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Can I build an extension without a party wall agreement?

Building an Extension without a Party Wall Agreement – What You Need to Know | Party Wall Solutions

Building an extension to your property is an excellent way to create more space and add value to your home. However, the process of building an extension can be complex, especially when it comes to party wall agreements. But what exactly is a party wall agreement, and can you build an extension without one? This article explores everything you need to know.

What is a Party Wall Agreement?

The agreement is a legal docu that aids between two or more property owners who share a boundary. In the context of building an extension, a party wall agreement is required when the proposed work affects the party wall or structure. This may include building a new wall, removing an existing wall, or carrying out works on a shared chimney, roof, or floor. Party wall act section 2

Do I Need a Party Wall Agreement for My Extension?

The answer depends on the type of extension you are planning and the proximity of your property to your neighbor’s property. If the proposed works do not affect the party wall or structure, you do not need a party wall agreement. However, if the works do affect the party wall or structure, you will need to serve your neighbor(s) with a party wall notice.

The party wall notice should include the details of the proposed works and the start date, and it should be served at least two months before the start of the works. Your neighbor(s) then have the right to respond and either give their consent or raise concerns. If they raise concerns, you will need to appoint a surveyor to act on your behalf and agree on the terms of the party wall agreement.

Advantages of Building an Extension without a Party Wall Agreement

While a party wall agreement can provide legal protection and clarity, it can also be time-consuming and expensive. Building an extension without a party wall agreement may offer the following advantages:

Faster Completion Time: Without the need for a party wall agreement, you can commence the works as soon as you have obtained planning permission and building regulation approval.

Cost Savings: A party wall agreement can be costly, with fees for surveyors, legal advice, and administrative tasks. Building without a party wall agreement can save you significant costs.

Reduced Stress: The process of obtaining a party wall agreement can be stressful and time-consuming. By avoiding this process, you can reduce the stress of the building works and focus on the project itself.

Disadvantages of Building an Extension without a Party Wall Agreement

While building without a party wall agreement may seem like an attractive option, it also comes with potential disadvantages:

Legal Risk: If your works affect the party wall or structure and you do not have a party wall agreement, you may be held liable for any damage caused.

Neighbor Dispute: Building without a party wall agreement may create tension between you and your neighbor(s), especially if they feel that their rights have been infringed.

Lack of Clarity: Without a party wall agreement, there may be ambiguity around the ownership and responsibilities of the party wall or structure.

Building an extension without a party wall agreement is possible, but it comes with risks and challenges. It’s important to consider the nature of your proposed works and the proximity of your property to your neighbor’s property before deciding to forego a party wall agreement. If you’re unsure, seek professional advice from a party wall surveyor or a party wall specialist like Party

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