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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I clarify that you consider he has both built over and is overhanging the boundary line please?
Yes he has.
Many thanks. May I ask if you spoke to the neighbour during construction in any way or lodged any form of concern with him prior to his completing construction?
Is the boundary line well defined - e.g. a straight fence or something similar so it is clear he has overreached himself?
There is a fence along the back of his garden and coping stones at the front along the side of our front garden to show the boundary line. We had problems before as the coping stones were removed and a concrete drive laid which covered our dpc. The boundary can still clearly be seen and we pointed it out to him.
Thanks. Did you speak to the neighbour during construction in any way or lodged any form of concern with him prior to his completing construction? If so what was his response?
We were away as we also have a property in Portugal.
Many thanks. The legal position is that if your neighbour has built over the boundary line and that boundary line is clearly demarcated then you can apply to the county court to obtain an injunction and costs against your neighbour in respect of the application for him to remove the trespassing structure. Speed is of the essence as judges will often be reluctant to order that structures are removed once completed. If you can show that the neighbour was aware of your concerns and that the neighbour was crafty and chose to wait for you to be away to execute his works this can mitigate the above and may allow you to obtain an order for removal irrespective of works being completed.
If the court will not order an injunction but accepts that the structure is built over the boundary line it will instead consider damages in the amount as to what might be expected to have been a commercial figure for granting the right to build and overhang your land.
To apply for an injunction you will need to complete form N16A
Before you do so you may consider writing to the neighbour indicating your intended course of action and inviting him to make substantive proposals for resolution within 7 days failing which the above is your proposed course of action.
We knew nothing about the proposed work. It was carried out while we were away, we were appalled when we came back and saw it. Is there any mileage in contacting out local council's building officer?
From what you say the work is likely to fall within permitted development so planning permission is unlikely to apply but if he has extended previously this may not be the case. Building Control will not likely be able to assist a great deal if the structure is just a garage unless it is dangerous but as it costs nothing it could be worth a try. From what you say the neighour has potentially engaged in sharp practice waiting til you were away or been very fortunate and this would be a material factor if you were to apply for an injunction above.
Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
His house has already had a large 2 storey extension.
On that basis his further extension may potentially be outside permitted development and it could be worth contacting planning control who can enforce against him and potentially require him to remove the structure if planning permission is not granted. This is a good starting point.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
Will go and see him again armed with your advice. We are reluctant to initiate court proceedings as we have always got on really well up to now but, given the damp inside and the current rain, we are very concerned.
Ideally neighbour disputes should be resolved amicably. If they cannot be you have some fallback steps as above. If the rain is running odd onto your property you may have an additional basis to claim damages for property damage and may wish to flag this in writing following any meeting.
Is there anything else I can help you with?
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help with any further?