Special Foundations

April 12, 2024In Party Wall Advice
April 12, 2024|In Party Wall Advice

Enclosure Costs: A Collaborative Approach:

  1. Communication and Agreement:

Open communication between the building owner and the adjoining owner is key.

Mutual agreement on enclosure costs fosters a collaborative approach and minimises potential disputes.

  1. Recognising the Shared Nature:

Both parties should acknowledge the shared nature of the construction work.

Enclosure costs serve as a mechanism to reimburse an owner when their work is made use of by a neighbour.

The Role of Party Wall Surveyors:

  1. Expert Assessment:

Party Wall Surveyors bring their expertise to assess the value of the shared construction work.

Their impartiality ensures a fair and objective calculation of enclosure costs.

  1. Resolution of Disputes:

In cases where an agreement cannot be reached, party wall surveyors facilitate the resolution of disputes.

Their involvement ensures a structured and regulated process, adhering to the Party Wall Act.

Enclosure Costs: Legal Compliance and Documentation:

  1. Compliance with the Party Wall Act:

The process of determining and settling enclosure costs must adhere to the Party Wall Act.

Legal compliance ensures the validity and enforceability of the payments.

  1. Thorough Documentation:

Clear documentation of agreements, calculations, and the Party Wall Award is essential.

Thorough records contribute to transparency and serve as a reference for all parties involved.


Enclosure costs are a crucial aspect of shared construction works, ensuring fair compensation for the utilisation of existing structures. By understanding the purpose, common scenarios, and the collaborative process involving party wall surveyors, building owners and adjoining owners can navigate this aspect of property development with clarity and confidence. As a mechanism for acknowledging the shared nature of construction, enclosure costs contribute to the harmonious and regulated development of properties, emphasising the importance of fair compensation and open communication in the intricate world of shared construction projects.

Consent fosters collaboration and minimises the likelihood of disputes over the construction of special foundations.

  1. Alternatives in Case of Non-Consent:

If the adjoining owner does not consent, the building owner must seek alternative designs for the proposed scheme.

Flexibility in design becomes essential to accommodate potential concerns.

Considerations for the impact of the redesign must be borne in mind, including additional design fees, construction costs, and the impact on the final development.

Responsibility for Special Foundations:

  1. Cost Responsibility for Construction Works:

If special foundations are placed under an adjoining owner’s land, the building owner is responsible for associated costs.

This includes costs related to any construction works involving cutting or removing the special foundations which may occur in the future by the neighbour.

  1. Consent Impact on Cost Responsibility:

Even if consent is obtained, the responsibility for costs remains with the building owner. Even if you have purchased a property not knowing that a previous owner constructed special foundations under a neighbour’s land, if they subsequently carry out construction work which requires their removal, they can invoice you for the cost of their removal.

Legal Compliance and Documentation:

  1. Ensuring Compliance with the Party Wall Act:

The process of placing special foundations must adhere to the Party Wall Act 1996. This means that a building owner must serve Notice on an adjoining owner, and get their written permission before placing the special foundations under their land.

Collaborative Approach and Best Practices:

  1. Encouraging Open Communication:

Open dialogue between building owners and adjoining owners is paramount.

Mutual understanding and addressing concerns proactively contribute to a collaborative approach and increase the likelihood of an adjoining owner consenting to the special foundations.

  1. Seeking Professional Advice:

Engaging professional advice, especially from experienced surveyors, ensures compliance with the Party Wall Act and a streamlined process.

Expert guidance is invaluable in navigating the complexities of special foundations and their impact on adjoining properties. A surveyor can ensure your works are compliant, and liaise with the adjoining owner to identify the benefits of allowing such foundations to be built under their land.


Special foundations, within the context of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, bring a unique set of challenges to the construction landscape. By understanding the legal requirements, the importance of Notices, and the collaborative process involving consent, building owners can navigate this aspect of property development with clarity and confidence. A collaborative approach, open communication, and adherence to legal provisions contribute to a regulated and harmonious construction process. Ensuring that the implementation of special foundations is not only structurally sound but also considerate of the rights and concerns of adjoining property owners underscores the importance of fair compensation and proactive communication in shared construction projects.

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