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Building work: how to avoid driving your neighbours up the wall – The Guardian

Everybody needs good neighbours. And that’s never more true than when you are renovating your home. Moving in a skip, or a tribe of builders for a few weeks, or even months, can test the strongest of friendship…….

Everybody needs good neighbours. And that’s never more true than when you are renovating your home. Moving in a skip, or a tribe of builders for a few weeks, or even months, can test the strongest of friendships – so what can you do to keep relations good?

On the right side of the party wall

If you are carrying out construction or excavation work on a boundary, or land close to neighbours’ homes, or undertaking building work that involves adjoining or shared walls, you may be required by law under the Party Wall Act 1996 to serve a notice, typically at least two months before the job begins.

You can serve the notice yourself using the free example “party structure notice” letter on gov.uk, or pay a party wall surveyor to do it for you – this normally costs a small fixed fee of about £100 or less.

But first, speak to your neighbours and find out whether they are comfortable consenting to the notice or if they want a party wall surveyor to draw up an award. This will dictate how the building work covered by the act should be carried out, and you will pay for it to be drawn up.

A good first step is to share the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) party wall consumer guide with your neighbour, which explains the process.

Building work going on next door can test the strongest of friendships. Photograph: Chris Pancewicz/Alamy

If they then want to hire a party wall surveyor, ask them whether you can come up with a shortlist together, and agree on a single one you are both happy with, to act impartially for both of you. You should then ask that surveyor to serve your notice.

If you fail to agree on a single surveyor, then you, as the homeowner carrying out the work, will have to pay for two: one for you and one for your neighbour.

Most surveyors charge between £100 and £200 an hour to draw up a party wall award, depending on where you live, and you may have more than one neighbour you need to serve a notice to, so costs can easily run into thousands.

Always try to agree on a surveyor who is a …….

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2022/apr/02/building-work-neighbours-wall-home-renovations

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