Your Loft Conversion and the Party Wall etc Act 1996
Please read this helpsheet today. Any delay in doing so may harm your chances of having your loft conversion built on time and on budget. You will also need to download and read the government explanatory booklet at -
What you need to do now.
Within the next 7 days visit each neighbour with whom you share a party wall and:
- Inform them of your loft conversion project and that you have appointed a builder and architect.
- Let them know that they can view the design drawings at a very early stage.
- Ask for an email address where the design drawings can be sent. Explain that your architectural designer will forward the first draft of the design drawings to them along with the government explanatory booklet on the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
What you need to do after receiving your draft design drawings.
Within the next 7 days visit each of your neighbours once again and:
- Ask if they have had the opportunity to look through the draft design drawings.
- Ask if they would be happy to agree ‘party wall matters’ using the standard example letters from the government booklet.
- If they are unsure, offer to include photos and a written description of the condition of the shared party wall to accompany the standard letter.
- If they agree then you must act promptly by sending them the standard letter, delivered by hand, within the next 2-3 days, and, if you have offered, including photos and written description.
- If they do not want to use the standard letters then you must immediately inform both the architectural designer and your building contractor whom will advise you further. The start date for the building work will possibly need to be rescheduled.
A Party wall 'agreement' is needed from any neighbour with whom you share a party wall. An agreement must be in place at least 2 months prior to the building of your loft conversion.
The government provide a booklet that explains the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and what your responsibilities are. The booklet also provides example letters for you use as a basis for obtaining ‘party wall agreement’ with your neighbours. We will pre-fill a copy of the relevant example letter from the booklet for you to use as a guide.
While informal agreements using these example letters are overwhelmingly the norm, you will need to allow for the possibility of third party fees from a Party Wall Surveyor for a formal 'award' to be drawn up. In this event please contact us and we will suggest a specialist.
Remember: if you have any queries then please don't delay calling us or your chosen building contractor to discuss. We would be pleased to help.
My kind regards,