Party Wall Agreements are just rip-off insurance policies

Adrian Lowery for

One reliable feature of ‘growing up’ – i.e., adopting a widening range of responsibilities that have a questionable balance between reward and sacrifice – is the unpleasant discovery of what things cost.

Getting a quote to have our loft converted some time ago, I thought ‘that’s not too bad actually’. In reality of course the project throws up all sorts of new and extra expenses – which seems to be par for the course for major building work.

I can accept that: what I find harder to accept is the gouging, unjustified charge, the arcane levy. When I bought my property, I was mystified to find a fee for ‘chancel repair indemnity insurance’ on my solicitor’s already unfathomable litany of fees.

‘The moral of the story is – to every quote for major building work you get, budget for 15 per cent on top and be content if it sticks at that,’ says ADRIAN LOWERY.

It was only £80 or so I seem to remember – but it was, I discovered without too much research, still a racket based on fear. 

The fear in this case that your parish church will out of the blue register their right, deriving from the 16th century, to impose a sizeable levy on you in order to repair ‘the bit around the altar’.

Likewise, I now discover, the party wall agreement. This is, for those who haven’t had the pleasure, a…

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