Owning your own home

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  • Set to start on exchange, usually it's term of the mortgage isn't it?

  • Anyone else lucky enough to be with Premier Property Lawyers et al whose web portal eWay has been down for a week? I've been waiting for an update since 11th October and my buyers are getting ready to pull out. Utterly tired of it.

  • I'm stuck in a chain where both our buyer and sellers are using them. Things have come to a grinding halt. We were days away from exchange.

    Lots of complaints on their Twitter feed and has been reported by the press, including the BBC and the Mirror.

    Latest update from their regulator: https://www.clc-uk.org/information-for-c­lients-of-premier-property-lawyers-js-la­w-dc-law-and-advantage-property-lawyers/­

    Doesn't sound hugely promising. Complete nightmare. Appreciate a cyber attack may be difficult to resolve, but their comms have been terrible.

    Feeling pretty stressed about the whole thing, our mortgage offer is due to expire in Jan.

  • Seriously fuck those guys. Were overseeing our mortgage renewal which we started 4-5months before it was due and they still managed to oversail it by 2months. Them (Natasha, I’m looking at you) and their e-way system can >>>>>

  • Woop, offer accepted yesterday. Unusually only 2 offers submitted, one way below asking and ours, £20k below asking. Vendor asked if we could improve slightly, bumped it up £5K. Accepted.
    Which is such a different story to what I’ve been hearing of recent property buying.

  • Thanks! My brain glazed over and forgot I can get it and set it to start in the future (and probably cancel if everything goes belly up).

  • Bastard neighbours/OYOH thread crossover rant.

    Our flat is the top 2 floors of a Victorian terrace and we share the freehold between all 4 flat owners. Our downstairs neighbour is having works done to improve their flat which they assured us did not include the removal of any structural walls. We made sure that we could see the architects drawings before any work started and lo and behold, a structural wall beneath our flat is coming out. There are also changes to the height and position of windows in the flat, I don’t believe these are permitted developments for a flat in Hackney and they certainly don’t have planning approval. At one point he told us that he was planning to put a cantilevered balcony sticking out the back over our downstairs neighbours rear door so that he could bbq outside, which would of course mean that we’d have to close every rear window of our flat and make the balcony unusable for large parts of the summer.

    Insisted on a party wall agreement, of which the surveyor attended our flat on Sunday. No award has yet been received or reviewed by us, yet I just bumped into him in the hallway and “he’ll let us know when works are starting, within the next couple of days”. For clarity, works are starting this week, he’s not planning on notifying us of a future date within the next couple of weeks. Also bumped into an electrician and there are currently the dulcet tones of an angle grinder/circ saw coming up through the floorboards

  • that sounds sketchy. all other freeholders should grant their full permission based on plans and surveyor/engineer positive report (I beam for structural wall ) before anything starts

  • Check the council website for what was submitted, Call the council to say you are concerned about the safety/legitimacy of the works taking place. If you think you need a party wall surveyor then that is your right - so you should let him know

  • Basically he’s opening himself up to a suit if he continues - which will be wholely unpleasant/expensive

  • Nothing has been submitted on the council website. We have been informed verbally that the works to the windows “aren’t happening now, maybe next year”. The movement of one window is on the structural drawings and is almost a necessity as he’s raising a dropped floor and it will be a danger if it doesn’t happen.

    We have mutually appointed a party wall surveyor who has at least been to see our flat, not sure about the flat below who also require a PW agreement. I suppose he’s within his rights to have an electrician in his flat, however the tricky point is at what point do the works officially commence. We have not received the party wall award and from that point should have 14 days to review. Clearly this isn’t intended.

    To further muddy the waters, we do actually want the work completed this side of Christmas as we’re considering moving in the new year (unrelated to this!)

  • if the windows aren't moving or a balcony poking out, no planning permission is required.
    But structural works need to be accepted by the freeholder, in your case, the other sharers.

  • Yes, should have been clearer that these are two separate points.

    The window/balcony chat is an annoyance. Not unhappy if he wants to move/alter windows but would be furious if he puts in a balcony. Therefore want to ensure that he has planning permission before doing either because he will not get planning on an overhanging balcony, overlooking gardens in Hackney on a row of terraced houses where there are no immediate precedents.

    Issue 2 is that works appear to the layman to have commenced without any acceptance from the freeholders or a PW award. The area I’m unsure of is whether he’s able to do all of the other work, including the removal of a non-structural wall before this is awarded, or are the works in question only the structural element?

  • Do you have a leaseholder application process detailed in the building freehold? If so, what are the particulars of this?

    Ultimately, you need to establish what works are taking place now, and what the statutory processes are for these works. Freehold agreement particulars excluding, could your neighbour just be doing internal works that don't require a party wall award?

    Again freehold agreement particulars excluding, it is worth noting that your neighbour can do non-notifiable works without the party wall award in place. Maybe your neighbour's contractor is just trying to get ahead of the works thinking the award will come through during this period. Pretty brazen, and the party wall process can be pretty drawn-out information/neighbours/surveyors depending.

    Communication is obviously key and clearly, your neighbour is lacking in this. It is worth teaming up with the other leaseholders/properties to help apply pressure on your neighbour/contractor to establish the current works and future works programme.

    For reference, Permitted Development rights do not apply to flats, so any external works (moving windows etc.) will need planning permission which clearly has not been approved as yet.

  • The movement of one window is on the structural drawings

    What do the structural drawings show in terms of teh wall removals and supports?

  • i would second this. All freehold sharers are affected by works taking place. Even if he can do non-structural alterations without a PWA, you never know what is down the line with builders around for some time.

    Also you were right to appoint a surveyor for a PWA. old victorian house are built in a way that even non-load beraing walls can affect the stability of the entire edifice. For reference we did some extensive works in our leasehold flat and went the full way to have modifications drawn up in the lease, at great expense. in reference to the comment above , this is because our leasehold contract didn't allow non-structural wors to take place without the freehold agreeing to it.

  • Not sure where to post this - anyone part of a communal/district heating scheme? I want to replace a couple of old cylinders with either just an HIU or a smaller/slimmer/more efficient cylinder (plus HIU?). But I'm not really sure about how go about doing any of this as the options seem to be dependent on a lot of variables. So I'm looking for recommendations for experts to contact, I guess. Anyone dealt with this kind of thing before?

  • I used to, in Surrey Quays.

    Never did anything with the cylinder though, I'm afraid, although we did look at disconnecting entirely (to save money, no less...)

  • Really random moving question - we’ve been left with tonnes ( 5 x refuse sacks + counting) of packing paper. Does anyone have any bright ideas what to do with it beyond simply filling our recycling bin? Seems such a waste just to chuck it…

  • Ask in your neighbourhood facebook group if anyone is moving and if they want it.

  • Good shout.

    (Similarly if anyone on here wants it, they’d be more than welcome - we can store it for a bit if not needed immediately)

  • I also managed to eBay a few bags of used packing chips.

  • House listed for £850k seems to have gone for over £1m. How can agents get value so wrong?

  • Might be a marketing strategy - if you get more people interested then they decide they can bid up… more like eBay than Tesco

  • Yep looking at eBay for the boxes - 5 sacks of semi scrunched up paper seemed more optimistic, but no harm in trying I guess

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Owning your own home

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