Building Regulations - Party Wall
Any work on walls that you have in common with your neighbours, when converting a loft in a semi-detached or terrace house, needs to conform to the regulations in the 'The Party Wall etc Act 1996'.
The Act requires 'builder owners' to inform their neighbours of any works being done on a party wall. The Party Wall Act assumes that most neighbours will agree to the works, and in fact neighbours cannot stop you carrying out the loft conversion, but can influence how and when the work is carried out.
If your neighbour disputes the work you intend to carry out, and so refuses to fill out the counterpart on a Party Structure Notice, then they will need to hire a surveyor who will ensure that any work on the wall is of a suitable standard and act as an independent arbitrator serving the best interests of both yourself and your neighbour. The surveyor will put together a schedule of conditions that need to be maintained on both sides of the wall and return when the job is complete to ensure that these have been met.
It is common for your neighbours to have no issue with the renovations you intend if you explain the proposed job to them clearly and with plenty of notice so we recommend approaching your neighbours in an informal manner as early as possible in the process.
- Planning Portal - The Party Wall etc. Act 1996