Removing a Chimney Breast from a First Floor Flat

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

We live in a first floor conversion flat and are having our chimney breast removed from a party wall and are using gallows brackets to secure it. We have checked that the ground floor flat does not have a gas fire below but do we need to serve a notice to the neighbours adjoined via the party wall?

Answer

Yes, the removal of chimney breasts is notifiable to the owner on the other side of the party wall under section 2(2) of the Act. You will need to serve a Party Structure Notice and the notice period is 2 months.

The owner of the flat below you will have legal rights over the chimney breast that runs through your property. You should not remove it without their consent – that will require a change to both of the leases. If you go ahead and remove it without consent a future owner of the ground floor flat may decide to make use of their fireplace and insist that you reinstate the flue.

Follow-up

So, with regards to getting consent to remove the chimney breast from the owner below, would you advise we do this via the Freehold Management Company?

Answer

That would be a good starting point as they may also want you to apply for a license to alter. Assuming that the owners below consent solicitors would have to make the necessary changes to the leases.