A Party Wall Award offers protection to both the building owner and adjoining owners but it is questionable whether one is always required.
Looking at it from both sides the benefits for each party may be summarised as follows:
Clearly most benefits lie with the adjoining owner however, the key point for the building owner is it protects against spurious claims for damage.
The point at which the benefits gained from a party wall award do not outweigh the cost of preparing one is debatable. Clearly small works such as re-pointing or damp proof work, for which technically a party wall notice should be served, are highly unlikely to cause major damage to a neighbour's property.
An important point to remember is that regardless whether an adjoining owner consents to the work his redress under the Party Wall Act still remain. This is something that neighbours often fail to grasp and hence rush down the party wall dispute route.