Our fees depend upon the type of works proposed and on how the neighbours respond to the Notice.
If you use the Governments Standard Party Wall Notices contained in the Governments Explanatory Booklet and the neighbours consent to the work without a survey being required, then there Is absolutely no cost to you.
Our Fees to prepare a 'BESPOKE' notice:
(We combine all necessary notices required into a single notice for each adjoining owner)
£150 plus VAT for the First notice then £95 plus VAT for all further notices.
• Land Registry Search Fees (to verify neighbours' identity & address)
• Annotating your drawings (if necessary) for clarity and to ensure the notice is valid, and providing explanatory notes.
• Providing an Acknowledgement / Form of Consent.
• Serving the notice* together with a stamped reply envelope (unless you choose to hand deliver - this is recommended)
• Providing follow up 'Ten Day Notices' if necessary
• Answering neighbour's questions
• All normal disbursements
*Notices can omit or include the offer of a Schedule of Condition
(We recommend a Schedule of Condition
The Neighbours Response
If a neighbour consents to a notice and a Schedule of Condition was not offered works can proceed without further cost or action.
If a neighbour consents to a notice and a Schedule of Condition was offered this needs to be done before works commence - see below.
If a neighbour dissents to a notice a 'Party Wall Award
' is necessary - the fees will depend on the type of works proposed (see below).
Our fixed fees cover common domestic works. If your proposed works are unusual or if different considerations apply please call us or send us a set of your drawings and we will get back to you with an assessment of what is necessary along with a fee proposal.
If you serve notice and your neighbour appoints a surveyor you will also have to pay that surveyor's reasonable fee. In that situation it can sometimes be a good idea to 'share' the neighbours surveyor who would become the 'Agreed Surveyor'.
In that case you must obtain a fixed fee and satisfy yourself that you can rely on the surveyor in question as once appointed a surveyor cannot be discharged and it is difficult to challenge an Agreed Surveyor's decisions.
Party Wall Awards & Schedule of condition:
Fees outlined below only apply to domestic projects within 5 Miles of our base in Canterbury, Kent, CT2 9NQ. Projects more than 5 miles from us are subject to an additional fee of £25 + VAT per additional mile to cover travel time. (This assumes all parts of a property can be accessed in a single visit and therefore also applies to additional visits). Our fees include normal disbursements ie. Travel/Printing/Postage
This is a written and photographic record of those parts of the Adjoining property which might be affected by the works. If we prepared the Notice we would include a 'Preambles' (Identifying the owners, the proposed works and notice date) and append copies of the Notice & accompanying drawings and the Consent.
We provide a signed and indexed PDF copy of the Schedule of Condition (printed editions would be an additional cost if requested).
Additional fees would only arise if we are appointed to deal with a subsequent dispute, for example, if damage is caused and you and your neighbour cannot agree on the necessary making good or on the level of any financial ‘compensation’ then a Party Wall Surveyor would resolve the dispute by an Award.
If no issues arise or if any that arise are resolved amicably then we would have no further input.
*Second or subsequent Schedules of Condition for owners of the same building are charged at £75 plus VAT assuming all parts are accessed in a single visit. (We can 'bolt-on' a Final Inspection for £250 plus VAT if required)
To make a Party Wall Award (Excluding Basement works and Underpinning):
With one Adjoining Owner for a domestic project i.e a loft and/or rear extension/a basement where a Party Wall is NOT
being underpinned (EXCLUDES Basement works when underpinning a Party Wall):
£975 plus VAT
Applies to our appointment as Agreed Surveyor or Building Owner's surveyor (except where certain other surveyors are involved - We will advise you in these cases) for loft and/or rear/side extensions to single dwellings or a basements which DO NOT include underpinning a neighbours building.
The Award would include a prior Schedule of Condition of the adjoining property. Sometimes additional inspections at the end of the project are necessary or requested, for example if damage has been caused or to inspect areas from scaffolding that might later be inaccessible. An additional fee would apply in these cases based upon the time needed costed at £90 per hour plus VAT. We would advise on this in advance.
See below for fuller explanation of when additional fees may apply.
*Second or subsequent Awards for owners of the same building, if we are appointed as Agreed Surveyor, are charged at £195 plus VAT assuming all parts are accessed for the survey in a single visit.
To make a Party Wall Award involving underpinning a Party Wall:
This is with one Adjoining Owner for a domestic basement project involving underpinning a Party Wall:
£1,595 plus VAT*
This covers most basements in terraced or semi-detached properties that involve underpinning a neighbour's wall. Our fees are higher due to complexity and our additional necessary input. This fee covers just basement works - If other work is also involved see below. You may also be liable for Checking or Advising Engineers where basements are involved or other jobs involving significant engineering, Adjoining Owners Surveyor’s may require advice from a independent engineer - if this is agreed you would be liable for these additional costs.
To make a Party Wall Award + Underpinning + other works:
This is with one Adjoining Owner with a domestic basement where a party wall is underpinned PLUS other works (ie. a loft and/or rear extension): £1,750 plus VAT
The additional fee reflects the additional surveyors input necessary when dealing with a project including a basement and other above ground works and reflects economies arising from duplication. Other considerations as listed for above ground extensions apply.
Additional visits for Surveys:
Our stated fees assume that access to all parts of a property for the Schedule of Condition can be made during a single visit.
If an appointed Party Wall Surveyor incurs abortive costs which may be entirely outside of your control, for example, an Adjoining Owner fails to provide access to their property after a pre-arranged appointment then you may be liable for your Surveyor's additional costs even though the cause was not your fault.
*If additional visits are necessary a fee of £150 plus VAT would apply.
Additional fees would arise in the following situations:
(a) Calculation of Section 11(11) payment. The Party Wall Act provides that if a Building Owner uses (encloses on) a Party Wall or structure previously constructed by an Adjoining Owner then the Building Owner must pay the Adjoining Owner a sum equivalent to 50% of the cost of the section of wall or structure used calculated on present day prices. If this sum cannot be agreed and we are required to calculate and Award a payment due we would charge an additional fee (Fixed fee for domestic enclosure calculation is £95 + VAT per instance of enclosure)
(b) Referral to Third Surveyor. The Third Surveyor is selected by the two appointed surveyors and can make an Award to determine matters if the two appointed surveyors cannot agree. Either surveyor or either party to the dispute can refer to the Third Surveyor to determine any matter to which the notices relate. We would not normally make a referral to the Third Surveyor without discussing and agreeing this with our appointing owner. In this case we would agree to charge additional fees at our current hourly rate (£90/hr) for the time involved. (These fees and other costs may be recoverable if the Third Surveyor determines that another person is liable for them).
(c) Section 12 Security for Expenses. The Party Wall Act provides that an Adjoining Owner may serve a notice requiring the Building Owner to place a sum of money in an Escrow account to cover costs or loss arising from the work. If an Adjoining Owner serves a notice and the sum cannot be agreed between the owners and we are required to calculate a sum for inclusion in an Award we would charge an additional fee to cover the additional time and any professional advice we may require to determine the sum. (Negotiation charged at hourly rate of £90+VAT - Fixed fee for managing deposit and release £95 + VAT)
d) Inadequate or defective design information. This can cause us additional work. We would advise you at the time if this arises,
(e) Design Changes, Revisions & Site Visits. If design information changes during the Party Wall process or if we are required to study new or revised drawings after serving notice to verify if there are relevant changes or if we are requested or compelled to make additional site inspections we reserve the right to charge an additional fee to cover time expended. If this situation arises we will warn you in advance.
(f) Damage Caused or Breaches of the Terms of an Award. If damage caused or breaches of the terms of an Award cannot be resolved by the two owners the Surveyor(s) must determine the matter.
(g) You may have engaged an Architect and an Engineer but it is likely that no Temporary Works Design/Methodolgy has been included. This is commonly left to the contractor. The temporary works design and construction methodology is very important if the work includes critical structure i.e. deep excavation in close proximity of neighbour’s building, a basement that includes underpinning a Party Wall or works to remove and replace support to a flat above (this can include many side infill or ‘wrap-round’ extensions). A contractor may not undertake this work in the safest way as this is not likely to be the most ‘cost effective’ method. Party Wall Surveyors may require that a Temporary Works Design/Method Statement is produced by an engineer and this would attract additional costs if it was not originally allowed for.
(h) A Party Wall Award may require additional professional inspections in addition to those which may have been allowed for or anticipated. An Award may require an Engineer to make additional inspections to ensure that the works are being executed in accordance with design and defined methodology. These additional inspections will incur additional fees.
(i) If your contractor places concrete foundations or commonly reinforced concrete basement retaining walls, which project excessively onto neighbour's land, then your neighbour can reclaim the costs of removing the trespassing projections. This work can be surprisingly expensive.
(j) A Party Wall Award may require additional specialist surveys which may not have been envisaged or budgeted for. For example surveys of underground drains or chimney/gas flues before or after the Works.
Adjoining Owners fees
We undertake not to hold Adjoining Owners liable for our fees EXCEPT :-
(a) Where notice is served for maintenance works to a Party Wall or shared structure and in that case we will advise you of any liability in advance and obtain your written agreement before proceeding.
(b) If a Building Owner refuses to pay the fees that are due and the Adjoining Owner does not assign the right of claim against the Building Owner to us. (This may be necessary for us to pursue the debt in the Courts).
(c) If an Adjoining Owner first dissents and appoints us then consents to proposed works before an Award has been served if we have expended time in respect of the appointment.
(d) If an Adjoining Owner demands an inspection when we do not consider an inspection is necessary (or find it to have not been necessary), or fails to provide access for a pre-arranged necessary inspection.