to all parties involved.

Party Wall Surveyor Cost | Party Wall Agreement Cost | 2023, Harding Chartered Surveyors

What is a Party Wall Notice?

A Party Wall Notice is a crucial step in the process of carrying out construction or alteration works that affect shared walls or boundaries between neighbouring properties in the UK. The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 requires the property owner undertaking the works to serve a notice on their adjoining neighbours, informing them of the proposed works and providing relevant information.

There are three main types of Party Wall Notices:

  • Party Structure Notice: This notice pertains to works on a shared wall or structure, such as demolishing, rebuilding, or altering the wall's thickness or height. It must be served at least two months before the intended start date of the works.
  • Line of Junction Notice: When a property owner intends to build a new wall either up to or astride the boundary line between properties, they must serve this notice. It must be given at least one month prior to the commencement of the works.
  • Adjacent Excavation Notice: This notice is required when excavations are planned within 3 or 6 metres of the adjoining property, depending on the depth and proximity of the excavations to the neighbouring building. This notice must also be served at least one month before the start of the works.

It is essential to include detailed information about the proposed works in the Party Wall Notice, such as plans, drawings, and a description of the works. The notice should also mention the relevant section of the Party Wall Act under which it is being served and the date by which a response is expected from the adjoining owner(s).

Once the notice has been served, the adjoining owner(s) have 14 days to respond. They can either consent to or dissent from the proposed works. If they dissent or fail to respond, both parties must appoint a Party Wall Surveyor or surveyors to prepare a Party Wall Award, outlining the terms and conditions for carrying out the works.

Schedule of Condition

A Schedule of Condition (SoC) is a comprehensive and detailed document that records the existing condition of a property at a specific point in time. Often used in conjunction with lease agreements, construction projects, or dilapidations claims, the SoC serves as a valuable reference for all parties involved in these transactions or projects. By establishing the property's state prior to any work or occupation, it helps to prevent disputes regarding any potential damage or changes that may occur during the lease or construction period.

The process of creating a Schedule of Condition typically involves a professional surveyor or building consultant conducting a thorough inspection of the property. They will meticulously examine all aspects of the building, both internally and externally, and document their findings in a clear and methodical manner. This includes photographic evidence and written descriptions, which together provide a comprehensive account of the property's condition. The SoC should cover all relevant areas, such as the building's structure, fabric, fixtures, and fittings.

The importance of a Schedule of Condition cannot be overstated. It offers valuable protection for both landlords and tenants, as well as contractors and property owners involved in construction projects. For landlords and tenants, the SoC enables them to clearly establish the condition of the property at the commencement of the lease, which can help to avoid misunderstandings or disputes regarding repair obligations and dilapidations claims. Additionally, the SoC can serve as evidence in court proceedings, should disputes escalate to that level.

Recent Reviews of Harding Chartered Surveyors

Party Wall Surveyor Cost | Party Wall Agreement Cost | 2023, Harding Chartered Surveyors
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We are very pleased with the service you have provided and would certainly recommend you in future .
Very positive experience. We hired Harding Surveyors to carry out a building survey on a commercial property to be leased from the council. They did a great job and we went back to them again to carry out a schedule of condition report, prior to us moving in. Very helpful, friendly, good communication, and reasonable price. Would recommend.
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Harding Chartered Surveyors have provided very efficient and professional services with their valuation for Probate purposes. Very good communications at the outset when inquiring about their services with prompt response, as well as addressing questions after their report was sent to me.I also found their fees reasonable compared to other quotes. Highly recommended
The report is excellent and was provided promptly. All aspects of the service were handled efficiently and professionally. Many thanks to Charles and the team.
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Excellent and very professional work by Kate for the planning and Charlie for the valuation and report - highly recommended.
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Party Wall Surveyor Cost | Party Wall Agreement Cost | 2023, Harding Chartered Surveyors

Appoint a Surveyor - Do you need a Party Wall Surveyor?

If you live in a semi-detached, terraced house or doing a loft conversion and need a party wall survey, we can act as party wall surveyor for building owners and adjoining owners. If you want to book a survey or have any questions about the party wall surveyor cost, call us on 020 3598 6730 for a free quotation. Please do read our FAQs on Party Walls for more information.