Building Works in a Leased Property

building works

Construction and Building Works, Health Issues and Noise

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 says that “noise emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance” from building works is unacceptable, so before you go ahead and start your construction works and any building works at your leased property, take steps to minimize a potential statutory noise nuisance order by your local authority.  Consider first the following

  • Exactly what works are being planned
  • The noise level anticipated
  • Tools to be used for your planned works
  • Time/hours of day for your planned works

What Does Your Lease Agreement Say?

You first should check your lease agreement and see if you are entitled to undertake any alterations or repairs in the property and of course you will be paying for those alterations or repairs.  If the lease agreement does not specify any consent, you need a written consent from the freeholder or landlord.  Undoubtedly the freeholder will ascertain any alterations or repairs will improve the state of the property and will not cause any further damages.  So be prepared to show documentation of your planned work.  A surveyor will be your best bet when it comes to planned works as they will help you spot any dangers and also will help you ensure that works will not affect the foundation and will definitely create improvements in the property.

building works

Once you have consent for building works to be carried out at your leased property, you should contact your local authority and give your neighbours a heads up.  Understand that if you are planning major work in your property, such as an existing party wall or party structure, you want to build a new wall or cut into a wall or knock down walls and chimneys, you must give your neighbours enough notice because of any potential disturbances that will affect their day to day living in their home, particularly if they work from home, or if your neighbours are nearby businesses that could potentially be seriously affected.

Be sure to make it clear to the property’s freeholder, your neighbours and most importantly the local authority exactly what work will be done, how it’ll be done and what steps you’ve taken in order to minimize the noise or nuisance to your neighbours. Your locally authority will work with you and give you a comprehensive information notice that will specify for instance what hours of day you can carry out building works:

  • Monday to Friday – 8am until 6pm
  • Saturday – 8am until 1pm
  • Sunday and Bank Holidays – no noisy equipment should operate

building works

If you begin works and your neighbours or any businesses nearby are affected, they could potentially raise a complaint against you to the local authority.  If your local authority serves a notice, because you’re carrying out construction or demolition works without taking any measures, they will serve you with a statutory noise nuisance notice.  If you fail to comply with your local authority’s notice, you could be prosecuted and heavily fined.

Help From a Solicitor and Surveyor

Do you need help with advice on building works in a leased property?  We can review the lease agreement, work on your behalf to liaise with the freeholder, obtain planning permission, provide you with a qualified surveyor, contact your local authority and advise you in ensuring your neighbours are unaffected by works in your property. By Sandra Garcao

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