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Extension/Party Wall Agreement - Surveyor help please?

(8 Posts)
FishfingersAreOK Mon 16-Jul-12 20:51:58

We have a semi detached house that currently has 1 1/2 rear extension -it goes across the entire back of the house on the ground floor with a party wall (next door has a ground floor extension too) . Next door do not have a first floor extension - but our property does - but at the moment it is only on the furthest corner of the house. So it is an L-shaped extension at the moment IYSWIM

We have just been granted planning permission to take that first floor extension across the whole of the back of our house. Hurrah. So the extension will now go across the first floor to the boundary with next door. We are not digging any foundations - just building on top of the current ground floor extension.

Next door have just received a speculative letter from a London based Surveyor who state they are Party Wall Surveyors and they could act on behalf of our neighbours to "Safeguard their Rights" under the Party Wall Act..

Have spoken to builder, his experience is that as we are not building any foundations we do not need to bother. Spoke to neighbour - he is happy with this and as he said, the man from the council will come round and check if there are any problems (Ie building regs) and why waste the money. Spoke to hugely risk-adverse god it drives me nuts arghh DH and he is now panic-striken - should we still get surveyor to come and check if we do need a party wall agreement etc etc

Please anyone out there - any ideas, experience, expertise, information to calm my fretty husband and stop him appointing a surveyor unnecessarily. Or actually should we be appointing one?

Thank you in advance

FishfingersAreOK Mon 16-Jul-12 22:28:28

Oh and would it make a difference if we kept the near first floor extension wall on "our" side of the boundary wall?

soonbesailing Tue 17-Jul-12 10:38:41

If you are doing any work that is on the boundry with the neighbours that wall is jointly owned by you and they have every right to insist on a party wall agreement.

If you are not touching the wall, ie not making any structural openings in it or not adding to it ie building on top of it, then there is not problem.

I have done work which has not effected the party wall ie opening up rooms and putting in steels, but putting them on brick piers on my side so that I didn't need party wall agreement.

I have also done work with a party wall agreement, but I just downloaded the standard letters from the internet and my neighbours signed them it was not issue.

I have a friend who is a party wall specialist and I think he charges a flat rate fee (£500 I think) but in some cases it is really worthwhile especially if you think you might have issues with your neighbours.

I don't know if you can just build on your side and not have an agreement.

tricot39 Tue 17-Jul-12 19:27:32

This link will explain the act and its requirements:
www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/partywall

Different sections of the act apply so it is relevant when building on a boundary without foundations.

You can protect yourself and your neighbour by using the standard letter examples it gives. For complex cases a surveyor is a good idea but cold callers (even by letter) are never a good idea! If you do want one get a recommendation.

If not using a surveyor make sure you visit the neighbour's side and record all cracks and defects before work starts otherwise you will have to pay to make good. Describe the defects and don't rely solely on photos as these rarely show up cracks etc in sufficient detail.

Your neighbour sounds amenable so it should be relatively easy to sort. Good luck.

FishfingersAreOK Tue 17-Jul-12 21:34:56

Thank you very much - we have looked at the link and drawing up the relevant letter - you are stars!

digerd Wed 05-Sep-12 18:21:22

Most extensions go upto and probably on the boundary, but the neighbour does not own the wall, if they did then they they would be jointly repsonsible for its repairs/upkeep including that end part of the roof/facia board, and could do anything to it, like drill into it .and build things onto it, which I have never heard of, and cannot believe that is right. Where is that written in the Party wall Act, please? I find that extremely disturbing

propertysurveyor Wed 24-Apr-13 19:53:00

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propertysurveyor Wed 24-Apr-13 19:57:37

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