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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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i live in a brand new semi detached house, between the two

Customer Question

i live in a brand new semi detached house, between the two house are out car ports which run to the back of the house and are completely open, to the rear of this is a shared brick wall, with garden gates on each side to each house. My neighbour has just had an extension erected, and wants to know his part of the back wall down, so he can move his garden gate, he also wants to block up what was initially "open" with a fence. I have said I am not happy with this, I don't want to have to maintain it and I don't think it will look very nice. I am also worried that if he knocks down his half of the brick wall, it will compromise the strength of my remaining wall and garden gate. Please advise.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name isXXXXX can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

The wall he wants to knock down, who owns it? And, does it separate the two properties?

Customer:

I believe it's owned by both of us, it's at the back of the houses, it separates 2 gardens which are beyond it

Customer:

the car ports between the houses run to the back wall, the wall forms a U (inverted) shape with a garden gate each side to each of the houses

tdlawyer :

Okay. Then he cannot do this without a formal Party Wall etc. Act 1996 notice, or with your consent.

tdlawyer :

There is full guidance about the 1996 Act here: https://www.gov.uk/party-wall-etc-act-1996-guidance

tdlawyer :

However, in essence, it requires him to serve a formal notice on your proposing to knock down the wall.

tdlawyer :

If you disagree, then he can seek for formally appoint a surveyor to adjudicate any dispute between you.

tdlawyer :

If he tries to do this without going through that process, you can obtain an urgent court injunction to stop him doing it.

Customer:

he says he doesn't need permission to knock down his side of the wall as it's on his property

tdlawyer :

How does he knock down one side of a wall?

tdlawyer :

It will undoubtedly affect the other half?

tdlawyer :

Unless, I expect, proper measures are taken to address that. But either way, if the wall separates the two lands, then this is likely to be a Party Wall and permission must be sought under the Act.

tdlawyer :

There are pictures in the guidance I gave you a link to, which demonstrates this point.

Customer:

the wall is separate from the houses in response to your question the wall is approx. 12 feet long, 6 feet on his property, 6 feet on mine the wall supports a garden gate into the back garden

Customer:

sorry I meant garden gates into each garden

tdlawyer :

Okay - but the wall separates to two parcels of land, as you would expect with a semi-detached?

Customer:

the wall has both gardens to the rear, half of the wall is a boundary to his garden half of the wall is a boundary to my garden, also to the rear of the wall is a fence which separates the gardens, so effectively an inverted T shape on top of the inverted U, I hope you understand?

tdlawyer :

I think I do, but it's never easy unless you can actually see it. I still consider that this is likely to be a "party fence wall" and is caught under the 1996 Act.

Customer:

okay thanks, XXXXX XXXXX I go about letting him know that he will need to get permission and taking out an injunction, also is this expensive

tdlawyer :

An injunction could be around £2,500 to £3,500 or so I would expect, but it really does depend on what the solicitors agree with you to charge. You can inform him by letter, but personally, I would speak to solicitors first, as if he then starts to demolish it without your consent, you can pick the phone up to your solicitor and act immediately rather than make an appointment to explain the situation, by which time, I expect he will have done what he intended to do!

Customer:

If he does it and it's not allowed, what happens then and would he have to pay my expenses?

tdlawyer :

Yes, most likely, he would be told to pay your costs if you got an injunction etc.

tdlawyer :

Cost are always in the court's discretion, but they usually go to the winner - but not always!

Customer:

tanks

tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience: Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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