Party Wall Surveyor London

Dealing with a party wall can be tricky, thanks to all the rules and legislation surrounding them. For most people, professional guidance and support while working on a party wall are vital to a successful renovation or building project. At Copeland Yussuf, we’re experienced party wall surveyors in London who can help you reach a resolution that you’re happy with. 

Whether you’re the party owner or an adjourning neighbour dealing with a Party Wall Notice, we can provide legal and compassionate advice and surveying to ensure a fair outcome for all. We’re one of the leading Chartered Surveyors in London and have many dedicated specialists with the sole focus of making the party wall process as seamless as possible.

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Our Party Wall Services in London

We offer many different services in London designed to aid you in your property management, and as Chartered Surveyors, our scope far exceeds party walls. Despite that, as specialist party wall surveyors in London, we can assist you at various points of the party wall procedure. 

Contact us if you’re in London and need the following Party Wall services:

Much like other party wall surveyors, our primary function is to resolve any disputes between a party owner and adjourning neighbour and issue Party Wall Awards so that any planned work can begin. However, we go much further than this, and unlike others, we offer assistance and guidance on multiple aspects of the party wall process.

At Copeland Yussuf, our services can be hired by any party involved in a party wall dispute. We can be used as the sole surveyor, shared between households to reach a reliable conclusion, or we can work alongside an external party wall surveyor if an adjourning neighbour prefers a bespoke surveyor. 

When hired, our party wall surveyors in London must adhere to and follow the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, which details what can and can’t be done to a party wall. As a result of our duty to the act, our support and guidance are impartial and unbiased, ensuring that our outcomes are fair. 

Who are we?

Copeland Yussuf is a leading Chartered Surveyor and party wall specialist based in London and has served the community for over a decade. Over the years, we’ve served thousands of Party Wall Notices and have issued numerous Party Wall Awards, meaning we have the relevant experience to help with any party wall issue. 

We’re the preferred surveyors of many housing groups and councils in and around London, and we’ve reached that honour by being trustworthy and completing all our projects to super high standards. Committed to the finer details, our team has extensive knowledge of the housing industry in London and is prepared with the tools to provide bespoke house inspections, complete Schedules of Conditions, and issue Party Wall Awards. 

When issuing awards and sending Party Wall Notices on your behalf, we pride ourselves on creating the most accurate and informative documents to minimise the risk of a counter dispute from your neighbour. We know how important it is to be able to complete work on your party wall within schedule, so we work fast and accurately to ensure no delays for all involved. 

As trusted and well-respected Chartered Surveyors, we’re regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This means that all our practices meet top industry standards and that you’re in safe hands when you use us to manage the party wall process. 

What is a party wall?

A party wall is a boundary wall that two or more owners share and crosses over both properties’ boundary lines. They’re most commonly found in terraced houses or semi-detached buildings, which is very common in London thanks to the abundance of these buildings in the area. A party wall is clearly defined in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, so we use that definition during our surveyors to detect and classify any party walls. 

In addition, party walls can also be walls that do not connect to other buildings yet still cross over a boundary line. An example is garden walls that can be used to divide outdoor areas. These types of party walls are known as Party Fence Walls and only count if the structure is permanent and made of solid material. Wooden fences aren’t classified as party walls. 

Party walls can have various types and classifications, and the type of party wall alters what you can do with them and how you create a Party Wall Notice. It can be tough to know which kind of party wall your property has, and it can be even harder to understand the correct process you need to follow for each one. That’s why it can be helpful to contact a party wall surveyor in London like us, as we can identify any issues and ensure you know what you’re eligible to do to your specific party wall. 

Party walls are technically owned by two individuals, meaning that if you want to complete work, you need to get permission from your neighbour. You can’t just have an informal chat, though, to get confirmation. Instead, you need to receive official authorisation and send a Party Wall Notice for them to respond to. We have a more detailed guide on Party Walls if you want to learn more.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996

Our Chartered Surveyors in London have an extensive understanding of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. This piece of legislation, last amended in 1996, details all the rules around what can be done to a party wall and includes the steps you need to follow to settle disputes.

We follow this document closely to ensure our Party Wall Awards and Notices are accurate and as precise as they can be. 

The act covers various actions and types of work. If you want to do any of the following, then you’ll need to send a Party Wall Notice to your neighbour to start the procedure: 

  • Destroying and removing a party wall 
  • Repairing or rebuilding a party wall 
  • Adding extensions or building on top of a party wall
  • Changing the thickness of the party wall 
  • Reinforcing the current foundations of the party wall, also known as underpinning 
  • Excavating of completing foundation work near or on the party wall
  • Damp-proofing the party wall 

We understand that the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 can be a minefield.

When you use our party wall surveyors in London, we’ll guide you through the process and deal with all the legislation so that you don’t have to. 

Step-by-Step Party Wall Procedure

The steps you must follow to get permission to work on a party wall are clearly detailed in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. Your path through the process will change depending on your particular type of Party Wall and your neighbour’s response, but there’s still an overriding structure. 

Copeland Yussuf can help at any part of the process, offering support when needed.

Step 1. Draft and send a notice

The first thing that must be done is to draft a Party Wall Notice that will be given to your neighbour. This document informs your neighbour that you’re planning to complete work and includes specific details of when and what work you will be doing. 

You can send different kinds of notices, depending on the type of party wall you have, so ensuring that you use the right one is essential. Otherwise, the notice will not be valid. You also need to ensure that you include all the details so that it’s clear for the neighbour to understand what to expect. 

A suitable Party Wall Notice can be the difference between having the work accepted by your neighbour or having it disputed. As the best party wall surveyors in London, we can help you draft an exemplary Party Wall Notice and ensure that your application is the best it can be. Regardless of if you use a Surveyor to prepare the notice, you need one to send the notice on your behalf.

Step 2. Get a response

Once sent, a Party Wall Notice needs to be replied to. When a notice is received, the adjourning neighbour can either agree to the work, send a counter notice to suggest that additional work is done to the wall or dissent the notice. 

Fully understanding a Party Wall Notice can be challenging, especially as it’s loaded with industry jargon. Party wall surveyors in London, like those at Copeland Yussuf, can help individuals understand a notice, allowing them to come to a response that suits their needs and wants. 

Work can only start on a party wall once a notice has been agreed to. If it’s dissented, a party wall surveyor must settle the dispute and issue a Party Wall Award.

Step 3. Get a Party Wall Award Issued

If there’s a disagreement, a party wall surveyor will be needed to assess the property and wall to determine what can be done. A surveyor will likely visit the site and use their findings and the guidance from the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 to issue a final document that strictly details what can be done to the wall. 

Surveyors can be shared between both party wall owners, or the neighbours can choose to have their own individual surveyors. Getting a Party Wall Award issued can take up to four weeks, as this time is needed to complete a detailed analysis to ensure a fair decision is reached. 

Step 4. Respond to the Award

Typically, once an award has been issued, the dispute is settled, and work can commence depending on the specifications included in the award. That said, both parties have an opportunity to contest the decision. If you do, the issue will be taken to county court, which is an unideal situation, as it could cost a lot of legal fees and prolong the building work. Only dispute an award if you’re confident you’ll get a favourable outcome. 

Party Wall Surveyor London FAQs

Don't leave your Party Wall Notice until the last minute. It's best to send it at least a month before you plan to start building work. This is to ensure plenty of time for your notice to be responded to and also gives surveyors time to issue a Party Wall Award if there is a dissent.

You only have 14 days to respond to a notice once you receive it. The notice will automatically dissent if you don't respond within this timeframe. If you're looking for a party wall surveyor in London to help you make the correct response for you, don't delay getting the support to ensure you don't run out of time.

In most cases, the property owner completing the work on the wall pays all the surveying fees, even if the adjourning neighbour elected to have their own individual surveyor. The only exception is if the wall requires work because of improper maintenance on behalf of the adjourning neighbour. In this situation, they will have to pay as well.

If a neighbour fails to appoint their surveyor in an appropriate timeframe, the party wall owner planning the work can select one on their behalf. Usually, this will be the same surveyor that they're using. 

All party wall owners can share a single surveyor to settle a dispute. This is allowed because party wall surveyors are impartial and won't favour one side over another or have any bias.  

You don't need to get a party wall surveyor to settle a dispute if you've sent a notice that has been agreed to. You can still get a surveyor to help draft, send, and respond to a Party Wall Notice. 

The cost of a party wall surveyor will depend on multiple factors, including the time it takes to settle a dispute and if you require additional services like Schedules of Conditions. 

Schedules of Condition are where our Chartered Surveyors take photographic evidence of a property's appearance at a certain time. This will usually include photos of any damages, defects and overall condition and will focus on walls, floors, and ceiling surfaces. 

The purpose of this is that it allows you to justify your proposed building work. 

Although the iteration used now was drafted in 1996 and put into place in 1997, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 has routes back to 1666, just after the Great Fire of London. It was first drawn up to help prevent the future spread of fire between connected properties. 

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 covers the entirety of London and the surrounding areas. The act is valid throughout England and Wales, meaning it needs to be adhered to no matter what district of the capital your property is in. 

Your Party Wall Surveyors in London

Our surveyors in London know the area and process like the back of their hand, meaning they can provide the best guidance and support. No other surveyor is as trusted as us and has partnered with as many local businesses, councils and housing groups in the capital. 

We’ve spent the last decade honing our craft and have issued multiple Awards and Notices, ensuring we have the experience required to reach the right outcome for your party wall situation.