Chimney stacks are an important part of a building structure that are often overlooked. They carry the smoke from the fireplaces and other heating systems up and away. It also provides a key ventilation point for the building itself. In properties with a shared chimney stack, alterations to the stack may be necessary when you or a neighbouring property changes the type of heating they use or when a renovation project is underway such as loft conversion. Unfortunately, the process can be difficult if your neighbour is uncooperative, as they need to be agreeable to the alterations for them to take place.

If you are looking to repair, alter or remove a shared chimney stack, you need to ensure that both parties are in agreement. Both property owners are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their portion of the stack, so all decisions must be made collaboratively. Before any work is completed, both owners should agree upon any repairs and the financial responsibility for them. Removing the chimney stack must be done with both parties’ consent so that all rights and preferences are taken into consideration.

If your neighbour refuses to agree to the alteration, then it can be difficult to proceed. The first thing to do is to approach your local council and make contact with their local planning department and explore their policy on shared chimney stacks. Some local authorities may allow for the alteration to be carried out, but this is unlikely if your neighbour is refusing. You can find a list of council website here: List of council websites.

You may consider approaching your neighbour to try and explain the reasons why the alteration is necessary in an attempt to reach a compromise, although this can be hard if there is animosity between the two of you. If all else fails, then legal action may be necessary.

It is important to remember that when carrying out any work on a shared chimney stack, both parties must agree to ensure that the work is carried out safely for everyone involved. The alterations must also be compliant with building regulations and must be completed in a professional manner.

If you find yourself in a situation where your neighbour is resisting shared chimney stack alterations, it can be difficult to move forward. Approaching your local authority and attempting to compromise with your neighbour are both possible options, although legal action may be necessary in some instances. Ultimately, it is essential to remember that the chimney stack needs to be safely and professionally altered to comply with building regulations, regardless of whether you have your neighbour’s consent or not.