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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9329
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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A neighbour has recently built an extension and one wall

Resolved Question:

A neighbour has recently built an extension and one wall makes up part of my walled garden. They have put a duct through the wall for a fan in their kitchen which will exhaust at head height into my garden. My house is listed. Can I stop it?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 10 months ago.
I've been working hard to find a 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!
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I will wait for an answer as the fan has not yet been fitted - only the ducting so far. I have spoken to my neighbour objecting with no response.
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 10 months ago.
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.

Please confirm that the wall you say makes up part of your walled garden, is exactly on the boundary.

Is it just a hole in the wall or does it stick out into the garden or is there some kind of fascia on it?

Apart from the fact that you may not like this, what problems would it cause?

Why did you not raise the issue of this ducting while the work was being undertaken? When was the work finished?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The wall forms part of the boundary with my garden. I objected as soon as the hole appeared.
This was cut while we were not present. At present there is just a hole without a grill or outlet. As this is a cooker extractor it will result in smells and possibly noise exhausting into my garden at head height. We sit in our garden! Our cottage is listed and very picturesque. The neighbour is still building and not yet resident. The exhaust could either be exhausted into their garden by going in a different direction or made recirculating.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.

If there is anything on that wall which sticks out such as a capping on the vents or suchlike, then that is trespass and you can get it removed. It is not trespass if it is just a hole in the wall with nothing coming out.

The fact that there may be a hole coming out of this wall is not relevant.

What can be relevant is whatever comes out of the vents for 2 reasons.

If there is a draft coming through the vents or noxious fumes, then you have a claim against each or the property Owner.

There is another potential cause of action which is not quite so good and which you would bring in conjunction with the nuisance claim and that is that they are currently discharging fumes and air over your property and they do not have an easement to do so and hence, you may have a potential cause of action in trespass because of that discharge. It’s not a particularly good cause of action and it’s not worth bringing on its own, would be worth tagging it onto a nuisance claim.

if a solicitors letter warning the neighbour of the threat of court action doesn’t work, then you are faced with taking him to court for an injunction. A word of warning here and that is that if any injunction proceedings are not successful, you could potentially face legal costs running into several thousand pounds. Hence, although a solicitors letter be cheap enough, you need to think very carefully before rushing off to court because if the judge doesn’t grant you the injunctions to get this event moved, you could easily face legal costs for the neighbour which could run into tens of thousands of the same token, you win, the neighbour would be ordered to pay your costs.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks for that. Is there any action that can be taken with the council?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.

Not that I can think of.. The council will just say it’s a civil matter and nothing to do with planning and they will just leave you to sort it out between yourselves.

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9329
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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