Once your plans have been submitted to the council, it’s best to get started on your party wall agreements. These need to be arranged with any neighbours you share a wall with, as the steel beams for your new loft will cut into the wall you share. If you do not share a wall with a neighbouring property, i.e. if your property is detached, the Party Wall Act will not apply to the work you are doing.
Two (2) months before you intend to start work on your project you need to let your neighbour/s know in writing of your intentions. If the neighbouring property is divided into flats, a notice needs to be served on the freeholder as well as any leaseholders.
Party Wall Agreements can be done by simply asking your neighbours to sign a letter allowing you to progress with your project, however this is not always possible.
If your neighbours will sign your notice giving permission for you to do the work, you do not need to do anything further. If on the other hand they don’t agree, they will need to engage a Party Wall Surveyor to act on their behalf. If this happens, you will also need to appoint a surveyor to act for you. As you are responsible for paying for both the surveyors, it is sensible (where possible) to agree to use the same company to keep your costs down.
As the party wall process can take up to two (2) months if you have a difficult neighbour, it is best to get this process started as soon as possible.