Neighbour’s building work - put off buyer?

(39 Posts)
Hels20 Sun 28-Mar-21 08:22:46

I am in a dilemma. We live in London where about 4 or 5 basements are done in a 0.75 mile radius every year (maybe more). On our road, I would say one in 8 people have done a basement.

We have had basement plans drawn up for about a year but because of Covid, we put everything on hold and didn’t want to stress people out (or cause noise when people are stuck at home). We now want to proceed, not least because we want it finished by next summer for various personal

Neighbour next door is selling. Had house on for about 8 months. Selling to a single middle aged person who is down sizing. NDN has asked us to wait until exchange happens - but our builder is saying that if we don’t get on with things we will lose our slot and it may delay things by about 6 months. We were hoping to start end July/August. Feel like I am being emotionally blackmailed by NDN (who is lovely but we are not friends). NDN should also really disclose our plans in my view but that’s for them to get comfortable about.

New buyer has lived in area for years - knows people do basements (may even have done one themselves!) and I also think is going to do some structural stuff to house they are buying.

I have put off filing application to accommodate NDN for about 2 months / exchange hasn’t happened yet. What would you do? I also think my lovely NDN who is selling is making assumptions that may not be true. The renovations in house which don’t need planning will cause as much noise (new bathrooms, flooring throughout, new wardrobes etc) as a basement (though appreciate dust and noise for 4 months is going to be bad).


OP’s posts: |
DinosaurDiana Sun 28-Mar-21 08:24:41

Start it. It’s unfair of the NDN to ask you to wait, and to let the new person buy without disclosing the building works.

WisestIsShe Sun 28-Mar-21 08:25:57

I wouldn't wait in those circumstances.

BookShop Sun 28-Mar-21 08:34:28


Hels20 Sun 28-Mar-21 08:42:05

She is just so worried it is going to make her sale collapse - but the point is buyer knows this could happen...and if he is going to do works - surely you would want to do at same time...

I have been up all night worrying about this.

OP’s posts: |
DinosaurDiana Sun 28-Mar-21 08:45:33

Her sale is not your concern.

MaggieFS Sun 28-Mar-21 08:51:43

You just have to say to NDN that you've delayed for two months already and you can't delay any further or you will lose your builder.

Basement conversions are now an annoying part and parcel of life in London. None of the works last forever even if they seem to take bloody ages so the sooner you get on with it, the sooner it will be finished.

If this is the right home for her buyer, I think it unlikely temporary works would stop a purchase.

Separately, FWIW, I don't think she has to disclose this because nothing is definite if you haven't even applied yet. As long as she fills in any paperwork accurately at the time she does it, they rest is down to the conveyancing solicitor.


Roselilly36 Sun 28-Mar-21 08:53:02

No reason why it should affect her sale, most people are sensible to know building work won’t go on forever. I am sure he will have plans to have work done too, everyone does when they move.

You have a requirement., go on and get the job done, if the boot was on the other foot I bet your neighbour would too.

Her sale is not your concern.

Aqua55 Sun 28-Mar-21 09:35:48

Do you have planning application/party wall agreement I'm place? If not, the neighbour could delay your start with objecting to these

Hels20 Sun 28-Mar-21 09:43:10

@aqua55 - we can’t get party wall agreement in place until planning permission has gone in. I am v aware that this could cause further delay - hence I may lose my slot with builder anyway.

The whole point is NDN doesn’t want me to put in planning application (will take about 8 to 12 weeks - would be v surprised if planning not given as house immediately across road has basement as well as house 8 houses down). She thinks this will make her buyer pull out. But she is makigg an assumption - and buyer is v local and I think probably did their basement a few years ago...

OP’s posts: |
PresentingPercy Sun 28-Mar-21 10:09:16

Apply for planning. It’s then clear what you intend. She might have sold by then anyway. If not, it will come up on searches and you need a party wall agreement. But at least get planning permission. Or you won’t start anything!

Andthenanothercupoftea Sun 28-Mar-21 10:27:15

The sooner you start, the sooner you finish, if it had started 2 months ago you'd be nearly done by now!! Better to get going now then there will be less disruption for the buyer.
And agree your neighbour needs to tell their buyer.

Hels20 Sun 28-Mar-21 10:42:28

As soon as I apply for planning @PresentingPercy NDN thinks it will make their house sale fall through...they are begging me not to until they have exchanged...

Anyway - think I will give them 10 more days and tell them I will be putting in for pp on that date...

OP’s posts: |
CrotchetyQuaver Sun 28-Mar-21 10:54:18

I would submit the planning application. I suspect you'll be blamed for evermore if this neighbours sale falls through, but I think youve been very reasonable waiting this long.

MaggieFS Sun 28-Mar-21 11:42:55

If she's that concerned, can't she find out the status of the conveyancing from her solicitor. It would be very normal for her solicitor to ask the buyers's solicitor 'we'd like to exchange by 9th April, is that feasible'. If they're really close then surely the searches are back?

gurglebelly Sun 28-Mar-21 13:15:20

Surely the earlier you start it, the less impact it has on the buyer? If you hadn't waited 2 months to help the neighbour then you'd be halfway through now and they potentially would only have had 2 months of disruption instead of 4

gurglebelly Sun 28-Mar-21 13:16:49

Ah sorry hadn't spotted its planning that you haven't started, not the actual work. Either way I think you have been more than accommodating

Woodlandbelle Sun 28-Mar-21 13:17:39

You have to do what's right for you. You have been more than considerate here.

canigooutyet Sun 28-Mar-21 13:23:16

If the buyer is put off because of the works then they were looking for a reason a back away.

Renovations don't last forever and the sooner it's over and done with the better for everyone concerned.

canigooutyet Sun 28-Mar-21 13:26:44

And there is no saying come July the sale would have gone through by then.
What if that's delayed for another couple of months?
How long should you be expected to wait?

Forget 10 days. If you're ready, submit tomorrow.

JackieWeaverFever Sun 28-Mar-21 13:30:34


Start it. It’s unfair of the NDN to ask you to wait, and to let the new person buy without disclosing the building works.


You owe them nothing and there are no guarantees the buyer won't pull out and your family life is on hold for 18 months plus

SoupDragon Sun 28-Mar-21 13:35:10

Are you having the basement dug out?

emilyfrost Sun 28-Mar-21 13:43:40

You should just put in the application. Her sale isn’t your problem.

custardbear Sun 28-Mar-21 13:46:51

No, sorry but they'll have to suck it up, have they asked Heathrow to divert planes and birds to stop singing too early too 😉

Midlifelady Sun 28-Mar-21 15:38:30

I don't understand why you didn't put in for planning months ago. Permission can take months.

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