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Can My Neighbours Stop My Loft Conversion?

A loft conversion can be a great way to improve your home and offer more living space to the family. Whether you want a new bathroom, bedroom or additional storage space, a loft conversion can be a great option.

Homes across the UK have been getting loft conversions for decades now due to the benefits they can provide, and our company offers this work to all regions.

As a leading loft conversion company, we have worked on many homes in the UK to provide more space. We get a lot of questions about the work we do, with the most common being, ‘can my neighbour stop a loft conversion from taking place?’

Loft conversions are an investment and can improve your home when done right, so any interruptions or prevention should be noted in the early stages. It makes sense for you to be concerned about your neighbours when getting a loft conversion because this work can interrupt their homes for a while, and based on where you live, they may have a say.

Our company has worked on many a loft conversion project over the years and works with all kinds of properties across the country. This has given us a lot of experience in loft conversions and planning permission regulations, ensuring we can help with all needs.

A loft conversion can completely transform your home and increase the value of your property when it is done right. Our team covers all needs, including flooring, windows, and stairs, to ensure you get the best kind of loft conversion for your home.

In general, you do not need your neighbours’ permission for a loft conversion. Likewise, planning permission is not always required for most loft conversions, but this can vary based on your region, the kind of home you own and the local building regulations in place.

In this guide, we are not only sharing the work we can provide for loft conversions but also answering the common question of can my neighbour stop a loft conversion.


Why Get A Loft Conversion?

There are many reasons why you may be considering getting a loft conversion done to your home. This can be a great way to improve the living conditions for your family in your home, as well as increase the value of the property when it is done right.

There is a lot of floor space that may be misused or ignored in the roof, and a loft conversion can help with this. While many people consider a loft conversion to be a way of adding a new room to the home, it can create a whole new floor based on the size of the building.

On this floor, we can create several room spaces based on your needs, as well as install stairs for easy access.

Creating a new floor with a loft conversion can create a new bedroom and bathroom in the home, which will significantly increase the value of your property.

As a loft conversion can take a lot of work, it makes sense for you to ask, ‘can my neighbour stop this building work from taking place’ and you are not the only one.

How Does the Party Wall Act Work?

When it comes to loft conversions, the party wall agreement may come into play.

The Party Wall Agreement is a legal document that provides written consent from two parties related to construction work, such as loft conversions, and whether they can take place. This legal document is required for various forms of construction work if it affects a shared wall or structure.

Any kind of structural alterations that are done to shared walls, also known as party walls, may require these written documents. This includes minor jobs as well as larger construction projects like a loft conversion in some circumstances if it involves the party wall.

Do loft conversions need a party wall agreement?

Before booking a construction team like ours to perform a loft conversion, you will need to think about any party walls which may be affected by this work.

It is common for a terraced house, for example, to have more party walls than detached properties, and this can interfere with when work can begin or whether a loft conversion can be done at all. This is why when you are planning a loft conversion, it is a good idea to get the team to come to your home and assess any party wall that may be present and how this will impact the project.

Our team offers on-site surveys for all our customers and will come to assess where there may be a party wall, as well as supporting beams or any other structural feature which may interfere with loft conversion plans. This is when we will determine whether any of the work on your loft conversion is going to interfere with a structure shared with neighbours and, therefore, whether a party wall agreement is required.

In accordance with the Party Wall Act, of 1996, you need to ask for your neighbours’ permission for a loft conversion if it impacts a party wall between your house and the neighbours.

Your neighbours can and may reject this, much like they may reject any planning permission that is required for your work.

Those living in a detached house do not need an agreement before a loft conversion can take place, according to the Party Wall Act.

How Do I Get A Party Wall Agreement?

To get a Party Wall Agreement, you need to inform your neighbours that work will begin in your loft space. In this meeting, you should provide them with the legal document that they need to sign and ask for their permission.

Under the Party Wall Act, which affects all homes across the UK that are part detached properties, you legally need to get the written consent of your neighbours before work can begin. While you need to provide written documents to the local council, it is a good idea to speak with your neighbours in person as well before this.

Speaking to your neighbours regarding the party wall agreement is a polite thing to do and can increase the likelihood of an agreement to these terms. Having this agreement sprung upon you without notice can be jarring and may impact their decision, which is why speaking to your shared wall neighbours beforehand is a good idea.

This makes them feel more comfortable with your request and can make them more likely to agree.

What To Do If Your Party Wall Notice Gets Rejected

Regardless of what you do, your neighbours are legally allowed to reject any request for a loft conversion or construction work that affects a wall shared between your properties.

This affects any terraced or semi-detached property across the UK.

For your neighbours to stop the loft conversion from taking place, they need to respond within 14 days of your request and have a valid reason for doing so.

If an agreement cannot be reached between neighbours, then you need to hire a Party Wall surveyor if they have not already been employed. The surveyor is the one who can settle any disputes and help neighbours come to an agreement if this is possible. These people work as impartial mediators and will set out the details from both parties to determine an agreement.

In most cases, the same Party Wall surveyor will be used by both neighbours, but another can be employed at an additional expense. If these surveyors cannot come to an agreement, the case can be taken to court.

Construction cannot be prevented in buildings when there is no legal reason for this. This means that in most cases, a loft conversion can go ahead as long as you follow the Party Wall Agreement, and unless you are seriously impacting your neighbour’s space, this will not be an issue.

While loft conversions can be big jobs, they do not usually impact the neighbours this much, so most fit within the permitted development rights and can go ahead.

What You Must Tell Your Neighbours

You need to speak to your neighbours before a loft conversion if:

  • The building work is taking place on or at the boundary of two joined properties

  • you are working on the party wall

There are various ways this may come into play when expanding the loft space, such as:

  • cutting into the party wall

  • changing the party wall in some way, such as expanding, deepening or making it shorter

  • removing a chimney from the shared wall

  • knocking down or removing the party wall

  • building a new party wall

If your loft conversion involves any of these movements, then you will need to inform your neighbours.

Your neighbours do not need to be informed of things such as plastering, rewiring, socket installation or expanding the loft space, as this does not affect their property or the stud walls shared between the two.

It is possible to have a new loft done using only these small constructions, and there are many ways you can create extra space in the loft without impacting your neighbours.

As a leading loft conversion company, we can provide any kind of loft conversion to suit your needs and can help you create extra room at home without impacting your neighbours.

For example, simply adding a roof light, installing a new staircase or adding underfloor heating to this space can make it a new room without impacting your neighbours in any way. As long as the roof reaches the minimum height required for a comfortable living space, we can even work on a flat roof without impacting your neighbours’ rights.

What happens if planning permission is not granted?

In most cases, a loft conversion fits in with building regulations which means planning permission is not required.

If we are not changing the roof structure, working in a conservation area, or changing the way your home looks, then we do not require planning permission before converting the loft. There are many ways that you can improve the roof space and get extra space in your home without requiring planning permission.

The most popular type of loft conversion is mansard conversions, and these do not usually require loft conversions which means there are no grounds for neighbours to stop the work from taking place.

However, if your building is within a conservation area, then permission may be needed.

While a loft conversion is usually within the permitted development of most properties, the alteration to the home, which can involve cutting the roof, changing the roof structure and the overall appearance of your house, may need permission. Homes in conservation areas across the UK have stricter regulations in place regarding the way their home looks and what construction work can be done to ensure the area remains attractive.

Under these circumstances, neighbours stop the work from taking place by not granting permission.

However, as most loft conversions fit in with the building regulations across the UK, this is not likely to happen unless you are adding dormer roof windows to your home.

A roof window can improve the loft space available by bringing in more natural light to the roof, but this may need permission if you are expanding on the property, such as installing a dormer window.

When converting the loft in this way, we usually install roof windows directly onto the roof trusses to ensure it remains within building regulations, so permission is not required.

This is why it is worth noting what kind of loft conversion you want to do before contacting any construction team and determining how this will affect your neighbours.

Many adjustments can be made to your home without impacting the neighbours, such as installing a spiral staircase from the first floor to the loft, the installation of a roof light, or installing new flooring.

With our years of experience, we can provide a loft conversion for any property, from semi-detached to terraced housing, that fits in with building regulations and will be able to go ahead regardless.

What Services Do You Offer?

A loft conversion can transform your home, and we are a leading provider of them in the UK.

No matter what kind of property you live in or the kind of roof that currently exists, it is possible to expand the loft space and improve your current living conditions. Whether you are needing more storage space or want to create a new room in your home, we can help.

A loft conversion can save the need for you to move into a new house as it can offer more space and create extra rooms in the home. This can be used as a master bedroom, additional storage space, or even a guest area with a bathroom which can not only improve your current living conditions but also the value of your property significantly.

Over the years, we have worked on all kinds of lofts and seen people transform their homes in amazing ways. Our company provides a complete service when it comes to roof conversion projects, providing not only the planning but also the construction work and interior design.

Our team will work on the installation of all features, including walls, flooring, fire doors, windows, and even the stairs, as a new staircase will be required to get into the loft.

Summary

The question ‘can my neighbour stop a loft conversion’ can offer different answers based on your location and the kind of work you want to do.

In most cases, a loft conversion does not impact your neighbours or your permitted development rights because it is simply improving a room that already exists. If there is already sufficient head height in the loft, then there is even less work to be done which eradicates the need for permission in the first place.

We offer a range of services to ensure that everyone can improve their home in some way. Even a simple installation of a roof light, which brings in higher temperatures during the warmer months and keeps the room bright during sunlight hours, can make a huge difference to your property and can be done without permission in most cases.

Permission from your neighbours will only be required if you are working with a shared wall or structure.

Get In Touch

As a leading loft conversion company, we can provide the best service for you and help ensure work will go ahead even when dealing with neighbours.

To learn more about the work we do, do not hesitate to get in touch with the team today and let us help you.

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