Experienced Party Wall Surveyors like Peter Barry Surveyors have an enviable reputation for advising on all issues arising from the Party Wall Act 1996. If you are planning to carry out building works, including loft conversions, on your property that fall within the scope of this important piece of legislation, our expert team should be your first port of call.
If you are planning a loft conversion, you may need to serve written Notice on your neighbours of your plans and get their written consent of the planned work, under the Party Wall Act 1996.
The Party Wall Act 1996
The Party Wall Act came into force in July 1997 and is enshrined in English law. A general introduction and Government guidance can be found here.
The principal reasoning behind the Act is that any construction work that might affect the structural integrity or support function of a Party Wall (shared between neighbours), must be notified and consent obtained before any building work can begin.
In terms of planning a loft conversion, the following possibilities could arise:
Serving a Party Wall Notice
Typical reasons for requiring a Party Wall Notice for a loft conversion include
You must serve written Notice on your neighbours, giving details of the works to be carried out, at least 2 months before the proposed start of the loft conversion works.Construction can only begin after written consent has been obtained. You are then required to comply with the Notice, in addition to any planning permission or building regulations approval, as necessary.
Following the requirements of the Party Wall process can be time consuming and fraught with difficulties, while failure to comply may well result in building delays and additional expense. Having a professional adviser on board to guide you through the legal requirements and draw up the necessary Notices is therefore highly recommended.
Dealing with Party Wall Disputes
It is always advisable to reach a friendly agreement with your neighbour rather than to resort to the letter of the law, in the interests of preserving harmonious relations. However, sometimes this is simply not possible.
This is where the professional services of an experienced Party Wall Surveyor can be invaluable in helping to find a resolution. As Chartered Surveyors with particular experience in Party Wall matters, Peter Barry Surveyors can assist with all queries and provide expert help throughout the entire process.
We can act in the interests of the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner to make sure that both interests are protected and a fair and impartial Party Wall Award is made.
For further information on any aspect of your loft conversion and to find out if the Party Wall Act is applicable and how to proceed, please do not hesitate to get in touch by telephone on 020 7183 2578 or by email.
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