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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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A waist-high wall made of concrete breeze blocks separates

Resolved Question:

A waist-high wall made of concrete breeze blocks separates my garden from my neighbour's. She owns the wall, which is now breaking due to pressure of ivy roots on her side. At one point, the large heavy blocks are loose and leaning forward by about 5 cm, with risk of falling over on my side or on me while gardening. Can I require her to fix the wall (cost about �500) or otherwise shore it up? She expects me to contribute half of the costs.
Secondly, does the law allow me screw a trellis to the wall (ie. her wall) on my side? She argues that I should erect a freestanding trellis because a high wind could blow over the wall if attached to the trellis. I don't think this could happen.
Thanks for your advice
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.Who owns the 'wall' please?Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Alex
As stated in my question, the neighbour owns the garden wall. Please read it carefully, it provides the essential facts.
Andrew
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Does it say in your deeds that you should contribute to half any cost Andrew?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No, the deeds only indicate that the neighbour owns the wall.
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Ok, then you dont need to pay any cost whatsoever. So no, you dont need to pay any cost.And as to whether you can screw anything in - no.Its the neighbours wall and you cant damage it in any way. Therefore if you screw anything in, that is criminal damage.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I had a look at the Party Wall Act 1996 and it states that the owner of the wall has to notify the Adjoining Owner (me) of any alterations, but not for very minor work, such as putting screws or plugs in the wall. Section 3, which concerns the rights of the Adjoining Owner doesn´t mention whether I have similar rights to put screws in from my side. I don´t see how this would constitute criminal damage.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The neighbour has agreed (orally) to me fixing beams across the broken part of the wall from my side, at my cost. This would obviously entail drilling and screwing; so I could argue that she is not in principle against inserting screws.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
As stated in my original question I'd like to know whether I can compel the neighbour to fix the dangerous part of the wall. It is in a state where it could be pushed over with one hand and appears likely to collapse onto my side.
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
You can only compel the neighbour if you have a survey outlining the condition or a professional to say its dangerous. Then you can seek an injunction making them fix it. If they dont then you can send the neighbour to prison. Does that clarify?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
. Im still unclear why putting in screws would constitute criminal damage when the wall owner can put screws on her side without even notifying me (ie. under the Party Wall Act 1996 that would count count as a trivial change, not structural). I'm logging out now but will check answers again tomorrow. Thanks, Andrew
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Yes but if the neighbour OWNS it, its their property. If you want to take the risk Andrew you can. But I have advised that this could be criminal damage. Alex
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sorry, Im new to this process and assumed my deposit would automatically be passed on. Do you know how much I will be charged? The deposit was 18 pounds, so is it that?
Expert:  Ash replied 10 months ago.
Yes, that is it. One off fee. Does that clarify? Alex
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Category: Law
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Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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