Owning your own home

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  • Exactly, and if they had access they could likely fix it properly in a few hours and everything gets back on track.

  • He'll probably put in twice the effort working off the guilt tomorrow.

  • Took the rads off the walls myself during lunch, just to add to the guilt. And added blanking nuts in case he rage smashes the Tado TRVs off or something. My accidental purchase of 1/2" nuts a month ago paid off as I didn't realise the TRVs needed half inch and the lock shields 3/4".

  • Can anyone recommend a party wall surveyor in London – West London, specifically?

    Our mid-terrace neighbours are building a new extension and its wall will run right up to and halfway along our garden’s property line, partially replacing our wooden fence that’s currently there.

    Despite the plans misstating the property line in the neighbours’ favour and a bunch of other issues (sewage pipes, right to light, etc), Hounslow council has just waved the plans through under permitted development and won’t otherwise engage with us.

    We’ve talked things through with the neighbours, but not to our complete satisfaction and we’re still concerned about the whole project. Our small rear garden is slate tiled and we don’t know what the new foundations being dug right up to it will mean, for instance.

    And, as it turns out, the mid-terrace neighbours on the other side share similar concerns – essentially all stemming from vague and incomplete information from both the neighbours (and their team) and Hounslow council.

    It seems where party wall work is being done, those doing the work are obliged to pay for an independent party wall survey for any affected neighbours, if they want one – and it sounds like we need one to sort out what’s so far looking like a potential mess.

    So has anyone had a good experience with a party wall surveyor who they can recommend?

  • Planning / permitted development is separate to party wall rights / legislation so council not relevant here as long as they build to the approved drawings.

    On Party wall - they build directly on the line of junction (so half of the wall on your side), up to it, or just inside. Building directly on the line actually has the benefit that in future you could enclose upon that wall with your own extension in an easier manner than otherwise.

    Whatever they want to do tho - is all covered by the party wall act. They must inform you offically in writing (serve you a notice) and give you time to respond (often done by a party wall surveyor) . Then on the basis that you don't tick the "sure go ahead" box - you either accept to share their proposed surveyor (cheaper for them) or refuse that, find your own and your neighbour is obliged to pay your surveyor's costs in addition to theirs. The surveyors agree the "party wall award/s" and it become legal . This will include what wall where on what foundations and with what build methodology. It will(should) also include condition surveys of your house and land before construction to cover you should big cracks appear after or during etc.

    I assume they would propose to cantilever a wall foundation so it is only on their side of the boundary unless you are agreeing to share the wall.

    Mechanism for agreeing their access onto your land to complete the work is also part of the award.

    Other might have more "west" london recommend's but i've used these guys for projects (more outer north west based) but they apparently work all over. They were nice to work with.
    https://www.woodwardsurveyors.co.uk/abou­t-us/

  • Amazing – thank you!

    The wall will ('should') be right on the party line. That's what started off the problems – the designs showed it over the line on our property.

    The council didn't care about that, and that's where things started to unravel. If the council don't care about plans that are wrong, where do we stand once something is being built?

    Thankfully, that issue seems to have been resolved with the neighbours, but we're still concerned about the apparent lack of attention to detail for everything else we've seen so far – hence the need for independent expert opinion.

  • but we're still concerned about the apparent lack of attention to detail for everything else we've seen so far – hence the need for independent expert opinion.

    You can use that as an excuse for getting them to cough up for your party wall surveyor.

  • Bit hard without understanding the drawings / property etc but...

    From both a planning and party wall perspective the absolute maximum acceptable is for the centre line of the new wall to align with the centre line of the property boundary -essentially an extension of the existing party wall that your properties already share - so this is
    approx 150mm on your land.

    Beyond that and they are building on land no sole owned by them (which is part of a planning declaration).

    They cannot build anything without a party wall award which is the process to tie this all down. If they were to build it taller than the drawings/PD rights or significantly beyond the boundary line onto your property then I guess it's a candidate for planning enforcement.

  • where do we stand once something is being built?

    Right next to it with a big sledgehammer

  • I'm not sure a plan will help much, but here's a rough one to show how things stand. The original drawings had the boundary line (and new party wall) as being across the actual boundary line by some margin – I now wonder if that was intentional, given the '150mm' comment. So that means they're allowed to build into our garden, reducing its already meagre square footage?

    These are old two-up-two-down terraces, btw, to give an idea of house and garden widths.

    We already have a single-storey extension that extends into our garden – and, in fact, so do the neighbours – it's currently a mirror image of ours. They're just rebuilding it (still single storey) to go right up to the boundary line, which we think will reduce the amount of light coming into our back room (it opens onto the garden via patio doors). I don't think there's any getting around that, so it's really just the impact on us of the foundation digging that's a concern.

    Their surveyor won't deal with us at all – leaving us no option but to appoint our own at their expense, it seems.

    A party wall award hasn't been issued yet. Neither a surveyor nor a planning officer has visited the site yet, so all we have so far is a formal notice of the planned works, asking us to consent or reject within 14 days.


    1 Attachment

    • Planning.jpg
  • They aren't allowed to build on your property because it belongs to you, but the legal ownership of land is not something that can be taken into consideration in the planning process. Having planning permission doesn't override your right to not have them building on your land.

  • They may be intending to build the new wall straddling the boundary. A condition of that might be that you can then use the same wall if you extend further, which can be helpful.
    (you're entitled to not agree to them doing that though)

    They probably shouldn't be hoping to just grab a bit of your garden or build a wall entirely on your side though.

  • Planning permission isn't even linked to ownership of the land. You could apply for planning permission for the neighbour's garden if you wanted.

  • A party wall award hasn't been issued yet. Neither a surveyor nor a planning officer has visited the site yet, so all we have so far is a formal notice of the planned works, asking us to consent or reject within 14 days.

    I guess if you have concerns then dissent and appoint your own surveyor at their expense. They will work with the neighbours surveyor to get the detail of the award sorted so the work can go ahead.

    Would have thought it’s fairly unlikely to stop them from doing the work - if it’s permitted it’s going to happen anyway, all you are doing is delaying them and inflicting further costs on them. But maybe that’s what you want. You might feel that with another surveyor involved your interests are better protected and you might be correct on that.

  • Their planning application will reflect their design, which appears to assume a Party Wall Notice will be issued to you, and that you will not dispute it.
    If they don't issue you with a PW Notice you can either apply for an injunction to stop them working (spendy and boring) or knock down any part of their wall that sits on your land (quite cheap and a lot more fun).

  • This is correct assuming the applicant serves the correct certificate as part of the Planning Application.

    @Adlopa post suggests that the incorrect boundary line was shown on the planning drawings suggesting the incorrect certificate was completed. This is important for the classification of the proposed wall and one for the party wall surveyors to agree as part of the award.

    @Adlopa post also suggests that a Thames Water build-over application might be needed and worth asking your soon-to-be-appointed party wall surveyor to check.

  • formal notice of the planned works

    As in a party wall notice I assume ? This is the process that kicks of the party wall biz. ie. You reject and then either share a surveyor or appoint your own at their cost.

    "Rights to light" are a separate civil matter and you could go down this route - getting a survey / assessment etc. if you do have grounds you can submit a Light Obstruction Notice . It might all end up in court.

    Back to PD - there is this I guess .. does not comply if ....

    (b) as a result of the works, the total area of ground covered by buildings within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse (other than the original dwellinghouse) would exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage (excluding the ground area of the original dwellinghouse)

    if it was in contravention then the council really should have picked that up on the lawful dev submission - But you never know.

  • What did you cut them with? They’re pretty solid.

  • I’m looking for a good builder in North London to refurb and tidy up a small terrace house. It’s a mixed bag of work, nothing structural, stuff like resizing and replacing windows and doors, replacing a rotten porch, some brickwork repair, installing utility, replacing bath with shower, rerouting plumbing & moving radiators, replace extension roof/skylights plastering and decorating.

    I’m looking for a builder who can subcontract the other trades and project manage. I’ve spoken to @Velocio’s guy but he’s not taking on more work right now. Can anyone recommend someone?

  • Circular saw, a cut from either side.

  • Update on our missing hundreds of thousands: our solicitors wrote to the Nationwide's mortgage redemption team on Monday. They aren't a customer facing team, so I've rang three times now and all they can tell me is that the monies have not been received.

    They did explain to me what actually needs to happen for them to get the monies - solicitors need to check with their bank that the payments went through, and that they put the account number in the payment reference for each of our four mortgages. So I have just relayed this to the solicitors and told them to sort it out urgently.

    Urge to strangle is still strong if I'm honest.

  • I'd be sitting in the solicitors office reception with a sleeping bag by now.

  • Maybe it's me just being a bit blasé, but why bother?

    The liability is with the solicitors entirely - It almost has nothing to do with you, to the extent that if you did nothing about it, it would be resolved either way,

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Owning your own home

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