Q&A - Can I charge neighbour to use my extension wall as a party wall?

26/01/2015

Q:  I live in a terraced house. Five years ago I got planning permission to extend my kitchen with the extension wall against the neighbouring property being built right up to the boundary. Now my neighbours want to do the same and have asked whether they can use my wall as a party wall to save themselves some space and money.

In principle I don’t have any objection but I am wondering whether I can charge them for the privilege and, if so, what sort of figure I should be asking for, for example, should I be looking at a percentage of the build cost?

A:  If the wall of your extension is wholly on your side of the boundary line it will not be classed as a party wall, in which case your neighbour cannot use the provisions of Section 2 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 to lawfully make use of your wall. If this is the situation you are under no obligation to agree to their request.

Whilst you may decide to enter into a formal agreement to allow the wall of your extension to be enclosed for their benefit, you would need to get the agreement of your lender if your property is subject to a mortgage. They may insist on certain conditions if this affects their security.

Any compensation payable would be a matter of negotiation to reflect the premium your neighbour places upon their proposed extension and the potential detriment to your own property as a result of the enclosure. If however compensation was worked out using the formula under the Part Wall etc. Act 1996, it would be half of the current cost of building the section of the wall being enclosed.

Rodney Waters

Rodney Waters

Senior Solicitor

Part our of Civil Litigation and Personal Injury team in Wrexham