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Neighbour's work - no PWA and now issues. Advice please!

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by DiynoviceSE, 22 Feb 2021.

  1. DiynoviceSE

    DiynoviceSE

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    Sorry for long post and thanks in advance for reading.

    One day we were awoken by our (terraced) house shaking as next door began completely gutting and building a ground floor extension, to the rear and a dormer loft conversion.

    The inside was completely gutted and opened out for open plan living.

    It's a HMO and since the tenants moved in the noise is ridiculous. We can't use one of the rooms at all (bedroom) as they might as well be in the room with with us. This noise travels up from the extension.

    You can also hear people talking at any point near the party wall if they are directly on the other side.

    The washing machine sounds like a helicopter going over and can be heard in every room of the house.

    The work is apparently 'signed off for insulation'. But what exactly does this mean? Given the noise we can hear this doesn't seem legitimate. How can we explore and possibly dispute this sign off? Another observation that makes me doubt this is that when the building was signed off there was still a huge 'hole' in the side of their building, (just beyoub our party wall) which is still not fixed properly now. How could that be signed off?

    There are also 2-4mm cracks around the edges of most rooms now also.

    We only discovered the need for a party wall agreement when exploring installing sound proofing. We never recieved a notification of any kind or party wall agreement before the work began.

    We were under the impression that as building reg not needed we would just have to 'suck it up'

    However, had we known PWAs we would have definitely stipulated soundproofing measures as is a student hmo ( door slamming etc). Also you can see that the washing machine is clearly in a ridiculous place and would have insisted not on the party wall.

    For comparison, next door (other side) is a hmo and we don't hear a thing.

    Any advice grateful. Can we pursue financial compensation for soundproofing?

    We can't sell the house in current state or will be forced to pay £1000s for issue that wasn't there before for quiet enjoyment.

    I don't think anyone would be able to dispute there isn't an issue by the noise in the bedroom. The owner just says, 'well it's signed off **shrugs**'

    Any advice greatly received.
     
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  3. mrrusty

    mrrusty

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    To me, this is the only issue for which you might have redress. You need a building surveyor to identify whether their works have caused structural issues. Just about everything else is IMHO basically tough s*** - it's a terraced house - they are not renowned for sound isolation. Having said that, if the neighbours are causing a statutory nuisance you can pursue this route with the council, but note that statutory nuisance is fairly tightly defined, and the odd slamming door, washing machine and general "living" noises probably won't cut it.

    Of course you can sell it. If you are not in formal dispute with your neighbours, there is nothing to advise on the house information form and it's buyer beware.
     
  4. wessex101

    wessex101

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    The Party Wall Act does not have provision to require the upgrading of sound insulation to an existing party wall. The only thing it would cover is work to the party wall such as cutting in to it to reduce it's thickness that might adversely affect the existing sound insulation.

    In my experience once houses start to get converted to HMO's especially student HMO's then the adjoining houses are no longer suitable as family homes. I have seen examples where the remaining houses would sell at a premium as investors would snap them up to convert to HMO's but you have to be quick as once a certain number are converted and complaints start to increase the local authority puts a block on any further conversions.
     
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  5. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    There's nothing in your post to suggest that the PWA applies.

    It sounds like :rolleyes: you have a standard noise complaint, so try the environmental health team at the council.
     
  6. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Typical of the bigger uni-cities in the North and Midlands.
    In my patch (Mcr) whole suburbs of the inner ring are given over to student HMOs. In 2008, the corporation got an Article 4 direction preventing any house within the city from being rented to three or more non-related tenants.
    There are now countless streets with only the odd single-family C3 dwelling. Owners of these cannot sell becase no family wants to move into streets full of students. In one case, before selling, a private owner had to apply for planning permission to convert to an HMO - this was turned down but won on appeal.
    As you say, if pre- A4 direction low-occupancy HMOs come up for sale, they are snapped up by developers and extended into 6 beds without needing p.p.
     
  7. cdbe

    cdbe

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    We saw the writing on the wall and sold our last house, which become a "doss house". We got out at the right time and got a good price but it was sad to see families deserting to be replaced by students and migrant workers whose way of living is not compatible with family life.

    Fill those cracks and get it on the market. It will not get better!
     
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