Party wall surveying is a specialised field that involves assessing and managing party walls, which are shared structures or boundaries between two adjoining properties. This practice is particularly relevant in construction or renovation projects that may impact these shared structures. Here’s a detailed overview:

Understanding Party Walls

A party wall is typically a dividing wall or structure between two properties, but it can also include other elements like floors and ceilings.

The Party Wall, etc. Act 1996 in the UK and similar legislations in other regions outline the rights and responsibilities of property owners concerning party walls.

Party Wall Surveyors

Property owners planning construction work that may affect a party wall must appoint a surveyor.

Each property owner involved in the project can appoint their surveyor or agree on a single surveyor known as the “agreed surveyor.”

Types of Notices

The building owner (the one undertaking the construction work) must typically serve a Party Wall Notice to the adjoining owner (the one whose property is adjacent to the proposed work).

There are different types of notices, including a Party Structure Notice, a Notice of Adjacent Excavation, and a Line of Junction Notice.

Party Wall Award

If the adjoining owner consents to the notice, a Party Wall Award may not be necessary. However, if disputes arise, a surveyor(s) will prepare a Party Wall Award outlining the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

The award may include details about the work to be carried out, the time frame, and any compensation or security arrangements.

Surveyor’s Duties

The party wall surveyor(s) act impartially, ensuring a fair and equitable resolution between the building owner and the adjoining owner.

They inspect the properties, assess the proposed work, and consider any potential impact on the party wall.


The surveyor(s) document the condition of the properties before construction work begins, often through a schedule of conditions.

This documentation serves as a baseline for assessing any damage that may occur during or after the construction work.

Dispute Resolution

In the event of disputes, the surveyor(s) facilitate negotiations between the parties to reach an agreement.

If an agreement cannot be reached, the surveyor(s) may decide on matters specified in the Party Wall Act.

Post-Construction Assessment

After the construction work is complete, the surveyor(s) may conduct a post-construction assessment to ensure that any damage to the party wall or adjacent property is appropriately addressed.

If necessary, the party wall surveyor(s) can determine the extent of repairs or compensation required.

Professional Qualifications

Party wall surveyors typically have qualifications in surveying, building, or related fields.

Membership in professional bodies, such as the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors, indicates a commitment to high professional standards.

Party wall surveying is a critical aspect of construction projects that involve shared boundaries. The process helps ensure that the rights and concerns of both the building owner and the adjoining owner are considered, facilitating a smooth and fair resolution to potential disputes. Compliance with relevant legislation and the guidance of experienced party wall surveyors is essential for a successful outcome.