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Party wall agreement?

(10 Posts)
CuthbertDibble Mon 10-Nov-14 08:14:57

Next door neighbour is planning a loft extension, we are a pair of semis, he doesn't want the (fairly substantial) extra cost of involving surveyors in a party wall agreement.

We've only owned the house six weeks and it's a rental property, we don't live there, so we don't really know the neighbours very well.

I'd be happy to compromise and have a surveyor prepare a 'schedule of condition' and use a standard party wall agreement template, but DH is fairly insistent on a full-on party wall agreement to be prepared by surveyors.

Any advice?

whataboutbob Mon 10-Nov-14 14:05:29

We just had a loft extension done and had to employ a surveyor to do neighbours on both sides (thyey requested it). If anyone was doing one next to me, I 'd expect a survey too. Not just as a quid pro quo, but because if any problems transpire later it will come in handy. I think you should tell him politely you want a survey. Otherwise if his builders do damage to your property, how will you be able to prove it?

whataboutbob Mon 10-Nov-14 14:06:36

The law on PWAs is outlined in the PW actr which you can view online. If you do not get back to him, he must assume you are dissenting and instruct a surveyor. The power in this situation is in your hands.

CuthbertDibble Mon 10-Nov-14 20:27:16

Thank you both. I was prepared to give in but DH was quite insistent so I've asked the neighbour to get a surveyor involved.

I think the neighbour's a bit pissed off (he's had to cancel scaffolding that he'd organised for this week) but he's only got himself to blame, he's supposed to give us two months' notice not two days.

superram Mon 10-Nov-14 21:51:49

It is only 28 days notice but he should not have put up scaffolding without the agreement. Don't feel bad, he knew this was a possibility. He should be grateful that once drawn up you will sign it-unlike my neighbour whose sole intent was to extort money from us....,

Pangurban Mon 10-Nov-14 22:57:19

It is entirely his own lookout if he was presumptuous and planned work without going through the correct procedure.

You want to make sure you don't suffer any disbenefits from your neighbour's building work, rental property or not. A party wall agreement would afford you some protection.

whataboutbob Tue 11-Nov-14 08:09:36

It does not make sense that he needs to bring the scaffolding down. What he cannot do at this stage is do any work into the party wall.

Marmitelover55 Tue 11-Nov-14 08:31:07

I personally think party wall surveyors are a waste of money. Thankfully our neighbour signed our PWA without feeling the need to involve one. We took photos of everything beforehand and our builder did a neat job of the party wall on her side, where it needed raising. I would have been pretty annoyed if she had wanted to appoint a party wall surveyor.

Celeriacacaca Tue 11-Nov-14 08:49:49

When neighbour on one side did party wall work we didn't ask for surveyor but they got their surveyor to come in and take photo's for a very small fee (to them). It was good they did this as we ended up with a massive crack in our wall which required the plaster to be hacked back, the crack repaired and then replastered, redecorated, which was obviously a hassle for us but their builder sorted it with minimal fuss. When neighbours on other side did their work, and because they'd been a pain over previous things, we asked for a surveyor. (Also, they'd come in the night before work was due to start and said we "needed" to sign some forms so I didn't feel particularly warm and fuzzy towards them.)

Their surveyor took the mick as he charged them close to £1.5k to do the survey etc but from our point of view it was worth it as their builders took it on themselves to dismantle our chimney, which wasn't part of the original plans, and there were various other issues including storing their materials on our flat roof, which caused damage before we realised what they'd done, damage to the fence between our properties and the parapet stones weren't put back properly. All we had to do was notify the surveyor and these issues were dealt with without us needing to deal with the neighbours directly.

I would always have a surveyor, especially here in London, where builders often seem to just do a job that'll last five years and assume you'll have moved on before the faults reveal themselves.

JugglingChaotically Tue 11-Nov-14 09:17:01

We are doing works at the moment and have a party wall agreement with both sides.
We all agreed to appoint one surveyor though which helped.
And it has made the process very smooth.
Our neighbours have been lovely and we have done it all according to the party wall act but they agreed to sign and works to proceed before the deadlines as it was all tied up.
So it's a process that works and in London I think wise.
We also got non negligence party wall insurance.

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