Watson Woods Partnership
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 and 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 'adopt' 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.
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 additional visits are necessary a fee of £150 plus VAT would apply.
£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 (see our web page on basements) and our additional necessary input. This fee covers just basement works - If other work is also involved see below.
£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.
We really hope that you will not have any cause to raise a complaint but if you do then please, in the first instance, write to Robert Watson at our office address: Watson Wood Partnership, The Courtyard, 286 Upper Richmond Road, London, SW15 6TH (or by e-mail to email@example.com). If you do not receive a satisfactory response please contact The Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors, PO Box 86, Rye TN31 9BN
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.
would arise in the following situations:
(a) Calculation of Section 11(11) payment
The Party Wall Act provides that if a Building Owner uses 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. 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 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 (£150/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 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 £150+VAT - Fixed fee for managing deposit and release £95 + VAT)
Our Notices are prepared based upon the drawings and information provided to us by the Building Owner or their consultant(s). We do not automatically make a prior inspection to verify the drawings and we will make enquiries and reasonable assumptions to obtain any information which is not provided but we cannot be responsible for any losses that may arise from any defects with the notices arising from errors or omissions in the information provided. If requested to do so we will make a prior inspection but this would incur an additional fee.
If structural engineering drawings are not available, to assist and for no additional fee, we will annotate designers drawings to show information relating to excavation depths necessary to validate a Notice of Adjacent Excavation. We will do this based on our judgement but we will not accept responsibility for any losses arising from this, therefore, if this risk is to be avoided notices should not be served until adequate engineering information is available.
The Party Wall Act requires that notice be served on any person who has a tenancy agreement of more than 1 year and such tenants would not be listed on the Land Registry. We would serve notice on owners who are listed on the Land Registry and any other persons or entities that you advise us are owners. We would also make enquiries with freeholders when and if they respond to our notices but we would not accept responsibility for failing to serve notice on adjoining owners that, following the above process, we are not aware of.
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.
Fees are payable in full upon delivery of the signed Party Wall Awards or Agreements (*even if a subsequent final inspection is included).
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
We offer two types of notice*:
*Notices can omit or include the offer of a Schedule of Condition (We recommend a Schedule of Condition).
£495 plus VAT*
We provide two digitally signed, bound and indexed PDF copies of the Schedule of Condition (or paper editions 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)
£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 (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.