Party Walls – Tips for serving notices

We have a team of specialist party wall surveyors at Harrison Clarke who are highly experienced in dealing with these matters every day. We are perfectly placed to advise you in this area and, in this article, we recap on what Party Wall Notices are, and answer some key questions we are often asked about serving Party Wall Notices.

What types of Party Wall Notices are there?

There are three different types of Party Wall Notices:

  • A Section 2 notice is needed when you want to build on the line of junction or boundary line.
  • A Section 3 notice is needed when you want to work on an existing party wall or party fence wall. 
  • A Section 6 notice is needed when you want to excavate within three or six metres of your neighbour’s building and to a deeper depth of their foundations.

What should my Party Wall Notice contain?

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 sets out what details need to be contained within each notice, to make sure that your notice is valid. 

Although there is no prescribed format that this information must be presented in, many surveyors use similar templates when they are producing notices. 

Using a standard template ensures that the notice contains all the relevant information required. 

If errors are made in notices, it puts you at risk of time delays for your works and possible disputes. 

It is also essential that the notices are in writing. A verbal agreement is not enough to fulfil your obligations under the Act.

Who can serve my Party Wall Notice?

Party Wall Notices must be served by the building owner who is proposing the works, however they don’t have to personally serve the notices – they can authorise a party wall surveyor to serve them on their behalf. 

Another option is to ask a party wall surveyor to draft the notices for you, but then serve them yourself.

You should also consider whether you want to appoint your surveyor before they prepare your notices, in case it may not be appropriate. 

Your party wall surveyor does not need to be appointed in order to prepare and serve notices, only to deal with the Party Wall Award should your neighbour dissent to your notices. Remember, once you have appointed a party wall surveyor you cannot remove their appointment. It is important that you are happy with your surveyor as, should disputes occur, you will need to work with that surveyor to resolve them. 

What methods do you recommend when serving notices?

We sometimes find that serving notices by post can surprise your neighbours, especially if they are not aware that you were planning building works, or if they are not familiar with the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. 

A party wall being constructed.

It may be that serving your notice by post is the only appropriate option. However, if you have a good relationship with your neighbour, serving the notices by hand can increase the likelihood that your neighbour will consent. 

Open and honest communication is key in minimising the chances of dispute, and the courtesy of personally approaching them will help to build trust in your relationship with them. 

At Harrison Clarke, we aim to prevent any dispute wherever possible as, aside from potentially having a detrimental effect on neighbourly relations, it is likely to result in additional costs and delays to your proposed work.

If disputes do occur, we will work with you and your neighbour to ensure that both parties are protected. If a Party Wall Award is required, you will be liable for your neighbour’s surveyor’s costs as well as your own and you will not be able to proceed with your work until the Award is complete.

I need a party wall surveyor to draw up and serve my notices

When you are choosing a party wall surveyor, you should take the time to research their experience, by looking at online reviews and reading/watching any online content they have produced, for example on their website and on YouTube.

Our specialist party wall team at Harrison Clarke has extensive experience in dealing with all kinds of party wall works, including conversions of existing buildings into multiple flats, new build developments, loft conversions, home extensions and more. 

We would be more than happy to guide you through the party wall process and to help ensure that it is as stress-free as possible, and that you and your neighbours are protected.

More information

We have a range of videos talking through various surveying services, including party walls. You can access them via our website or our YouTube channel. If your query isn’t covered in our videos and blogs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would be delighted to help you.

How you can contact Harrison Clarke

Call our friendly, expert and highly qualified surveyors on 023 8155 0051, or email us at We would welcome the opportunity to help with any queries or needs you may have.

At the time of writing, we have a total of 68 reviews across Trustpilot and Google. We are proud to say that they are all 5 star ratings across the board.

Discover something you would like to know more about?

Faye Williams, party wall and building surveyor at Harrison Clarke chartered surveyors.

About the author

Faye Williams,
BSc (Hons) MFPWS Senior

Surveyor & Winner of Young Property Person of the Year 2023

Faye joined Harrison Clarke in 2018. Faye found an interest in Party Wall surveying, and became a Member of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors in 2022.

Since then, Faye has set out a revolutionary approach to party wall instructions, by focusing on people and relationships, backed up by expert knowledge. Faye’s approach has saved building owners £1,000s in unnecessary party wall fees.