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Nicola-mod
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The side wall of the house next to us forms our boundary.

Customer Question

The side wall of the house next to us forms our boundary. There is then a narrow passage-way on our property, giving us access from the front of our property to the back. The adjoining house has been purchased by property developers in order to demolish it and gain access to a large field for a new development.
I have looked at the provisions of the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 and the Party Wall Act 1996, but they appear to be silent on the question of access to my property for the purposes of demolition.
I'd be interested to know:
1. Are the owners of the adjoining property entitled to demolish it and the rest of the boundary without reference to us?
2. Are they entitled to come onto our side of the boundary in order to demolish it?
3. Can they leave the boundary open for an unspecified period? Do they have any obligation to ensure our security while the boundary is open?
4. Are we entitled to be consulted as to a replacement boundary?
I'm sure you'll say that the best way is to discuss the matter with them - but I'd be interested to know the legal position, if possible.
I hope you can help!
Best wishes
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

My name is Al and am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

To enable me to answer you fully, could you please clarify if there is a fence between you and next door, and if so, whether it is this removal by the developer that you are concerned about? (You say your side wall is the boundary, but you also say there is a narrow passageway enabling access for you to your rear garden).

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards

AL

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello, Al!


There is no fence. It is the side wall of the house next door which forms the boundary - it is not our side wall. Not very easy to explain, but see my original first sentence.


Look forward to hearing from you again.


Graham

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hi Graham,

Thanks for your reply and apologies for me misreading the pint concerning your neighbours wall.

1. As the neighbour's wall is classed as a Party Wall for the provisions of the Party Wall Act, The Act says that the party intending on demolishing any such wall must first of all serve Notice on the adjoining owner and must not cause unnecessary inconvenience to the adjoining owner (you).

The party carrying out the works must provide temporary protection for adjacent buildings and property where necessary. Hence, the developer would be under a duty to serve Notice on you before any work is carried out by them, and it is then for your Surveyor to liaise with their Surveyor to agree a satisfactory schedule of works (called a "Party Wall Award"), to include the erection of temporary fencing after the demolition has taken place.

2. The Party Wall Award will also set out the terms on which the developer is entitled to gain access to your property, if so required.

Without such an Award being agreed, the developer does not have any legal rights to enter your property without your consent UNLESS there are such rights granted in his title Deeds. It would not be commonplace for these rights to exist, but you would need to get a local Solicitor to check this point for you.

Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act, which in itself is a lengthy Court process, the developer does not have any legal rights to obtain any such Order from the Court, as this Act only covers necessary repairs to an existing property and does not cover rebuilding a property for development reasons.

3/4 As mentioned above, the Party Wall Award will deal with both these issues and you would have a say in the replacement boundary and I have already mentioned the security issue above.

I hope this assists you and sets out the legal position on this scenario.

Kind Regards

AL

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Al, thanks for this.


I'd be interested to know how the neighbour's wall is classified as a party wall. From the booklet on the 1996 Act:


3 What is a party wall?


The Act recognises two main types of party wall.


Party wall type (a)


A wall is a "party wall" if it stands astride the boundary of land belonging to two (or more) different owners.


Such a wall:


is part of one building (see diagram 1),


or separates two (or more) buildings (see diagram 2),


or consists of a "party fence wall" (see diagram 3).


 


Party wall type (b)


A wall is also a "party wall" if it stands wholly on one owner's land, but is used by two (or more) owners to separate their buildings (see diagram 4).


An example would be where one person has built the wall in the first place, and another has built their building up against it without constructing their own wall.


Only the part of the wall that does the separating is "party" - sections on either side or above are not "party".


 


Re (a)The side wall of the property next door is not astride the boundary. The boundary is the face of the wall towards our property. (b)The side wall of the property next door is not used to separate our buildings from theirs, since there is a passage-way on our side.


So it seems to me that it is a boundary wall. But of course I'm going by the booklet, not the Act itself.


Thanks for your help.


Graham

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm OK to continue to wait.


Thanks, Graham

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As already noted, I'm OK to continue to wait.


Thanks, Graham

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks. I hope to hear further today.


Graham

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello Graham,

I apologise as we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you. Do you wish for me to continue to search for someone to assist you or would you like for us to close your question at this time?

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Nicola, as you've been unsuccessful in finding anyone to continue to assist, you might as well close the question.


Graham

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