Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

16 posts
BellaB
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2018
Options:
Share this post on:

Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby BellaB » Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:51 pm

I wonder if anyone can help me with this one? My upstairs neighbour has applied for planning permission to carry out a loft conversion which seems pretty standard by the looks of things. There will be a Party Wall Agreement. However he tells me that there he will need to have scaffolding put up in my back garden and that his builders will need access through my flat for a 3 month period June / September approximately while the build is taking place. He is the freeholder of the building and I am a leaseholder. The only access to the garden is through my flat. It is areal worry to me since I have just had my flat refurbished including brand new wooden flooring etc and I had the little back garden landscaped. I work all day and don't want strangers having free access to my home while I am not there. Can anyone help me?
Post Reply
Quote
Kyoung78
Posts: 33
Joined: Aug 2014
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby Kyoung78 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:20 am

I am sorry but I would not feel comfortable at all having builders not employed by me having free access to my property when I am not at home and would not agree to this. Cant they access the roof from the front of their own property? I don't know too much about scaffolding and suspect this is more expensive to do but your neighbours cannot expect you to leave your flat open whilst you are at work. What happens if anything is stolen or damaged and you are not at home.

In terms of the scaffolding in the back garden - our neighbours kindly agreed to some up stands in their garden (but they could access our garden through our own house so it wasn't all the scaffolding in their garden) and we agreed with them that we would make good any damage and pay for a gardener to tidy up their garden at the end of the works (and we also gave them a nice bottle of Champagne at the end to say thank you). I would get agreement as part of the party wall survey to take photos of the current condition of the garden at the start of the works, and agree with your neighbour that permission to put scaffolding up in your garden is dependant on an agreement to put right any damage to the garden that happens during the build as a result of the works.

Good luck!
Post Reply
Quote
Rebecca_Educator
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2017
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby Rebecca_Educator » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:45 pm

I had a similar quandary a number of years ago. I put my foot down and asked them to find another solution, which they did. They managed the whole conversion from scaffolding at the front and over the roof.

You absolutely do not want people going in and out of your private home for 3 months! What happens if you are unwell st home, or you have a friend staying or you have time off and you just want to be at home?
Every day you will also be dealing with dust and grit because even if they put those cloths down there will inevitably be plenty being blown about,. Essentially, you will be fully involved in the building works, with no benefit at the end. A bottle of champagne is nothing compared to losing the freedom to be private in your own home all that time.
There is another way but it may cost them a bit more but to use your home as the entry and exit for the rear scaffolding is too much!
GoodLuck.
Post Reply
Quote
BellaB
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2018
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby BellaB » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:28 pm

I already feel better having read these two responses! Thank you! So I will definitely not allow my neighbours access through my flat but am I right in thinking that I may not even have to allow scaffolding in my garden? Could the scaffolding just be at the front with their builders accessing over the roof? That would be wonderful!! Has anyone achieved that? This is a brilliant forum! Well done Nappy Valley!
Post Reply
Quote
NYE31
Posts: 733
Joined: Dec 2010
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby NYE31 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:21 pm

You don't have to have any scaffolding in your garden or access through your flat. I'm not sure what the means of contact has been to date but I would set out in a letter or email that you do not wish to have any scaffolding or disruption in your garden & ask him to carry out the works with scaffolding & access from the front. Even with this, you will face a lot of noise & disruption over the 3 months. Having lived in a ground floor flat some years ago, with upstairs neighbours doing major renovations, you need to be really firm from the outset.
Post Reply
Quote
BellaB
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2018
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby BellaB » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:56 pm

This just keeps getting better! Thank you so much! I have been sick with worry about it for a week now and can’t tell you all how much you have helped me.

Can I ask you experienced hands one more question? What would you consider to be reasonable hours of work for these builders? They are proposing 7am until 5pm 6 days a week for potentially 3 months June / September . I am getting braver thanks to you all. My Summer er is going to be ruined but maybe I can salvage my weekends and evenings at least? Thoughts anyone? Can I impose hours of work?
Post Reply
Quote
Kyoung78
Posts: 33
Joined: Aug 2014
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby Kyoung78 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:06 pm

According to Wandsworth Councils policies builders are only allowed to work the following hours where residential occupiers are likely to be affected by noise, the hours of noisy works are restricted to:-

Monday – Friday 8.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.
Saturday - 8.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
Sunday and Bank Holidays - No noisy activities on site

Here is the link to the documents and policy on the Wandsworth Council website and is item 5.1 on page 6 of the document. http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/downloads/ ... tion_sites
Post Reply
Quote
MrsOctober
Posts: 120
Joined: May 2011
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby MrsOctober » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:12 pm

Please PM me? I’ve been in exactly the same position as you. I owned the downstairs flat and front and back gardens. Upstairs neighbour acquired the freehold (secretly. But that’s another story) He then informed me he was doing a loft conversion and would be erecting scaffolding front and rear. He also informed me that the scaffolders would need access through my flat.
I immediately found a specialist lawyer who examined the wording of the lease and wrote back to my upstairs neighbour informing him that he only had the right to ‘necessary’ scaffolding and that because the work could be carried out with front scaffolding only, the scaffolding at the back was not deemed necessary and was therefore not going to be permitted. We also insisted on being compensated for the two parking spaces he would be blocking with his scaffolding at the front. And insisted on a scaffolding licence and seeing all appropriate insurances. He didn’t do the work and sold the flat.
The new buyer was absolutely lovely and didn’t assume she could do anything without asking properly. In the end we gave her permission for the scaffolding. She paid for two permits for the cars she displaced. Her builders were quick and courteous and they gained access through the next door neighbour’s side alley. A word of warning, on the two occasions they needed access to the downstairs flat they left muddy footprints in every room and dirty handprints on curtains, walls and doors. Never let other people’s builders in to your property without the strictest supervision. Your starting point is your lease. You need to find out exactly what it says your freeholder is entitled to do. If you need a wonderful property lawyer call Ash Oberoi at HPLP in EC1. Good luck.
Post Reply
Quote
janee
Posts: 88
Joined: Dec 2010
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby janee » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:37 am

You do need to check your lease very carefully. When I bought my house I had access to my back door from the road by way of a carpark for a business building behind the house. The new occupants to that building wanted to fence off the access. I was able to claim a right of way (going back to about 1910!) and have now a legal agreement giving me a side access - the fence was put 1 meter into the neighbouring land.

There may be conditions in your lease which allow access under certain circumstances, if not, then they cannot insist, although there would be circumstances such as work to secure the safety of the whole building or maintenance of the exterior wall for which it would be unreasonable to refuse.
Post Reply
Quote
MonkeySee
Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2013
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby MonkeySee » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:42 am

builders are only allowed to work the following hours where residential occupiers are likely to be affected by noise
Just to say that they may get around this by arriving on site at 7, doing busy work for an hour but not starting the power tools until 8.

I'd reply that you expect the work to adhere to the hours set out for noise control so that if they are yelling back and forth at 7am you can raise it as an issue.
Post Reply
Quote
mdh
Posts: 21
Joined: Apr 2017
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby mdh » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:06 am

Hi Bella

I would recommend talking to my property lawyer, he covers owners and tenants leasehold issues.
Is always happy to take a phone call and give you advice .Cost of a phone call is nothing and will hopefully point you in the right direction.

Contact Ben Colenut on 07747695301.

Good luck.
Martin
Post Reply
Quote
nannyS
Posts: 164
Joined: Nov 2010
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby nannyS » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:05 pm

Hi there.

Can any of you guys help? One of the flats above us (who are leaseholders like us) have been given permission by our freeholder to extend into their loft. To do this, they need to put scaffolding on our property. This would mean months and months of misery for us. Do we have to allow this? It's not essential maintenance work, it's purely to improve their flat.
Has anyone else been in this situation, please? Thanks.
Post Reply
Quote
CatCatDog
Posts: 18
Joined: Apr 2017
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby CatCatDog » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:05 pm

Thanks you nannyS!
Post Reply
Quote
chorister
Posts: 120
Joined: Oct 2016
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby chorister » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:31 am

Have you actually sat down and had a chat about your worries over a glass of wine?

Perhaps part of your consideration should be whether you expect to have to live with them as neighbours for any length of time when all this is over.  You may end up swapping three months of avoiding disruption and worry for years of hostility and bad relations with your ultimate landlord.
Post Reply
Quote
rooting4tooting
Posts: 317
Joined: Feb 2012
Options:
Share this post on:

Re: Giving access to upstairs neighbour carrying out a loft conversion

Postby rooting4tooting » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:04 pm

read your lease!!!
even if he is the freeholder, his flat will have a lease (why it's not a shared freehold is another story)
do they own the loft? being given permission to build.. does that mean their lease has been varied? in that case so should have yours. if they convert the loft, are they taking responsibility for all future roof maintenance? why should you?
A party wall agreement will not be enough. A full structural survey will need to be carried out even if the house is terraced. If there is a Victorian bay window it cannot be built on as they rarely have the same foundation as the rest of the house.
If they proceed, I would sell.
Post Reply
Quote