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Tempted by offers of "free Party Wall Notices"?

Here's our opinion on why this might not be as cost-effective as it might first sound, and why we do charge a fee for Notices.

We cannot deny, if you search the internet for 'Free Party Wall Notices', you're likely to get loads of offers: perhaps to download templates that are part-filled for you; or blank templates that you fill-in yourself; or that the company say they will prepare them for you .

...and we understand why that would be tempting.
Terraced house needing Party Wall Notices for loft conversion
Party Wall Notices

Let's start with, why should PBSC prepare your Notices...

  • We will offer initial guidance for you (and yes this bit is Free), based on the drawings you provide, before you commit to use us - it is important that you trust we know what we are doing;

  • We will give you a fixed fee quote for preparing Notices - and clearly explaining how all future fees would be charged;

  • When we prepare the Notices we charge a fee because they are all checked by a qualified Chartered Surveyor and we spend time making sure we are preparing the best Notices possible;

  • We are not focussed on any future work, we are earning a fee now so we don't need to win more work to claw that back;

  • We prepare the best quality Notices as that will often be the most reassuring for a neighbour that the works are properly thought out, and more likely will result in a ‘Consent’;

  • We do not encourage the neighbour to have a 'dispute' or to 'dissent' to Notices. We try reassure them with the information we send, and we leave all options open for whom the parties want to appoint if there is a dispute. This includes an Agreed Surveyor option;

  • In the long-run, a smaller up-front fee paid to us may save you much more expensive two-surveyor fees in the future, resolving what was possibly an unnecessary dispute.

Of course there are other options out there...

Why not Free Blank templates...

The main reason for not downloading blank templates and modifying for yourself is : you getting them wrong!

  • We come across so many self-prepared Notices that contain mistakes, and some are completely wrong : this can lead to delays to building work starting or can actually cause a neighbour to be more nervous or worried about the work as it looks like you will not know what is going on.

Why not Free Part-filled templates...

Some part-filled templates from companies might reduce the risk of the wrong Notice being served, but we still see plenty that are not much better than blank templates.

  • But the real catch is the company tends to add-in their own details, and no alternative options, which could create a commitment for you or the neighbour to use that company if there is a dispute;

  • and, if you are pre-committed without having the future fee rates quoted to you, then you might not then be getting the best rates available.

Why not Free Notices prepared for you...

The reason that some companies offer ‘Free’ Notices is that it is purposefully a ‘lost leader’ for them, in other words, they are more interested in the dispute and when that happens they can charge a higher fee to claw back their time spent on Notices.

  • Often the option for the Parties to use the Adjoining Owner's choice of an Agreed Surveyor is also closed down, even though that might have been best solution for the owners.

We hope you see the reasons we are different, and why that might be better for you in the long-run.


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