Party Walls

For over 10 years, Southdown Chartered Surveyors and Building Consultants have been providing clients in East Sussex and across the South East with professional, independent surveying services.

Our expert team can advise on a wide range of building issues, offer detailed surveys and reports and routinely advise on all issues arising from the Party Wall Act 1996.

The Party Wall Act 1996

For any construction project or refurbishment proposals involving building works to a Party Wall – a dividing wall between your and a neighbour’s property or an excavation near to a neighbouring property, the regulations set out in the Party Wall Act 1996 will become applicable. This Act came into force in July 1997 and is now enshrined in English law.

The general premise is that any building work that might affect the structural strength or support function of a Party Wall between two properties, or has the potential to cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall, must be notified in writing.

If the Party Wall Act does apply to any building works carried out by yourself or the neighbour on the other side, the process laid down in the Act needs to be followed and administered correctly. This requires a detailed understanding of what is (and is not!) permissible, and what you must (and must not!) do. If the processes under the Act are not followed correctly, ongoing on-site work may be stopped while the issue is resolved, which is likely to result in undesirable delays and extra costs being incurred.

Clearly, obtaining pertinent advice and gaining a general understanding of the processes and obligations of the Part Wall Act 1996 before building works can begin, is strongly advised. An overview and general guidance given by the Government can be obtained here, with a detailed explanatory booklet available to read here. However, it is highly recommended that specific advice be sought from a professional surveyor who is fully conversant with the Act, and has solid experience of Party Wall matters.

Our Team

Southdown Surveyors is headed up by our founding Director, Matthew Symmonds who has a particular interest in Party Wall matters. He is an expert in understanding and working within the parameters of this significant piece of legislation. Matthew is a member of The Pyramus & Thisbe Club, the professional organisation that promotes best practice in the application of the Party Wall Act 1996.

Southdown Surveyors can give professional advice on your specific situation and implement all the necessary legal procedures to ensure that your proposals are undertaken within the rules of the Act. We can provide you with peace of mind and confidence in the success of your project.

At times, issues and disputes can arise over any building project. If, for whatever reason, it has not been possible to reach a satisfactory agreement between the neighbouring parties and written consent has not been given under the Party Wall Act 1996, we can help to resolve the situation.

Why not let Southdown Surveyors use their impartiality to liaise with your neighbours (and their surveyors, where necessary) to ensure that all parties meet their obligations under the Act, and everyone is treated fairly? We have extensive experience in acting as either the Building Owner’s surveyor, where you intend to undertake the works, or as the Adjoining Owner’s surveyor, where your neighbour is undertaking works.

Contact Us

As experienced Chartered Surveyors and Building Consultants with a wealth of experience in dealing with Party Wall matters, Southdown Surveyors are well placed to help with any enquiry and assist throughout the process.

If you wish to discuss your requirements for any building project or construction works that may fall under the Party Wall Act 1996, or if you are the neighbouring party, please feel free to call our friendly team on 01323 739183 or contact us here.

To arrange an appointment please contact us by filling in the form on this page.

For more information on the Party Wall Act 1996, please use either of the links below – Guidance on preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls – A clear, impartial guide to… Party walls


Kind Words...

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My wife and I used Southdown Surveyors during a recent potential house purchase. We had agreed a price on an older, character property and felt it best to fully assess the area and the property. We are both mightily pleased we engaged Southdown’s help as they flagged up some very serious, unseen defects in the property. As inexperienced first time buyers we would have been left having bought a seriously defective property with largely no sell on value and a huge bill simply to make habitable.

Southdown Surveyors were extremely professional, diligent and very helpful. They provide a thoroughly detailed breakdown of the property they survey, from little things like nearby trees that might invalidate house insurance to highly detailed information on the structure and wellbeing of the property.

I think in some cases there might be a tendency on the house buyer’s end to avoid engaging a full survey but with what we have experienced I would strongly advise anyone looking to buy a property to engage a thorough, proper survey. The outlay in doing so is relatively minimal and when you are making such a large financial, and life investment, having professionals on your side, and ones who will help you as Southdown Surveyors did for us, is absolutely invaluable.

Mr H