Party wall problem Kensington.

adjoining owner, General Questions on Party Wall, Latest Newson October 24th, 20121 Comment

Recently I engaged a roofer to do some work on my roof in Kensington; my neighbour who I don’t have a great relationship with, complained about the scaffolding, then enquired whether we had party wall approval to do the works. My roofers told me that I didn’t need to have a party wall agreement for the works they are doing as they aren’t doing work to the party wall, they are merely changing tiles. For your information the tiles do cross over the party wall as they join the neighbour’s roof. Please can you tell me where I stand on this matter.

One Response to “Party wall problem Kensington.”

  1. London Party Wall Surveyor says:

    There was a case heard in the Court of Appeal in 1991: Alcock -v- Wraith & Swinhoe which dealt with the matter of damage following such roofing works. The decision and judgement included the following ” …I can see no satisfactory distinction between interfering with a party wall or with a floor on the one hand and interfering with the edge of a contiguous roof on the other hand.
    …the judgement should be upheld on the ground that because the work neccessarily involved interference with the joint between the two roofs…..”

    The case also determined that the Building Owner (in this case YOU) had a non-delegable duty to the Adjoining Owner (your neighbour) and if the builder caused damage to the neighbours property it would be YOUR legal responsibility to indemify your neighbour. (You may have some prospect of recovery against the builder but your risk)

    You should serve notice 2 months before removing tiles over the party wall. If the neighbour dissents or does not respond after 14 days. Surveyor(s) should be appointed and award made authorising the works and setting out thr rights and obligations in the matter.

    Putting the technicalities to one side. If you intend to remove tiles from your neighbours pproperty, with the attendat risk that damage may occurr to his property, and if you intend to (or the builder intends to) alter the detail where the roofs join each other, basic common sense and fairness should dictate that the neighbours interests should be represented in these events.

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