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Do You Need a Party Wall Agreement for a Loft Conversion?

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    You need a party wall agreement when planning any changes that could affect your neighbours. When living in a property with a party wall, you have to plan any modifications to your home carefully. One wrong move could spell a lot of trouble, both for you and for your neighbours if they get affected.

    There are various legal requirements surrounding modifications to a party wall. To stay on the safe side, you must always get a party wall agreement and confirm every detail in writing.

    When do you need a party wall agreement

    house in london

    You always need a party wall agreement when you’re planning to make changes that could impact the neighbour’s side of the wall. These include:

    • Cuts through the wall that extend to the other side
    • Structural changes to the wall (especially related to support)
    • Changing the dimensions of the wall
    • Removing structural elements needed by your neighbour
    • Removing parts of the wall
    • Rebuilding parts of the wall

    Your case might also have more unique circumstances that require a party wall agreement. Always check with your neighbour as a starting point.

    Can I do a party wall agreement myself?

    neighbours discussing a party wall agreement

    You don’t need to hire an expert to do a party wall agreement. It’s enough to write one yourself and submit it to your neighbour. Always make sure to have a written record of the full exchange. The most important point is to make it clear that the document is a party wall agreement. After you’ve sent it to your neighbour, they would have two weeks to respond. Keep in mind that a lack of response is not equivalent to agreement – quite the opposite! It may mean that your neighbour refuse the party wall agreement.

    No party wall in the loft

    noisy construction work

    If there’s no party wall in the loft, you don’t need a party wall agreement. An agreement is only necessary in cases where you’re making changes that would impact the home of your neighbour. Note that these changes can be indirect, such as reducing the support of the wall.

    Even if your loft conversion doesn’t directly touch any party walls, you should still verify that it won’t extend through to your neighbour by other means.

    Drilling into a party wall

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    Drilling into a party wall is fine without an agreement, as long as it doesn’t modify the structure on the other side. This means that the drilling should not alter the wall’s structural integrity ( e.g. make it less stable ), and it also can’t result in any visible holes on your neighbour’s side.

    What happens if there’s no party wall agreement?

    man planning

    If you’re required to get a party wall agreement but don’t do it, you can face legal repercussions from your neighbour. There are no specific laws that set a legal punishment for violating this requirement, but you would be exposed to a civil suit.

    Your neighbour could come after you for any damage they’ve incurred. This isn’t strictly limited to actual physical damage. They could also make an argument about nuisance and even trespassing. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to look into the situation in detail and fulfil all your legal obligations before proceeding with your project.