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Rear Extension - Party Wall agreement, the pitfalls?

Discussion in 'Building' started by eastender3, 10 Sep 2019.

  1. eastender3

    eastender3

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    Hi Folks,

    My neighbor is planning to build a single story rear extension in our terraced house.

    We received a party wall agreement letter through the post for a shared wall. I know they want to maximize their extension but can I refuse to sign party wall agreement, can they build a border wall without my written consent and what are the benefits of having party wall/shared wall and disadvantages of it.

    They're not expecting me to contribute towards it but I'm concerned their foundation might intrude to our garden. I'm confused about all this. The neighbor does not speak to us much and a bit upset that we objected their past bigger extension.
     
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  3. Mottie

    Mottie

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    I would imagine the benefits would be that a previous cold external wall will now become a warm insulated wall and the disadvantages would be that you may get some noise through the wall. There may be other advantages/disadvantages. If you have concerns, it would be best to speak to them now.
     
  4. eastender3

    eastender3

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    At the moment is just wooden fence separating our border. Both of us have no extension currently.
     
  5. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The PWA will give the neighbours rights to basically do what they want to do under the Act, this will include access to your land to carry out their work, and putting foundations on your land. You can't stop them, so don't think that not signing will do this. The Act will just give you certain rights to ensure that things are done correctly and the place left neat and tidy afterwards
     
  6. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    Have a think about whether you in the future are ever likely to want a similar extension (you may find when they've built theirs that your garden feels a bit like a tunnel). And then decide (if you do want to build something) if you'll be better off having a gap between your build and theirs.

    What I'm getting at is most likely your neighbours will build the side wall so that the dividing line between your gardens runs in the middle of the wall and it becomes an extension of the party wall between your houses. As long as the thing is built properly (and it is a party wall) then in the future you can hang your extension off it. But you may prefer a gap- if you do then I believe you can require their build (including any overhanging eaves, gutters or whatever) to be on their side of the boundary.

    I'm also not sure that the PWA automatically grants access to your property for the building phase. You might want to request sight of their CDM documentation to determine how they are going to build and maintain the new bit without being in your garden.
     
  7. wessex101

    wessex101

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    If the OP ever intends to build a rear extension then the new shared party wall will be quite a bonus, especially if the agreement defers payment for the wall permanently. Just make sure the wall is built as a separating wall with full sound insulation rather than just a bog standard external wall and it is built with no roof overhang so it is easy to build against. Effectively you get one side of your future extension built for free.

    If the OP has absolutely no intention of ever building an extension then do not give consent and the neighbour will have to build it on their side of the boundary. As Woody said in that situation the foundations can still encroach and they might be granted access to build it if necessary but at least OP will not lose any garden space.
     
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  8. eastender3

    eastender3

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    If we don't give consent to replace our fence with their wall, then how does the party wall impacts?, does it applies only to our kitchen wall which we share with them and can be damaged during works.

    Can they remove our fence to build their foundation, if they do, then they have to put it back? it's a new fence that we are liable for our side. In both cases, is it better to have a good PWA surveryor?
     
  9. wessex101

    wessex101

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    If you do not give consent for your fence to be removed your neighbour is still entitled to build their extension right up to the boundary, subject to certain procedures. So rather than worrying about your fence I would concentrate on getting the neighbour to make the wall as easy on the eye as possible and making sure nothing overhangs the boundary such as the roof verge or guttering etc. If you get in to a petty squabble about the fence and running up an expensive party wall surveyors bill in the process it will probably just get your neighbours back up. You could insist that your fence remains insitu and deny them access during the build but they might decide to make sure the visible part of the wall above the fence is an ugly monstrosity......at least that's what I would do. I dont really understand why you would want a fence in front of a wall, surely a well built brick or painted rendered wall would be more appealing?

    Having said that I'm a big fan of neighbours building a new shared party wall astride the boundary so both can use it for an extension. One of my pet hates is people who build an extension and leave a gap to the boundary, then the neighbour builds an extension and leaves a gap so you are left with about a foot of wasted space that no one can use or gain access to.

    As for damage. Technically the party wall procedure could be in 2 parts. The first part covers building up to the boundary and should cover any damage or making good required such as your fence and your garden adjacent to the works. The second part is the excavations for the new foundations, depending how deep they are and how deep your existing house foundations are and again should cover any damage to your property, not just the existing shared party wall but any part of your house in proximity to the excavations so that could include the rear wall to your house as well.

    It really boils down to how well you trust your neighbour and how good lines of communication are. Good neighbours with honest intentions should be able to reach a simple amicable agreement. If the neighbour doing the building cannot be trusted or fails to communicate properly then it would probably be better to employ a good party wall surveyor to draw up an agreement/award and a schedule of condition.
     
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  11. eastender3

    eastender3

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    Many thanks for your detailed reply, which I found useful. Your last paragraph applies, I need to get decent PWA surveyor, I have not even seen a detailed plan yet.
     
  12. If you received a Party Wall Agreement letter and you don't respond it is deemed to be in dispute and Party Wall Surveyors become involved. You can then have your say and hopefully still sort things out amicably. The PW surveyors will deal with your technical queries.
     
  13. cancelled - see below
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: 13 Sep 2019
  14. LondonLad21

    LondonLad21

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    PWA will mean that notice comes in two parts as noted, to

    - Excavate within three meters of your house
    - Make changes, establish a shared wall, and/or change an existing party wall fence

    It will mean that

    - A surveyor will attend your house, and take pictures, and inspect the condition and record it
    - It will give you protection on screening/scaffold/intrusion to any exposed parts of your house through the work, e.g., force the neighbour to make provision for that
    - As someone noted, it will give rights of access to your neighbour or their agents to your land, for access to work
    - It will restrict hours of work, for ONLY THE NOTIFIABLE WORKS, being the boundary wall/excavation to sensible office hours, and saturday morning
    - It will mandate they have insurance, and protect you
    - An agreement is drawn up, and signed by the surveyor. The surveyor actually works for the dividing wall, not the neighbour, or you, it's a role to protect the works on either side and to make sure the boundary wall/divide is safe.
    - You won't be able to object to anything, you indeed can once the agreement is made, but you will spend money to appeal to it and make the change

    It won't

    - Allow changes to the legal boarder between your property, that's down to you and neighbour, you should be clear on the boundary and a dispute that say means that he builds on your side/overhangs, will need to go to your solicitor. He is ALLOWED to lay foundations on your property, and is allowed where required by structural drawings and calcs to underpin or safeguard your foundations.
    - assign responsibility to future maintenance of any divide between you
    - cost you any money, unless you appeal

    Remember that

    - You need to live next door to your neighbour for a while yet, so be sensible and keep talking.
    - If you are worried, tell you neighbour, ask him what he's going to do to remedy your worries. If you get no assurance, then don't sign the letter and do the surveyor route. It costs you nothing, though it will annoy your neighbour.

    T
     
  15. Does the dividing wall know that :?:
     
  16. pw act notice
     

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  17. wgt52

    wgt52

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    I also am a big fan of shared party walls. 2 groups of people in the road where I live didn't bother when advised to do so now the people with conservatory's have not as much interior space as they could have - each conservatory has brick half walls 13inches thick with a gap between the walls. The neighbours with 4mtr extensions have a 12inch gap between the extensions; because no one can get between the extensions the wind blown rubbish is building up in the gap and looks to be making the walls damp as it's now over the damp course.

    Take advice from an independent PWA surveyor.
     
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