J Browne Surveys Party Wall Fee Structure
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 £0.45 + 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 and postage.
Schedule of Condition
To make a Schedule of Condition with one Adjoining Owner for ANY domestic project:
Studio Flat, Fees from £390
1 Bedroom Flat, Fees from £410
2 – 3 Bedroom Flat, Fees from £430
1 – 3 Bedroom House, Fees from £450
3 plus Bedroom House, Fees from £480
Depending on the complexity the fee can be from £500 upwards
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.
Our fees are paid by the beneficiary of the works, usually this is the Building Owner. In some cases the Adjoining Owner may be liable for some costs. We can advise you on this.
Where your neighbour appoints their own Surveyor you will also be responsible for the reasonable fee of that Surveyor. Where complications arise we reserve the right to charge extra. For complete clarity and confirmation of our costs, our hourly rates of our surveyors are £90 per hour.
Party Wall Award
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 - 1 Neighbour as Agreed Surveyor : £725 as the Building Owners Surveyor
£1095 - 2 Neighbours as Agreed Surveyor: £845 as the Building Owners Surveyor
£1195 - 3 Neighbours as Agreed Surveyor: £945 as the Building Owners Surveyor
£1245 - 4 Neighbours as Agreed Surveyor: £1045 as the Building Owners Surveyor
(The ‘Agreed Surveyor’ is when the Surveyor is appointed by both the Building owner and the Adjoining Owner).
prepare and serve Party Wall Awards on the owners
enter and inspect your neighbour(s) properties before building work commences
make notes of the condition and take photos during the inspection
make a comprehensive Schedule of Condition during the inspection
provide you and your neighbour with copies of the Schedule of Condition and keep a copy on our file
provide copies of Party Wall Notice, Consent Form and any drawings
control working times and execution of notifiable works
set out provisions for dealing with damage without the need for Civil claim when required
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.
control all rights of access
Party Wall Award involving underpinning
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.
Party Wall Award involving underpinning and 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.
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.
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.
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.
Adjoning 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.
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 - select Schedule of Condition below to see costs.
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 for Party Wall costs).
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.