Planning an extension? Don't forget the party wall!
1st July 2015
... Comments

It may sound like fun and games, but anyone who is considering building an extension will have realised that neighbours have an important role to play in many aspects of the planning process.

They will experience some of the pain of the work without enjoying the benefits, so it is crucial to keep them informed and on side. It is also a point of law that you must give them notice before starting work close to the boundary with their property. Getting this wrong could delay your build and make your project more costly. Getting it right will provide the foundations for a smooth build.

If you are carrying out works governed by the Party Wall Act, you need to serve a party wall notice on your neighbours. This must be done at least two months before the notifiable works begin, and at least one month before the notifiable excavation works begin. Notifiable work is either building work which affects a party wall or boundary line, or excavations within three or six metres of a neighbouring property (depending on the depth of the foundations you are making). This will include most extensions and basement and loft conversions.

You need to serve notice on all the owners of every neighbouring property affected by the works, both freeholders and leaseholders. You don't need planning permission for your plans to serve notice, and once you've done so you can take up to a year to start work.

The Party Wall Act is there to protect you and your neighbour's homes. If you don't follow the procedure and go ahead with the build, your neighbour could hand you a hefty bill for damages to their property, which you'll be obliged by law to pay.

Getting a surveyor in to inspect all party walls in crucial - they will take photos and note any minor, or major, defects with your walls. This way, when the build is complete, if anyone were to complain of damages to their wall, there is evidence of the state of the building beforehand.

It's a simple process and ultimately is there to save your butt. If you don't have a surveyor come in BEFORE the work has started, it's simply too late. There is no way anyone can prove what the state of each house was before work started, meaning if something awful were to crop up, you (the owners of the house having work done) would still have to pay to fix it.

Whilst any good builder will inform you of the party wall act, it's worth becoming familiar with. Whether you're planning a build yourself, or you've received a planning application from a neighbour, you'll need to contact Gregsons Solicitors as soon as possible. They will survey your house and ensure all is well before the builders move in.

Simply give Gregsons Solicitors a call and view their profile page by clicking the link below.

About the Author

Andrew M

Member since: 10th July 2012

The Best of Wimbledon and Merton helps to bring all the best local information to all local residents and businesses throughout Wimbledon and Merton. We also bring trusted businesses and the community...

Popular Categories