Updated Party Wall Guidance


The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (“RICS”) has published the 7th edition of its Party Wall Legislation and Procedure Guidance Note. This comes into force on 1st December 2019 and applies to RICS members and firms regulated by RICS.

The 7th edition of the Guidance Note is the first update for over eight years. It contains a summary of the Party Wall Act 1996 (“Act”) and sets out the surveyor’s ethical and professional conduct responsibilities which go beyond those set out in the Act.

The Guidance Note also makes changes to a number of the draft documents and letters used by surveyors in Party Wall disputes.

A full copy of the Guidance Note can be viewed here and includes:

  • Professional conduct
  • Nature and purpose of the Act
  • Advising on application of the Act
  • Service of notices and responses
  • Accepting appointments under the Act
  • Powers and duties of the appointed surveyor
  • Surveyor’s role in preparing the primary award
  • Surveyor’s role subsequent to service of the primary award
  • Role of the third surveyor
  • Challenging the award and appeals to the county court.

The guidance also includes draft letters such as:

  • Suggested letter of appointment for the building owner’s surveyor
  • Suggested letter of appointment for the adjoining owner’s surveyor
  • Suggested letter to accompany a typical section 3 or 6 notice
  • Suggested letter requiring an adjoining owner (or building owner) to appoint a surveyor
  • Suggested letter requiring an appointed surveyor to act effectively
  • Suggested letter to appointing owners upon service of the party wall award.  

More information

Pinney Talfourd are experienced in advising on party wall matters, see our Full Guide to the Party Wall Act in the Legal Hub for more information on party walls and who needs an award.This article was written by Oliver-James Topping, Solicitor in the Residential Property Litigation Team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of November 2019.


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