Work to our Roof has revealed that the shared Parapet between mine and my Neighbour’s House is in a very bad state and needs Renewing. If we can’t reach Agreement regarding Costs, what’s our Position?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

We are having a loft conversion in our semi-detached house for which we have obtained a party wall agreement from our neighbour, but the work of the roof has revealed (we’re not surprised) that the roof parapet between our houses is in a very bad state and needs renewing. This wasn’t covered in the original plans and specifications we gave her. We’re obviously going to talk to her in detail about the need for this work and offer to pay for the whole thing ourselves, but we still anticipate some resistance. If we can’t reach agreement, what’s our position?

Answer

Technically you should serve notice under Section 2(2)(b) of The Party Wall Act – the cost of the repair will then be divided in accordance with Section 11(5) of the Act i.e. depending upon responsibility for the defect or want of repair.
 
If you cannot agree then surveyors will have to be appointed to resolve the dispute but if the damage is caused by weathering it should be obvious that there is equal responsibility.