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Property Surveying Blog

January 1, 2015

Party Wall Enclosure Costs

Written by Bradley Mackenzie

In this blog we will be discussing Party Wall enclosure costs and when they are applicable.

An enclosure cost is a sum of money due from a building owner to an adjoining owner for the use of a Party Wall that the adjoining owner had previously built.

The majority of building owners do not know the principal exists until their Party Wall surveyor informs them of the cost payable to their adjoining owner.

In this Party Wall podcast we will be discussing the reasoning and costs that make up an enclosure payment.

To start, we must first look at the wording of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, it is as follows:

Section 11(11) of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 confirms:

 “Where use is subsequently made by the adjoining owner of work carried out solely at the expense of the building owner, the adjoining owner shall pay a due proportion of the expenses incurred by the building owner in carrying out that work; and for this purpose he shall be taken to have incurred expenses calculated by reference to what the cost of the work would be if it were carried out at the time when that subsequent use is made”.

Now lets take a look at this through a hypothetical situation:

Owner (A) built his rear extension astride the line of junction 5 years ago using London stock brickwork in accordance with his planning permission.

Owner (B) lives next door to Owner (A) and intends to build a rear extension.

Owner (B) does his research speaks to a party wall surveyor who serves a Party Wall Notice upon Owner (A).

Owner (A) decides to dissent to the notice and appoints his own party wall surveyor to protect his interests.

Owner (A)’s surveyor then informs owner (B)’s surveyor that when owner (B) encloses onto the party wall there will be an enclosure cost due to owner (A) and the cost will be 50% of what it would be to build the wall in today’s construction rates.

This situation is more common than you would think, Section 11(11) of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 is one of those sections that you tend to only know about through experience, so in reality every party wall surveyor has been in owner (B)’s surveyor’s shoes at some point in their career.

The Section 11(11) enclosure cost itself is made up of a number of factors including:

  • The foundation costs, both digging and laying them

  • The removal of the soil from site, by skip or truck

  • The materials to build the wall, whether it be solid construction or cavity construction

  • The contractor’s labor to construct the wall

  • Professional fees

  • Location Rates

These costs are then calculated with the outcome being the cost to build the entire wall. That full cost is then divided by 50% and is the cost that is due from the building owner to the adjoining owner for the enclosure onto the party wall.

Irrespective of when owner (B) built the party wall, the cost that owner (A) pays will always be in the current day construction rates. This is based upon owner (A) benefiting from the wall today, not when it was built, therefore he or she will have to pay the cost in today’s rates.

Enclosure costs are often a hot topic of dispute and can often see the two party wall surveyors arguing over everything from the price of a brick, to the cost of a day’s labor to the method in which the calculation is determined.

If you are enclosing on a party wall, or are having your party wall enclosed upon I would suggest speaking to a party wall surveyor at the first instance to seek some further advice.

Here at Berry Lodge surveyors our party Wall Team are highly experienced in enclosure costs and have worked on Party Wall jobs where the cost of enclosure has ranged from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands of pounds.

If you would like to discuss this topic further call our Party Wall Team now on 020 7935 2502 and one of our experienced party wall surveyors will be happy to assist you.