Drafting your own party wall notices might seems like an obvious way to cut costs but the opposite is generally true. If your neighbour receives a notice that looks like something you’ve found on the internet, or got from your builder, alarm bells will ring. They will be more likely to contact a surveyor for advice and, when they’re told that you will be paying the fees, appoint them.
Conversely, owners receiving a professionally drafted notice from a Chartered Surveyor will be more likely to consent or, failing that, concur in the appointment of that surveyor (so that you pay one fee rather than two).
It’s no exaggeration to say that in excess of 75% of notices we see which have been prepared by owners or their builders are invalid – serving a valid notice takes a unique combination of technical and legal knowledge that most owners will not have. When it comes to light that the notice is invalid, and that tends to be when it is checked by the surveyor your neighbour has appointed, it must be re-served which not only adds to the costs but may cause a significant delay to when work can commence.
There are other ways in which involving a surveyor at the start of the process can make the works run more smoothly and save you money:
Most experienced surveyors will charge a nominal fee for this part of the process as it’s something that they are very familiar with and can therefore complete quickly. We serve notices for a flat fee of £65 plus VAT per adjoining owner and can normally turn them around within a day or two.
We would still advocate briefing your neighbours as early as possible, ideally as soon as the plans are available, as owners that feel they are being kept in the loop are more likely to consent. When the time comes, they will be reassured to hear that the notice is being prepared by a specialist party wall surveyor.
If you would like us to review your plans and prepare the necessary party wall notices please call us on 020 7183 2578 or send your enquiry by email.