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lockwood2012
lockwood2012, Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 67
Experience:  Barrister of over twenty years of advisory and litigation experience.
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I have a semi detached house and did a loft conversion over

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I have a semi detached house and did a loft conversion over 11 years ago. I didn't get a written Party Wall agreement with my neighbour at the time, just a verbal one. He didn't seem too bothered about it, considering he was a builder.

I have now had a different neighbour in the adjourning property for the last 7-8 years. Although there is no issue presently, is it possible she could ask for a copy of the Party Wall agreement for the loft conversion done 11 years earlier?

She is a bit of a stickler for these sought of things, so just wondering where I would stand if the situation arose.

lockwood2012 :

Hi,

lockwood2012 :

A party wall agreement will usually consist of three parts:



  1. The award itself i.e. a set of guidelines governing how the proposed works should progress


  2. A “schedule of condition” of the adjoining property, often supported by a set of photographs


  3. Drawing(s) showing the details of the proposed works


 

lockwood2012 :

Do you have any of these at all. What was the nature of the agreement and did you ever make a contemp note of your oral agreement It appears that it is not an issue between you and your current neighbour. Has something happened for you to become concerned now? It may be a case of best leave sleeping dogs lie. Regards. Lockwood.

Customer:

Thanks for the reply. Basically I fully understand the PArty Wall noyice concept, as have just given one to my neighbour so that I may remove my chimney breasts on the first 2 floors of my house which I own.

Customer:

The problem arises were I have a suspicious feeling that she has already removed the chimney breasts in he loft conversion, which is against building regulations as half the chimnet stack has to remain inside the property equal to what is outside. This is not possible and causes an overbalancing problem. Assuming I am right about her chimney breasts, I can request that she corrects this situation, as she never gave me a Prty Wall notice to do this work, even though iy would be unacceptable in law even if she did.

Customer:

Sorry about the spelling mistakes, I'm typing a bit too quickly! Anyway, this brings me back to my original question, (ie) if I claim to her that she never passed on a Party Wall notice about her chimney breasts removel, can she in response ask me for the Party Wall notice for my loft conversion 11 years ago (which I don't have one), or has that point passed now, and there is no issue that she can bring forward on this?

lockwood2012 :

Hi,

lockwood2012 :

Thanks for the reply. I think that the moment has probably passed as far as your position is concerned. in planning enforcement terms, it`s well outside the limits. There is nothing stopping you canvassing the chimney breast position with her. I think that you need to strike the right tone in any approach, so as to reduce the prospect of her trying to be defensive of her own position by making requests of you in respect of the loft conversion. Good luck. Lockwood.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the reply, although I'm still not sure of the exact situation, as you say the moment has 'probably' passed. What is the actual time limit, and is this actually a 'planning issue'? The main point of the question is, does a current property owner have a right to request a party wall agreement given (or not given in this case) to a previous owner.
I would advise that you are not obliged to supply the agreement to you neighbour. The normal enforcement period in planning terms is four years. As i say less is more in this sort of situation. Lockwood.

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