Which Property Owner Is Responsible For The Firebreak In Roof Loft Areas? | Checkatrade
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Which property owner is responsible for the firebreak in roof loft areas?

Firebreaks, firewalls and fire barriers are designed to protect you and your property in the case that your neighbour’s house sets on fire. Essentially, the idea is to stop the fire from spreading and impacting your property too.

But which property owner is responsible for the firebreak in roof loft areas?

Which property owner is responsible for the firebreak in roof loft areas?

If you have a firewall in your roof loft separating you from the house next door, you might be wondering who is responsible for maintaining it – is it your responsibility or your neighbour’s?

Well, that depends entirely on your title deeds and whether the wall is a party wall. A party wall is a wall that’s shared between you and your neighbour – it’s owned by you both and it’s both your responsibility to maintain and repair it.

Usually, you’ll each take responsibility for your own side of the wall. However, if the wall is in bad condition and needs to be repaired, you can split the costs between you.

Equally, if one of you is responsible for damaging the wall, it would usually be expected that the person responsible would pay for the repairs.

The Party Wall Act sets out exactly who’s responsible for what when it comes to a shared wall in the UK, and is a great source of information if you’re unsure.

What happens if there is no firewall in the loft?

Thanks to modern building regulations, the loft spaces in new terraced and semi-detached homes are now separated by firewalls.

But what happens if you have an older property that has no firewall in the loft?

Well, this isn’t uncommon – in fact, it was commonplace not so long ago for whole rows of terraced houses to share a single loft space!

If your loft has no firewall separating your property from your neighbour’s, there’s no legal requirement to install one retrospectively. However, you might want to install a firebreak for safety reasons. Not to mention the fact that if there’s no wall dividing your loft from your neighbour’s, you might like to install one for privacy and security reasons as well!

We’d recommend chatting with your neighbour and using a Party Wall Agreement to make sure that everyone is on board with the work.

It’s unlikely that you could force your neighbour to contribute financially to the building of a firewall. But it’s doubtful that they could prevent you from building one either. Hopefully, if you’re both on board with it and can come to a mutual agreement then that keeps everyone happy!

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