Do I need a partition for a shared loft?
Michael from Manchester
Surveying Advice questions and answers
I own a semi-detached house with a shared loft at the back extension as the house was built in 1860. Do I need a partition?
Following the trauma of the Great Fire of London, the Capital introduced rules requiring houses to be brick built, including the party walls between houses so as to prevent spread of fire. You will see with older terraced houses in London the party walls protruding though roofs at join of houses as this was a required detail.
However, these rules were not introduced nationally, thus houses were often built with no walls in the lofts between neighbours.
This provides obviously poor fire protection and physical security between neighbours, thus it is strongly recommended a party wall be erected in the loft, either in block-work or a timber-stud frame covered in double-thickness plasterboard.
A mortgage valuer would normally make this a condition of lending if they have noticed this during their inspection - irrespective, we strongly recommend you implement.
Good neighbours would hopefully want to share the cost as of mutual benefit.