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How Much Does a Party Wall Surveyor Cost?

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How much does a party wall surveyor cost?

If you have a shared wall with your neighbour, also known as the party wall, and are carrying out building work, you must involve a party wall surveyor. This can complicate things, result in more paperwork, and add costs to your building project.

In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know.

Table of Contents

Why Do I Need a Party Wall Surveyor?

You will need to hire a surveyor if you or your neighbour are planning any work affecting a party wall.

Common works that can affect party walls include loft conversions, damp-proof courses, and digging foundations for extensions.

How Much Does a Party Wall Surveyor Cost?

So, how much does a party wall surveyor cost?

The cost of your party wall surveyor will depend on the time it takes them to create your Party Wall Agreement.

For instance, an agreement for multiple flats will cost more than an agreement between two neighbours in a semi-detached property. A simple party wall agreement drawn by a single surveyor will cost roughly £1,000.

What factors can increase the costs? And who is responsible for paying for what?

The cost of a party wall surveyor also depends on the number of surveyors involved. Ideally, you and your neighbours will share one party wall surveyor. However, there are cases where each owner chooses to have their surveyor, which will increase the costs.

How Much Does a Party Wall Surveyor Cost?
According to the Government's Party Wall Act 1996, an exception to this rule is if the proposed work is necessary for fixing a defect or making repairs.

How Much Can a Party Wall Surveyor Charge?

Most party wall surveyors charge hourly rates between £90 and £450. The cost of hiring a party wall surveyor depends on your location and the extent of work required.

On average, a Party Wall Agreement costs around £1,000. This amount can increase depending on the complexity of the project and the number of surveyors involved. For a simple loft conversion with only one surveyor, you might pay around £900.

On the other hand, a basement building project involving two surveyors could cost around £6,000.

These figures provide a general idea of the cost associated with hiring a party wall surveyor.

What Is a Party Wall Agreement?

A party wall surveyor creates a Party Wall Award, also known as a Party Wall Agreement. This document will outline your rights and responsibilities, as well as those of the other owners of the party wall.

It should include details about how the building works will be carried out, including acceptable working hours, access to the party wall, and any other necessary agreements related to the work.

It will include a “schedule of condition,” which is a detailed record, including photographs, of the condition of the adjoining properties before the start of the building works. This record serves as evidence in a dispute over areas affected by the building works.

If your neighbour is selling house with a part wall agreement, it is worth speaking to them to under expectations of future works.

What Is a Party Wall?

A party wall is a wall that is shared by two or more properties. If you live in a semi-detached or terraced home, the party wall would be the one that is part of both your property and your neighbour’s property.

A party wall is divided by the boundary line, but it can also include a wall solely on one property if an adjoining building relies on it for support.

What does cash house buyers only mean and why you need one?
The owner planning the building work will be responsible for covering all the costs associated with creating the Party Wall Agreement, including paying the surveyor(s).

How Much Notice Do You Need To Give For a Party Wall?

Building works that will affect a party wall require you to inform any neighbouring properties affected by the work. This is known as “serving notice” and should be done in writing between 2 months and 1 year before the building works begin.

If your neighbours agree with the planned works and agree on the terms under which the work will be carried out, you may not need a Party Wall Agreement and may not have to pay for a surveyor.

Preparing a “schedule of conditions” is still recommended to avoid any disputes that may arise later on. This schedule can be created together, or a surveyor can be appointed to prepare it.

If you and your neighbour are unable to agree, meaning your neighbour refuses your party wall agreement, then a Party Wall Surveyor will be necessary to draft an agreement.

The owner planning the building work will be responsible for covering all the costs associated with creating the Party Wall Agreement, including paying the surveyor(s).

You can appoint an impartial surveyor who will act on behalf of you and your neighbour, or you can each choose to have your surveyor. In any case, the owner is responsible for paying all party wall survey fees.

Can a Garden Wall Be a Party Wall?

If built across the boundary, a freestanding garden wall could be considered a party wall. It is important to note that this definition does not include wooden fences.

Do You Need a Party Wall Agreement For a Basement?

Yes, you will need a party wall agreement if you are carrying out basement work.  Be sure to serve notices on all neighbouring properties for example, if you may need to serve notice on an entire row of terraced houses.

Do Flats Have Party Walls
The floors or walls between apartments are referred to as "party structures".

Do Flats Have Party Walls?

A wall is considered a Party Wall if it is entirely on one owner’s property but is used by multiple owners to divide their buildings. The floors or walls between apartments are referred to as “party structures”.

Who Pays The Fees For a Party Wall Surveyor?

The building owner responsible for the building work will cover all the costs associated with creating the Party Wall Agreement, including paying the surveyor(s).

You can choose one impartial agreed surveyor to represent you and your neighbour, or you can each have your surveyor. The owner is responsible for paying all party wall survey fees.

Factors That Affect The Costs Of a Party Wall Surveyor

When planning your budget for a party wall surveyor, there are several factors you should consider. These factors can affect the duration of the surveyor’s work. They include:

  1. The size of the property
  2. The quality and completeness of the architectural designs
  3. The complexity of the project
  4. the number of surveyors required (which can range from one to three depending on the type of survey)
  5. The level of risk of damage to the neighbouring property
  6. Any negotiation required
  7. And the location of your property.

Single Party Wall Surveyor Costs

Single-party wall surveyor costs can vary depending on the type of project. The total cost can range from £900 to £2,700.

Here is a breakdown of the price range for different types of projects:

  • Loft conversion: £900 to £1,200.
  • Extension: £1,200 to £1,500.
  • New build: £1,500 to £1,800.
  • Basement: £1,800 to £2,700.
Do I have to pay for my neighbour's Party Wall Surveyor?
Establishing a positive relationship with your neighbours can be incredibly beneficial for construction projects. Taking the time to personally address any questions.

Two-party Wall Surveyor Costs

If you and your neighbours decide to hire separate party wall surveyors, then the price tag doubles from the costs shown above. The prices range from £1,800 to £5,400, depending on the type of project.  The table below gives you indicative pricing:

Single Surveyor Vs Two Party Wall Surveyor Costs

Service

Price

New build

£3,000 to £3,600

Loft conversion

£1,800 to £2,400

House extension

£2,400 to £3,000

Basement conversion

£3,600 to £5,400

There are three ways to manage building plans involving a party wall.

The first option is for the building owner and the neighbouring property owner to agree to use the same party wall surveyor.

Another option is for the building owner to hire a party wall surveyor while the neighbouring property owner hires a different surveyor if the two can agree.

The final option is for both parties to hire separate party wall surveyors, but if they cannot reach an agreement, they would need to hire a third impartial surveyor to make the final decision.

Opting for a single surveyor when both building owners agree can significantly reduce the costs of the surveyor.

However, if they each choose to hire their surveyor, the total cost for party wall surveyors could double, and if a third surveyor is needed, it could even triple.

How Much Does It Cost For Three-party Wall Surveyors?

Depending on the situation, you may need more than one Party Wall Surveyor. You and your neighbour can agree to use one joint surveyor to draw up the Party Wall Award.

You can appoint your own Party Wall Surveyor if you cannot reach an agreement. In this case, you may end up paying for three surveyors.

This is because the two surveyors you each choose will also appoint a third surveyor. The third surveyor will only be involved if the first two cannot reach an agreement.

You should expect to double your costs if you and your neighbour use separate party wall surveyors. The final bill could become even higher if you pay a third surveyor to settle disagreements.

Who Is Responsible For Repairs To a Party Wall?

The Party Wall Act outlines the duties of owners when it comes to maintaining party walls. Each owner is responsible for the upkeep of the wall on their property. However, if the wall is in a state of disrepair and requires repairs, the owners can split the cost.

What Is The 3-Meter Rule For Party Wall?

If the excavation will be deeper than the foundations of adjoining owners’ properties, the building owner is expected to serve notice on all owners within 3m of their property and potentially within 6m, depending on the depth of the excavation.  This is also called the 6-meter party wall rule.

Always consult a party walls surveyor to be on the safe side.

How do you deal with party walls
Avoid leaving your neighbours in the dark about planned construction or structural work. Instead, have an informal conversation with them as early as possible.

Tips for Managing Party Wall Building Projects

To ensure a smooth process and minimise costs, there are four things you can do:

  1. Stay friendly with your neighbours: Establishing a positive relationship with your neighbours can be incredibly beneficial for construction projects. Taking the time to personally address any questions or disputes can save time and money.
  1. Keep your neighbours informed: Avoid leaving your neighbours in the dark about planned construction or structural work. Instead, have an informal conversation with them as early as possible. This personal approach can help alleviate any concerns, and a friendly chat over a cup of tea can go a long way.
  1. Share your surveyor’s details: Let your neighbours know who your party wall surveyor is. This not only demonstrates good faith but also builds confidence. Transparency is key to maintaining a positive relationship throughout the project.
  1. Invest in high-quality designs: Having clear and concise designs for your building work can impact timelines. Well-crafted plans make it easier for surveyors to understand the project and work more efficiently, reducing their time and cost.

Useful Party Wall Surveyor Checklist

  1. Identify any party walls on your property.
  2. Serve notices 14 months before any planned works can commence.
  3. Have high-quality designs drawn up for your planned building work.
  4. Speak to any neighbours affected as soon as possible – ideally, start with an informal chat.
  5. Contact local party wall surveyors for their professional advice and accurate quotes for the work.
  6. Shop around for fair and competitive party wall surveyor costs.
  7. Always hire a tradesperson with relevant experience and appropriate accreditation, such as Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors or RICS.

Who pays for a party wall surveyor?

The building owner responsible for the building work will cover all the costs associated with creating the Party Wall Agreement, including paying the surveyor(s).

You can choose one impartial agreed surveyor to represent you and your neighbour, or you can each have your surveyor.

The owner is responsible for paying all party wall survey fees, but you must pay for your party wall surveyor.

Can neighbours refuse a party wall agreement?

Yes, once you, as the building owner, have given notice, your neighbours have three options.

They can give consent, refuse consent (which will initiate the dispute resolution process), or serve a counter notice requesting additional works to be done simultaneously (at a cost to them if they benefit from the works).

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