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I am planning a loft conversion on a mid-terrace, permitted development. As a courtesy, I posted letter to both side neighbours to inform them. Now I received a letter from a surveyor firm representing one side, a housing association, asking me to serve the party wall notice.
We all know that it's all about potentially causing damage to the other side of the party wall, which we are very much aware of in the process of construction.
Instead of paying quick bucks to surveyor, can I ask for access to neighbour's side and take pictures as evidence of pre-construction?
I will accept they can sue for damage should it happen. But are they able to halt the building work just because no party wall reward as this is a permitted development?
Party Wall Notice is separate to planning and building control. Go on Gov site and look up, they do excellent download. Basically If you are doing works on the party wall or excavating near you need to serve notice. Your neighbor can then sign, or ask you to pay for surveyor or ignore you and you have to pay for surveyor. Provided you are doing pretty straightforward works, they cannot stop you but can delay you considerably. They have no right to dictate on what you do and can be forced to let you do it even if it means you need access to their property. Basically they have the right to sue you if something is damaged or goes wrong but they have this right anyway. This is a civil matter you have to go party wall route but if you did not then your neighbors would have to take you to court which, if you have not damaged anything would be a pointless exercise. My advice is always to have a chat with them and try and talk things through but if they insist on a surveyor it will cost you about £1500, which is really annoying and a con cos all the surveyor does is takes a couple of photos and writes an award which basically says you must be nice and not damage the property (it is a photocopied generic thing) which would have been the case anyway
Give David Maycox a call 020 8441 9900 he is an expert on party walls. and if you dont take up to much of his time will advise you for free.
Your neighbor can get their own part wall surveyor but you will have to pay. Best way get neighbor to agree and accept your own surveyor to do both parts and have only one cost. He will do a agreement which you both sign and agree to. Thats what I did recently. A proper party wall agreement is a bit more than just photos and short note- if thats what you are getting then change your surveyor and get a proper one.