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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22403
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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my next door neighbour recently had a side return extension

Customer Question

my next door neighbour recently had a side return extension built. The fences were taken down and throughout the next 3 and 1/2 months there was constant access to my garden as the fence was not put back up. i have a 5 year old child who could easily gain access to the building site and also strange people with easy access to my garden. I could not allow my son access to the garden for the whole 6 weeks of the summer holidays ( and before the holidays and after) I did ask over and over to have the fence put back up to no avail. Should they have been allowed to do this? Also, the patio on my side was damaged and a few various other small things needed repairing/cleaning up. I had to wait until the whole extention was completed until the builder finally came round to fit new slabs, as they had lost 2 slabs that they had taken up. The relaying of the slabs they did not loose is sloppy and unacceptable. The builderhas recently refused to even engage in a conversation regarding outstanding issues. I have tried to talk to the neighbours but they just tell me to go to the builder who has recently got nasty with me. Who is responsible for problems that occurred during the build and what can i do? I chased the builder many times during the build but he continually made excuses about not putting up the fence panel to make the garden safe. When he finally put up the fence he did not ensure that paving slabs were replaced priro to putting the fence up. A few weeks later I found the builder in my garden putting in slabs after gaining access by climbing over the fence. Th eowner of the building firm was in the act of climbing over the fence when I went into my kitchen. I had lost the bac door key as I have to put it safe to keep my child from going into the garden. What ind of safety obligations need to be put in place with this type of domestic build? We were exposed to the full length of the excavation with no barriers and as perviously noted left with no fence throughout the whole build. I am a single person with no support so dealing with people gthat simply take no notice or keep promising they will finish my side soon was extremely stressful. it also cost me a lot of money as I had to go out every day during the summer instead of using my garden. I would like some compensation fornot being able to use my garden for safety reasons. Oh, dring the frist 2 weeks of the build, afte rthe foundations had been dug up the build stopped for 2 and 1/2 wees so the builder could go on holiday. I was not made aware of this and went to my mothers house to allow the lions ahare of the build affecting me to get done. Ii was shocked to see nothing had changed in a week and nothing happened for another week and half. I would not have gone away at that time if i could have used my garden. I have not had an issue with the noise and would not/ did not wish to be obstructive to their build but feel very angry and upset at the fact it is not finished properly on my side nobody is taking any responsibility. What can I do and who is responsible. the neighbour will not even stop when i try to aproach him.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
Whose fence is it? How come they took yr slabs up?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Apologies if I have already answered but I cannot see anywhere that I have.


 


The builders took up my slabs as they damaged along the edged of aroun 8 whilst digging up the foundations.


 


They did not finish relaying the slabs until September, 3 1/2 months after starting the job.


 


They had actually put up the fence panel needed, in Septerber, joining onto the new wall but not fixed my slabs nor cleaned up as promised.


 


I have some of their breezeblocks stil in my garden.


 


When they finally came to fit the last 2 slabs they did not knock or ring the bell, nor make a convenient time. the went through the neighbours house, threw the slabs over the fence and climbled over into my garden. I saw the secont dbuilder coming in on th efence and on top of my sons playhouse.


 


I had lost my back door key so could not go out, also, I was very angry and could not cope with another conversation that would go nowhere.


 


there has been no request from the neighbour to find out if everything is finshed properly. They are not interested in discussing any problems and simply walk away from me.They told me to deal with the builder. I cannot as he clearly does not listen or care, neither do the neighbours.


 


I My main concern was my childs safety and ability to use his garden safely and with no access to him from strangers, nor danger to life and limb by him having access to a building site. The whole bac end of the proeprty was removed during htis build. This constantly fell on deaf ears.


 


i have recently tried to talk to the builder who became defensive and said it was too tedious to deal with. He has done shoddy work, the slabs I had to wait so long for do not match and the rest looks untidy as if I had done it myself.


 


the whole time they were building i could not utilise my garden.


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.




This is the neighbours problem as well as the builders. I would simply get
a quote for fixing the whole job and told a neighbour that unless he gets the
builder to either remedy the whole thing satisfactorily or pay for the cost of
doing it, will get it all done yourself and sue him in the Small Claims Court.

You can issue proceedings jointly against the neighbour and the builder if
you prefer.



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Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you.


With regards the safety issues that persisted throughout the build is there anything I can claim for loss of use safely of my garden for such a long period of time. it was not necessary to leave the garden open for the whole time and despite repeated requests to put the fence up it was left down.


 


More recently, 2 panels fell down and the neighbour replaced the whole fence, not needed. There clearly is a need for their part for a full fence and privacy but nothing during the build.


 


I did not try to hinder woiks in any way but expected some safety precautions to be put in place. this would never have been left exposed in a school or public street. Surely, ther must have nbeen protection for my child and myself for that matter.


 


I have been more that patient with them but now am so angry at their indiffrerence and now contempt to wards me i wish, if possible to persue some compensatiopn for the loss of use of my property during the school holidays. it had a negative and very upsetting effect on my family which forced us out of the proeprty every day. 9Due to not being able to allow an active 5 year old out to play safely).


 


What precautions should have been pit in place?


 


Thank you


 


 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.




THAT YOUR FEE IS NOT REFUNDABLE.

By all means put inconvenience and loss of use it into the claim as a
separate head of claim but don't bank on any money coming through to paper your
next summer holiday! It is most unlikely the judge would award anything in that
respect.



You may get a nominal sum for inconvenience.



I can't see what the problem was if the neighbour replaced the whole fence
at his cost



yes, it would have been good sense to put some protection in place for you
under the Child but there has never been a successful claim for "almost being
injured". No one was injured and so therefore that is not actionable. There may
be a health and safety issue with the local authority but it is too late now as
everything is being cleared away soon.



As I said earlier, it is unlikely that you would get much for loss of
amenity can get something in respect of reinstatement of any works which have
been done unsatisfactorily.



With regard to precautions that could have been put in place, the usual way
is to put block and mesh fencing up.



Can I help further?



Please bear with me today and over any weekends because I will be online
and off-line.

Please don't forget to positively rate my answer service (even if it was not
what you wanted to hear) and I will follow up any further points you raise for
free.

If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0
for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating. It
doesn't give me "a pat on the head", "good boy" (like ebay), it is my
livelihood!

If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little,
please ask me for further info before rating me negatively otherwise I don't
get paid at all for my time and answer.

The thread remains open for us to continue this exchange



 



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