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Who Pays for a Party Wall Surveyor?

Adele MacGregor

Written by

4th May 2023 (Last updated on 24th May 2023) 5 minute read

Usually, the homeowner who arranges for work to take place will pay for a Party Wall Surveyor. More often than not, home improvements will be for the benefit of the homeowner planning them. These improvements will also likely cause disruption and inconvenience to adjoining owners.

With this in mind, costs associated with the proposed works fall to the homeowner undertaking them. They must give official notice to adjoining neighbours. They must also cover any surveying fees for both themselves and adjoining owners.

In the scenario where a joint wall is damaged and both neighbours agree, the costs can be split. This would be set out in the Party Wall Agreement by a Party Wall Surveyor.

Below we look at who is responsible for arranging and paying for a Party Wall Surveyor. We review the costs involved and how they impact the parties involved.

  1. Who is Responsible for Fixing a Party Wall?
  2. What is the Cost of a Party Wall Surveyor?
  3. What if the Building Owner Doesn’t Agree with the Fees?
  4. When Will the Adjoining Owner Pay Fees?
  5. Is a Party Wall Surveyor Always Required?
  6. Find a Party Wall Surveyor

Who is Responsible for Fixing a Party Wall?

As a general rule, each homeowner is responsible for maintaining their part of the wall. Failure to do so could cause bigger issues and impact neighbouring properties.

When it comes to a Party Wall that needs repairs, who is responsible can be a contended issue. Tensions can be exacerbated by potentially high costs of repair work. You may need to prove who owns the wall and whose property it sits on.

If a shared wall needs fixing and impacts both neighbours, it is reasonable to expect both parties to pay for repairs. This can be drawn up in the Party Wall Agreement by a surveyor. However, if the wall has been damaged due to the home improvements of one neighbour, they will be responsible for repairs.

For more information on Party Walls and the responsibilities of homeowners see: What is a Party Wall?

What is the Cost of a Party Wall Surveyor?

The hourly rate of a Party Wall Surveyor in the UK is usually between £90 and £450. On average Party Wall Surveyor costs are around £1,000.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the cost of hiring a Party Wall Surveyor. These include:

  • The size and location of the property
  • Size and complexity of the project
  • Amount of time spent assessing the project and existing party wall
  • Whether there are any complications
  • The number of surveyors needed (for example, if a second opinion is wanted)
  • The risk of damage involved in the project

Be aware that the costs will rise in the event a second or third surveyor is required to settle the matter. An amicable agreement with your neighbour can save hundreds or even thousands in surveyor’s fees.

With this in mind, ensure the correct notices are submitted and that construction works have minimal impact on neighbouring buildings.

For more information on the cost of a party wall surveyor see: How Much Are Party Wall Surveyor Costs?

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What if the Building Owner Doesn’t Agree with the Fees?

If the building owner feels the fees of both surveyors are unreasonable, they have the right to refer the matter to a third surveyor. However, you may not get the outcome you wish for and an additional surveyor will add to the overall costs.

Alternatively, if they are unhappy with the fees laid out in the Party Wall Agreement, they can appeal this in County Court. This is only providing it is within 14 days of the award being served.

The best step to take is to discuss this with your surveyor before the process progresses. They then have the opportunity to demonstrate that their fees are reasonable.

When Will the Adjoining Owner Pay Fees?

Though the homeowner undertaking the work usually pays the fees, costs can be shared in certain circumstances. Each Party Wall Matter is unique and will depend on various factors.

Why the work is taking place will play a big part in who pays for the surveyor. Your relationship with your neighbours can also have an impact. Additionally, where the wall is on the boundary and what it is used for are also important factors.

Below are a few other examples of when an adjoining owner could be liable for costs:

  • If they ask the builders to carry out work which is beyond what was laid out or that benefits them (for example, suggestions in a counter notice to the building owner’s initial Party Wall Notice)
  • When it is agreed upon by all parties to fix a shared structure (such as a defective shared garden wall)
  • If they instruct the party wall surveyor on matters outside of the Party Wall Act
  • If they or their surveyor refers the matter to a third surveyor and this surveyor decides in favour of the building owner. They will then set out the fees that each party should pay.

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Is a Party Wall Surveyor Always Required?

If the adjoining owners agree to the planned works, providing written consent, then a surveyor might not be required. In this case, nobody would have to pay for surveying fees.

However, a Party Wall Agreement is a legal document protecting both the homeowner and adjoining owners. It will set out the work due to take place and rights of all parties. Without this, you could find the work being halted or disputes arising. You could also be left without protection under the Party Wall Act.

Be aware that you cannot act as your own surveyor in a Party Wall matter.

For more information see our article: Do I Need a Party Wall Surveyor?

Find a Party Wall Surveyor

Finding the right surveyor is essential for getting value for money. Having someone who is local is an advantage as they will often have knowledge of properties in the area.

One of the best ways to find a professional surveyor is by using Compare My Move. We can connect you with up to 6 local surveyors who can assist with your Party Wall Matter.

Our sales team ensures only the best RICS and RPSA surveyors join our network. Once partnered with us, our Partner Support Team ensures they continue to meet our high standards.

Other ways you can find a surveyor for your Party Wall issue include:

  • Searching local companies on the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) website
  • Checking the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) website
  • Asking family and friends or colleagues for recommendations
  • Reading reviews for local surveying firms and specialists
Adele MacGregor

Having worked at Compare My Move for over four years, Adele covers topics such as the conveyancing process across the UK, property surveys, home moves and storage.

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