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Party wall agreement and absent landlord

(13 Posts)
TheAlchemist101 Sun 03-Jul-16 19:13:02

Has anyone not been able to contact a property owner to ask for party wall consent? and did they get around this in any way or have to go the expensive route of getting a surveyor in - estimated costs for this are 1500 to 2000 pounds, all because the owner lets his place out and has never given us contact details even when asked (he said he would pop them through the door but didn't when I last saw him 6 years ago)

The current tenants are reluctant to contact him as they are afraid he puts the rent up as has happened before and have said to just do the work as they are not bothered by the noise etc (they are good like that!) - it is for a loft conversion and steel beams need to be put into the party wall at 4 points no deeper than my half of the party wall.

Lighteningirll Sun 03-Jul-16 19:27:53

No you really can't do it without consent I don't think planning will sign off.

specialsubject Sun 03-Jul-16 19:29:03

Have you tried three quid to the land registry?

Wonder how he does gas safe and property checks - is there an agent? Try looking on right move to see who advertised it.

whois Sun 03-Jul-16 19:35:30

Can the tenants give you his address, even if they don't want you to contact him?

I believe there are minimal repercussions when people do work without a party wall agreement, so if you did do the work I doubt there would be no come back. Not sure that's entirely ethically cool though.

whois Sun 03-Jul-16 19:35:42

Doubt there would be any

TheAlchemist101 Sun 03-Jul-16 19:40:31

specialsubject thanks for the suggestion. The Land Registry did give an address that is nearly 20 years old and is his parents I believe so I sent the notice there but no reply - I could drive over but its a long way and if the notice was ignored that knocking on the door won't be much help.

The tenants deal directly with the landlord and tell me they lost his number after changing phones a few months ago (hmmm...).

Given such mystery man status I'd wager not much of this is known to HMRC and so long as the rent is paid he stays far far away.

TheAlchemist101 Sun 03-Jul-16 19:44:52

any I agree - I doubt the landlord would even notice! but the company I'm using is reputable and has to cover itself as they don't know this. The one time you feel like using cowboys! well not quite.

The job is a relatively light touch to the wall, its not a basement excavation up to the party wall. Would lack of such an agreement invalidate planning permission for example?

TheAlchemist101 Sun 03-Jul-16 19:45:30

any ?? I meant whois

whois Sun 03-Jul-16 19:48:41

Just serve notice via a letter, addressed to "the owner" at next doors address?

mypropertea Sun 03-Jul-16 20:37:05

The party wall agreement isn't strictly needed. The idea is that it provides protection for both sides in the fact that damage caused by one will be clearly shown as there is a pre work survey. It also protects the person doing the work against false claims for existing damage. If I was you I would continue without one as you have made reasonable attempts to set one up. If your worried about later claimed for damage then ask if you can take pics before you start, focus on any existing cracks etc.

Ragusa Sun 03-Jul-16 21:22:00

Can you employ a party wall agent? They don't cost much to serve the notice and should be able to advise what to do if the adjoining owner is absent.

TheAlchemist101 Sun 03-Jul-16 21:32:48

Ragusa I'm doing this via an agent and there seem to be 3 outcomes:
1) owner signs and says proceed with the work
2) owner does not reply and you have to appoint a surveyor to inspect both sides of party wall at £500+vat for each side
3) owner appoints own surveyor for their side, probably more expensive than option 2)

has anyone gone through options 2) or 3) ? is it really that expensive? I suspect the company I've employed is used to bigger projects so the party wall agent they have engaged is expecting to cover complex cases as well.

My house and the neighbours are recent new builds so the party wall is pretty much perfect at present. I think I should enquire to another company about their charges for this.

whois Mon 04-Jul-16 11:43:13

Would it be possible to send the notice via recorded delviery (to the house) and have it worded such that 'no response is required if you consent to the works'?

Maybe worth speaking to a solicitor that deals with party wall ageements to find out.

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