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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Moved into our semi detached house approx 28 years ago and

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Moved into our semi detached house approx 28 years ago and the wall between the two rear gardens was already built( it is of breezeblock construction and runs the length of the rear garden. Some twenty years ago our neighbour knocked part of the wall down to erect a conservatory, resulting in our two families falling out. To obtain privacy for my wife to use the garden as the male neighbour was annoying her whilst I was away we bolted four posts to the wall and have larch lap fencing ereceted. This in no way causes them any issues as the fencing is treated and in good condition and in fact they erected a similar small fence on their side. After twenty odd years of being there today out of the blue the male has demanded that our posts are removed from "his" wall imediatley or he will take it down. I have ignored this threat but require advice please.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.
Has the fence blocked the view or is it obstructing the windows down one side of his conservatory? Is that what he’s complaining about?In your deeds, does it mention any right to light being excluded?Has the fence been in place for 20 years?As he just come up with this suggestion that the wall belongs to him or is there any reference to it in the deeds?Is the fence bolted onto your side of the wall.In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, or any noting thereof in the deeds, then any boundary features such as the wall of treated as party walls.In such a case, there is nothing to stop either of you bolting things to your own side provide anything you do bolt is ancillary and doesn’t affect the structure. Shelves (inside houses) are commonly bolted to party walls, and holes made to take electrical sockets and that can happen without consent.Your fence posts are no different.You need to convey to your neighbour that if he removes this fence, you will report to the police as criminal damage. You could pre-empt that by telling the police that the neighbour has threatened to remove offence which you have put up and you do not want him to do it and you want to make a complaint that he is therefore threatening criminal damage. You can tell the neighbour what you have been told to do.The police may have a quiet word with him or me just say that it’s a civil matter. If they just say it’s a civil matter the correct way of dealing with this is to apply to court for an injunction to prevent him touching the fence because if he tries to take it down, face potential assault charge if you try to stop him.Many house insurance policies contain legal expenses cover and if yours does, it may cover the cost of this in which case you could refer this to solicitors. If you got a solicitor to write to the neighbour threatening the court application for an injunction and a costs order against him and referring the matter to the police you may find this goes no further.As he has had the conservatory up and enjoying unrestricted light through its windows for less than 20 years he is not entitled to claim that he has lost the right to light because he did not acquire it in the first place. In that case, you can put a huge fence up right against his conservatory which completely blocks his view and he can do nothing about it. There is no right to review in any event, only the right to light in certain circumstancesIf the right to light is excluded in the deeds, the timescale is immaterial.Can I clarify anything for you?Best wishesFES
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Good evening. It does not block any part of the conservatory and that is not his complaint. The fence and posts have been in situ. completed by myself approx 20 yrs and is bolted to my side of the wall. Not one thing encroaches over the wall in any way. Yes thats the type of person he is, he has decided the wall is his in the last few days though built at least 25 yrs ago and therefore now I must take the posts down. This problem has never been raised by him until two days ago
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.
Thank you.I think that our replies crossed because I recently added the following:In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, or any noting thereof in the deeds, then any boundary features such as the wall of treated as party walls.In such a case, there is nothing to stop either of you bolting things to your own side provide anything you do bolt is ancillary and doesn’t affect the structure. Shelves (inside houses) are commonly bolted to party walls, and holes made to take electrical sockets and that can happen without consent.Your fence posts are no different.You need to convey to your neighbour that if he removes this fence, you will report to the police as criminal damage. You could pre-empt that by telling the police that the neighbour has threatened to remove offence which you have put up and you do not want him to do it and you want to make a complaint that he is therefore threatening criminal damage. You can tell the neighbour what you have been told to do.The police may have a quiet word with him or me just say that it’s a civil matter. If they just say it’s a civil matter the correct way of dealing with this is to apply to court for an injunction to prevent him touching the fence because if he tries to take it down, face potential assault charge if you try to stop him.Many house insurance policies contain legal expenses cover and if yours does, it may cover the cost of this in which case you could refer this to solicitors. If you got a solicitor to write to the neighbour threatening the court application for an injunction and a costs order against him and referring the matter to the police you may find this goes no further.As he has had the conservatory up and enjoying unrestricted light through its windows for less than 20 years he is not entitled to claim that he has lost the right to light because he did not acquire it in the first place. In that case, you can put a huge fence up right against his conservatory which completely blocks his view and he can do nothing about it. There is no right to review in any event, only the right to light in certain circumstancesIf the right to light is excluded in the deeds, the timescale is immaterial.Can I clarify anything for you?Best wishes
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
That is a full and concise reply to which I am extremly greatful. Thank you very much
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.
I am guessingBest wishesFES
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.
Please ignore previous post. It’s part of another answer which I can’t get rid of .I am glad to assist. Please don’t forget to rate positive.Best wishesFES
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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