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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Hi

If the owner of the adjoining property to mine gets the go ahead to build a ground floor rear extension I will need a Party Wall agreement as the works come under the Party Wall Act.

Is it the case that there is no legal obligation on the part of the owner for him to serve me with a Party Wall Agreement?

There has been zero communication from the owner (HMO landlord) at all.He dies not live there.

Should I be engaging a Party Wall Surveyor to write to the owner to request a Party Wall agreement?

If the works do get permission the owner has indicated that they will commence in February.

Any advice on what I should do would be gratefully received.

Thanks

Mags

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I'm pretty sure that both a party wall notice and agreement will be required if your neighbour is doing any work near a party wall that might compromise its structural integrity. But it's their responsibility to draw this up. You will then have to decide if you need advice to respond.

The Federation of Master Builders have some good general advice on party wall agreements. And here's some wise words on what to do in the event that your neighbour fails to serve notice. 

Thanks for your reply Hugh.

I shall definitely check out the links you have given.

The works will definitely come under the Party Wall Act, my kitchen window frame for instance is less than 10cms from our boundary wall which will be demolished and the side wall of the extension will be built in its place.

Thanks again

Mags

If it is required then there is a legal obligation on them to serve you notice and get the Award before they start. However there is also no penalty in law on them for not doing it except courts not looking on them kindly if things go wrong. I'd contact them / their agent and let them know you're expecting it, you shouldn't be appointing anyone right now. Ps it may be they have designed their structure to avoid needing an award.

Thanks for the good advice Costa.

The works definitely come under the Party Wall Act.

I will contact the Agent this week.. Hopefully they will be amenable to this as I really don’t want to go down the road of costly court  injunctions etc.

The House also has an “ongoing rat infestation” and the gardens both front and back are full of rubbish so I might just mention that I expect this to be addressed. Although not his responsibility he can inform the owner.I don’t want Rats moving into my flat if the works go ahead!

Thanks again

Mags

Hi

when I did my extension I issued party wall notices for the extension, but also technically you must do them even when you remove a chimney breast from a room on a party wall. I had to pay for an independent surveyor to survey the house next door (council owned) before the work, so that they had evidence in case any damage was caused (which was not). The house on the other side did not ask for it, but I assume they could have and then I would have been obliged to pay for their surveyor too.

hope this is useful.

good luck!

Thank you for taking the time to reply. It is useful to hear about other folks experience.

Appreciate it!

Kind Regards

Mags

There is a legal requirement. However, it's a really difficult one. We had a rogue landlord who went ahead without one. We went to court, but the night before he finally instructed a surveyor so the court deferred saying the survey needs to go ahead (which it did) or we need to come back. We then instructed our own surveyor who contacted him because we didn't trust him or his surveyor. He could have just gone with ours, but didn't. He had to foot the bill.

Thanks so much for your reply.

Its good to know about your experience albeit not a necessarily happy one.

I just need the owner of the property next door to honour their legal obligation but I suspect this may not happen.

I don’t relish the prospect of going down the injunction route but will not hesitate to do so if necessary.

Thanks again for sharing your experience, much appreciated!

Kind Regards

Mags

In addition to the advice given,  would also check to see if the property is licensed as an HMO: https://www.haringey.gov.uk/housing/landlords/multiple-occupants/hm...

Hi Julie

When the landlord submitted his first application for Prior Notice to Haringey Planning, the fact that the property was a HMO was one of the reasons given for refusing the application. The landlord then submitted a second application stating that he intended to rent to a family once works were completed and the HMO license was withdrawn.

Thanks for your advice Julie

kind Regards

Mags

As others have said, it's a requirement, and the onus is on them to get it done. You can insist on your own Party Wall Surveyor, and they have to pay for your choice. Any damage subsequently caused by the works is also their responsibility to pay to repair.

For reference we completed an extension a couple of years ago so were on the other side from you.

Thank you Matt

Yes, this was my experience at my last home where my next door neighbour, or to be more accurate the couple who had just purchased the house, planned to extend into the loft, a 2 Storey extension to the side and ground floor rear extension also. They called round to let us know about their plans, showed us the drawings, answered all our questions, gave us their contact details as well as those of the Project Manager and arranged a Party Wall Agreement where we appointed our own Surveyor. They could not have been more open and transparent about the process, everything went smoothly and, once completed, the House looked amazing!

Unfortunately, a different experience this time round.

However, I will be pursuing it.

Thanks again for your advice Matt

Kind Regards

Mags

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