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Can a Neighbour Refuse a Party Wall Agreement?

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    Having a party wall agreement is an important step when you’re about to undertake any construction work involving a party wall. You should be prepared to deal with some potential issues on that front. Since your neighbour can refuse a party wall agreement, you need to know how the process typically goes and what your options for legal remedy are.

    When can a neighbour refuse a party wall agreement?

    Architectural plan

    A party wall agreement is needed every time you plan a construction, whether it’s loft conversion party wall agreement or house extensions. Generally, a neighbour can refuse a party wall agreement without providing you with further details – at least not at first. Once you’ve submitted your request to the neighbour in writing, they have 14 days to respond.

    If your neighbour responds with a letter of rejection within that timeframe, you still have some options to deal with the situation – more on that below. You must always respond in a timely manner though, because there are some strict deadlines to observe here.

    It’s important to remember that a lack of a response does not mean the neighbour agrees implicitly. Quite the opposite – your party wall agreement can only be implemented if the neighbour explicitly agrees to your request in writing. If you don’t receive a response in 14 days, the neighbour has not agreed.

    What to do if a party wall agreement has been rejected?

    neighbours discussing a party wall agreement

    If your party wall agreement has been rejected, don’t worry – there is a resolution process you can follow to sort out the problem. It involves hiring a qualified surveyor to examine the property and provide a final judgement on the situation.

    The costs associated with this survey can be handled either by you or your neighbour. In case both parties want to bring in a surveyor, it might be necessary to get a third professional to ensure that the review stays as objective as possible.

    Even though your neighbour can refuse a party wall agreement, it doesn’t have to spell the end of your project if they do. As long as you have taken the time to survey the site properly and know you should be allowed to perform those modifications and legislations related to your project, it’s just a matter of sorting out the problem through the appropriate legal channels.