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Remus2004
Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70200
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My neighbour has planning permission to extend her property

Resolved Question:

My neighbour has planning permission to extend her property reasonable to ask her to put and dig down to foundation level, we are now at party wall agreement stage. Would it be reasonable to ask her to put money into an independently held fund to pay for any damage the building work may cause to my property. She has already caused £106 worth of damage to my fence and ignored my request for recompense.
Thank you
HCH Windsor Berks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

How much money are you thinking of?

Have you asked for a copy of the builders insurance?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much Jo. I live in a Georgian terrace house worth £1m. Like most Georgian terrace houses the foundations are not deep and my house has ties into my neighbours at 4th floor level. I anticipate that if there is cracking due to subsidence, the costs would run into tens of thousands, I have not seen the builders insurance,


Henry

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Thanks

It is not unreasonable to ask for some kind of bond/deposit in circumstances like this however there is no legal duty on the neighbour to provide one.

However I would insist on asking for a copy of the builders insurance to make sure that it covers all these costs.

He needs to have indemnity insurance in place, at my estimate probably for £3 million at least.

With regard to the fence damage: Put that on a list somewhere making sure that you take photographs and have notes of dates and times and when the job is finished ask her for payment in respect of whatever it has cost you to put the damage right. If she does not pay up, then sue her in the Small Claims Court.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much Jo for a very helpful reply. The problem is that my neighbour does not use qualified architects and a recognised firm of builders. The plans are so far not detailed and drawn up by a consulting architect who is a member of the institute of civil engineers. So far he has recruited a gang of labourers with a chief foreman. I would expect the foreman and labourers to be self employed. Their work so far is unimpressive. I doubt that any of the building team has indemnity of up to £3m. Can we insist that my neighbour uses a reputable firm and that we have proof of their indemnity of £3m.


Thanks, Henry

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Get the party wall surveyor to put that in as part of the party wall agreement.

What you are asking for is not at all unreasonable
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks once again Jo. My next question is that we sign up to a party wall agreement and that my neighbour goes ahead with work but continues to use unqualified people without proper insurance and cuts corners with regard to other recommendations.. How do we enforce a party wall agreement when we lack hard evidence that the terms of the party wall agreement are being flouted. Our local council seems very laid back and I cannot anticipate them taking any action unless the properties are about to collapse into the street!


Henry

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
If the terms of the party wall agreement are being flouted, you apply to court for an emergency injunction to stop the works pending the issue being resolved.

For that, you are going to need evidence which would come from the surveyor.

The local authority will not normally get involved with party wall disputes and you are absolutely right, they are only concerned when the property becomes dangerous
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you once again for a very helpful reply. I think I am entitled to one final question. What should I do if my neighbour fail to produce evidence of builders insurance and/or fail to agree to appoint a qualified architect or appropriately qualified engineer to oversee the work? Can I do anything to stop the work from commencing.


Henry

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 3 years ago.
Get a solicitor to threaten an application to court for an injunction to stop the work pending them supplying a copy of valid insurance.

The only reason they will generally not supply it is if they have not got it
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