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How to Serve a Party Wall Notice

Jun 15, 2021

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In this week’s Party Wall Surveying and Property Surveying blog post topic, we are going to be discussing Party Wall Notices, what they are and how you can serve them.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 governs three distinct type of works that building owners undertake to their properties.

Under the requirements of the Party Wall Act, if a building owner is undertaking these works, in advance of commencing them they will need to serve a Party Wall Notice upon the adjoining owners who are affected by the works.


The types of party wall work that the Act covers are as follows:

  • Works directly to a party wall, a party structure (which is commonly a ceiling or a floor), or a party fence wall (which is commonly a garden wall).
  • Excavations within 3m, or 6m of a neighbouring structure.
  • The construction of new walls built up to or astride the boundary line.

Providing that the works that are being undertaken meet these broad definitions, then through the eyes of the law a Party Wall Notice will need to be served upon the adjoining owner to ensure that they are given the legal rights as afforded to them by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996, is in place to ensure that the adjoining owner has the option of having a party wall surveyor appointed on their behalf.

With that party wall surveyor’s role being to review the building owner’s proposed construction works from the perspective of the adjoining owner’s property.

They will very much look at the risks associated with the building owner’s works, and ultimately go through a number of steps and procedures to ensure that the risks are as low as they can be and overall that the works have been well considered from the perspective of the adjoining owner’s property.

Party Wall Notices can take many shapes and forms, from those formally served by party wall surveyors, to the more informal types that are available from the Government guidance booklet, or even those that are available online via simple Google search.

While there is a variety of different types of Party Wall Notices out there, the procedures in which a Party Wall Notice can be served is very much the same throughout.


For a Party Wall Notice to be deemed legally served it will need to comply with one of the following requirements:


Royal Mail Postage

The most common way for a Party Wall Notice to be served is via the Royal Mail.

With the simple postage procedures that we are all very familiar with.

This would simply be sending the adjoining owner the Party Wall Notice in the post and popping that notice into your local letter box.


Serving The Party Wall Notice By Hand

Party Wall Notices can also be served by hand from one owner to the other, however the key thing to note is that the letter or notice, cannot be hand posted through the adjoining owner’s letter box, as surprisingly that does not constitute legal service.

Instead the letter or notice will need to be physically handed to the occupant or owner, or should there be no-one present when the building owner knocks on the adjoining owner’s door, the Party Wall Notice will need to be fixed (usually sellotaped) to the adjoining owner’s door.


Electronic Party Wall Notice Service

As I am sure we are all aware, emails are very much a day-to-day activity for the majority of us.

Not only do we receive and send multiple emails, but in many cases a lot of the day-to-day communications that we all partake in are now done via email format.

It is worth noting that a Party Wall Notice can be served via email by a Building Owner to an adjoining owner, however, in order for this to be legally compliant and valid, the adjoining owner must have confirmed to the building owner that they are happy to receive the Party Wall Notice in that format.

If they haven’t confirmed that in advance of the service of the Party Wall Notice, then while the adjoining owner may receive that notice, it would not be deemed legally served.

It is therefore a key consideration to take into account if indeed a building owner is planning on serving a notice in that way.


Here at Stokemont, we serve hundreds of Party Wall Notices every year, and in our experience the best and most reliable way to service Party Wall Notices are via the Royal Mail post.

In many cases the Royal Mail will guarantee delivery of a first class letter the following day, and in most cases, it is a familiar means of communication that we are all able to understand, read and most importantly respond to.

We also have a free Party Wall Notice creator on our website, that will enable you to create and serve a legally valid Party Wall Notice directly upon an adjoining owner.

All you need to do is follow these simple step-by-step procedures, take note of the informative explanatory video and ultimately ensure that you adhere to the necessary requirements.

Party Wall Notices don’t need to be overly complex and we would actually advise aiming to keep them as simple as you can.  After all, it is only intended to notify an adjoining owner of the proposed works and should therefore be a simple to read and understand notification.


If you would like to discuss party wall procedures with our experienced and qualified team of party wall surveyors, get in touch with us today and we will be more than happy to assist and advise you.