Party Wall London - Why is it important?

By: Andrew Cambridge

You've got some fantastic ideas to help you transform your London property and increase its value but the work involves making changes to a party wall. If you want to make any major alterations to a party wall then you must give notice to your neighbours and gain their permission, otherwise your dream of a perfect London home could soon turn into a nightmare.

For example, you need to let your neighbours know if you want to increase the height or thickness of a joint party wall to build an extension or convert an area. You also need to notify neighbours if you intend to do anything that could affect the foundations of their London property or you plan to underpin a party wall to make it load bearing.

In order to stay on the right side of the law it's essential that you write to the affected neighbour or property owner a minimum of two months before the work is due to start. Make sure you have proof of serving notice, such as recorded delivery or an independent witness who can verify your actions.

You should gain a written response within 14 days. Don't rely on verbal agreement as any party wall work on your London home will not be covered legally and this could come back to haunt you later on in the process if all the boxes haven't been ticked.

If your neighbours fail to respond to your party wall plans, don't just assume that it's okay to go full steam ahead with the work on your London home as this will put the situation into dispute. If things do move to a dispute stage then it's time to employ the services of a surveyor who will decide 'yes' or 'no' on the party wall work you have planned.

Not only that, but ensure that you have proof of serving notice in this way. Use recorded delivery or an independent witness who can verify your actions. Party Wall legislation also dictates that if you have a London flat you should check your lease for details of what work you can carry out. Remember that you will need to write to the freeholder for advice and permission too.

Don't worry if the decision goes against you. Under party wall legislation you have 14 days to make a county court appeal, at which point you may want to think again about whether this is the right type of improvement you want to make on your London home.

If it's a 'yes' on your party wall work then just remember that neighbours can make jobs that affect their property very difficult to carry out, so it's a really good idea to do everything you can to get work on your London home approved by them first. If you take this approach early on you may well save yourself heartache at a later date.

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Andrew Sutton writes for many websites. His articles help you find the best information about a wide range of subjects including Party Wall London. You will find Andrew's articles around the internet. His main website is about Party Wall London.

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