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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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I have a question regarding a party wall agreement. Can you

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Hi. I have a question regarding a party wall agreement. Can you cover this?
Assistant: Thank you. Can you provide any more details to help us find you the right Expert?
Customer: I am having a rear extension built and have a party wall agreement with my neighbour that includes plans for the work. The builders originally built the end wall not far enough along the boundary line and I asked them to correct this. They did, but now the wall is some 7 to 8cms beyond the measurement shown in the plans agreed in the Party Wall Award. The neighbour is starting a dispute on this, saying the wall should be taken down Would this constitute a breach of the Party Wall award and could this be enforced for this small amount?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Does the neighbour have the right to say wok should be stopped?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 6 months ago.

When you say it is 7/8 cm beyond the measurement shown on the plans, does that mean that it goes over the boundary?

If it does, what problems does this cause for the neighbour?

How far progressed is the building and why wasn’t this raised by the neighbour when the first layer of bricks went down?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi, No work has been done across the boundary. The wall extends along the boundary. After replacing the wall, the builders built it further back than was specified in the plans that were included in the party wall award. The impact on the neighbour is that the wall as seen from her side is slightly longer than she was expecting.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Also, the wall has actually been built. I was not on site while this was done.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 6 months ago.

Thank you. So there is no trespass because it hasn’t encroached upon the neighbour’s land and it is only 7-8 cm, about 3 inches beyond where it should have been. Is the measurement really that small that she is complaining over?

If that’s the case, I can’t really see that the neighbour would have a case either to get the work stopped or demolished or varied. Firstly, because of the very small discrepancy and secondly, because it appears that she has stood by and watched this go on rather than saying something at an earlier stage when it would have been easier to rectify.

Based upon such a small discrepancy and with no trespass and no adverse effect on the neighbour, I think your neighbour would be ill-advised to proceed any further with this and certainly not to go to court.

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.

FES.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
One final point. I understand the position about going to court, but does she have any redress under our party wall agreement? For example, can she say there is a dispute and invalidate the agreement? I agree the extra length is small, but so far she has insisted on taking this further. I want to be clear on my position when dealing with our joint party wall surveyor.Thanks.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 6 months ago.

What was the substance and the need for the agreement in the first place? Were you attaching to any party structure?

Although she may not like the extra 3 inches, what difference does it make to her or is she just being difficult?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The PW agreement was needed because extending the party wall alongside, but completely on my side of the boundary as well as the foundations within 3 metres of her house. Unfortunately, she is being difficult, so I just want to know the extent of what she can do, particularly in relation to the PW agreement.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 6 months ago.

In my opinion, if this is 3 inches too long, she needs to get a life! If she were to take it to court, as I said before, bearing in mind there is no trespass, I think she is likely to be castigated by the judge and potentially have costs awarded against her.

The correct way of doing it is to simply issue another agreement with the correct dimension on but I can’t see in all honesty that would make a slight bit of difference.

She is certainly not going to get it knocked down and rebuilt if it is wholly on your land and it’s not caused a problem for her.

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8974
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ok, I think that covers it. Thanks.

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