Home Working & the Party Wall Act
Since the pandemic struck, the way in which we live our lives has changed almost beyond recognition.
With home working set to become a permanent feature for many people, we look at the Party Wall implications of adaptions to our homes.
Whilst previously our lives were very much based around commuting, socialising, meetings in offices, and shopping, we are now finding ourselves doing all of these things from the comfort of our own home.
The trend to work from home is likely to continue. A study by academics at Cardiff and Southampton Universities reported that nine out of ten employees who have worked at home during lockdown would like to continue doing so in some capacity. These findings were backed by a recent survey for the BBC, with almost all of the UK’s biggest employers questioned reporting that they did not plan to bring staff back to the office full time.
With the change to home working set to become a permanent feature for many people, it is likely to be reflected in adaptions to our homes. Most houses will not have been designed to function as a space where you can work as well as live. This has led to an increasing desire by many home owners’ to improve their property to accommodate a home office or just some more space to be able to cope with the demands of modern life.
Party Wall Implications of Home Working Adaptations
Victorian properties, of which we have many in London, are primed for such adaptations. These can take the form of a loft extension, a rear extension, a garden annex or a basement. The relaxation of planning laws has enabled people to adapt their property with less red tape than ever before, increasing the demand for renovation work.
Even opening up rooms that were previously subdivided with a spine wall, removing a chimney breast or opening up a rear wall with a fully glazed opening can transform a property and create a more functional space for the new pattern of home working.
All of the aforementioned works would typically require a Party Wall Notice to be served on the neighbours. This element of the project should not be overlooked. Failure to comply with the notice obligations and statutory regime of the Party Wall Act can have significant consequences, as we have set out in a previous article.
If you are a Building Owner planning to carry out building works on your property we would strongly recommend that you have your plans checked by a suitably qualified and experienced party wall surveyor before work starts.
We can provide early advice by reviewing proposals and securing the necessary consents and Awards under the Act to allow work to proceed unhindered.
If you are an Adjoining Owner and have received a notice we can advise on how you can best protect your property and manage the Party Wall process.
Further Guidance when appointing a Party Wall Surveyor
For information on how the Party Wall Act affects you as a Building Owner or as an Adjoining Owner, see our Party Wall Fact Sheet. You can also find further information in our Party Wall FAQs. This has been compiled this from questions we are often asked about the Act.
You can also find guidance on choosing a Party Wall Surveyor in our recent news article.
There is some further information in the government’s explanatory booklet on the Party Wall process.
If you are unsure how the Party Wall Act affects your property and want some advice please give us a call. If you would rather we called you instead, please fill in our Contact form and we will be in touch.
For advice direct from one of our Surveyors, please call our Enquiry line on 020 4534 3135
If you are planning work covered by the Act, or if you have received notice of work from a neighbour and want advice on how best to protect your property, please contact :
DD : 020 4534 9339
M : 07803 504 021
Office : 020 4534 3140
To request a call back from one of our Party Wall surveyors, please fill in our Contact Us form.