Ensure you start off your new adventure on the right foot by trying to be the neighbour you yourself would like to have. Here are our top tips:
Do you love your house but just wish you had that bit more space, or wish your kitchen had a different layout? Well, if you’ve decided to do some building work to your property to make it exactly how you want it, whether it’s a loft conversion or an extension, you may need to have something called a Party Wall Agreement.
The Party Wall Agreement 1996 was introduced as a way to allow you to make changes to your property whilst keeping your neighbours best interests in mind as well.
Before any building work begins, a Party Wall Agreement (also known as a Party Wall Award) will need to be drawn up between you and your neighbour, if you’re planning to carry out work next to an adjoining property. For example, shared walls between semi-detached or terraced house properties, walls between flats, and garden walls too.
A Party Wall Agreement will cover the following information:
Your neighbours are within their rights to refuse the Party Wall Agreement, however their reasons for refusal must be justified. For instance, if they don’t agree because they don’t want to put up with the noise and the inconvenience of the work, then this isn’t a valid reason as it actually has no bearing on the party wall at all.
Obviously, there might be other reasons why your neighbour might disagree, however the surveyor will have the final say on whether the work will commence or not, and they will draw up the final Party Wall Award outlining exactly how and when the work will be carried out, and who will pay for it.
You must give your neighbours two months written notice. Once the notice has been serviced, you have up to one year to carry out the work.
Having your neighbours consent from the get go will help things progress smoothly without added stress or worry, so taking the time to create a good relationship with your neighbour will be time well spent, trust us.
Building this relationship as soon as you first start thinking about your renovation project is the best approach, as you’ll hopefully then already be on good terms when you tell them your plans.
Your neighbour will no doubt experience some level of disruption, whether that’s noise, mess etc. so it’s important to keep them in the loop and make them feel involved in the project, and hopefully this will help things go ahead smoothly.
Carrying out building work to any property can have it’s stressful moments, but by making sure you have all the necessary things in place, like the Party Wall Agreement, can help avoid any added worry or stress and will hopefully keep things on track for your completion date!
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