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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My neighbours have just started construction of a single storey

Customer Question

My neighbours have just started construction of a single storey extension adjoining our drive way. The excavations have caused minor subsidence on our side of the fence line and is slowly getting worse. It is actually started to subside under the edge of our block paving. When first advised by our neighbours of their plans I did express concerns regarding excavations and impact on our block paved driveway. We also requested the fence remain in place to maintain our privacy. The neighbours spoke to their builder and said there would not be a problem. They started excation last Wednesday, in the evening the fence fell over , caused the paving to raise local to some posts that fell with the fencing. Ther is still minor subsidence occuring under the edge of our block paving which is approximately 6" in on our side of the fence line. What legally do you suggest I do.
My wife does not want cause trouble but I want to protect my property. I do not now want to garage the car as this will only make the driveway worse I fear.
Regards
Brian Lowndes
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello Brian my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Have you had an independent survey done yet please?

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

No not as yet, to be honest I was trawling the we site In the early hous and noticed the website. I did not want to get deeply into the legalities unless I don' t get some feel that the issue will be resolved. The website seemed like a good way of progressing so that I could find out some

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

Hi Alex

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

Hi Alex, I keep hitting return to start a new line and it sends out the incomplete message

Alex Watts :

Ok - so what is your question of me today about this please?

Alex Watts :

Note this is a question and answer site, we can give information and answers but we can not act for you.

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

My Question is are the builders legally bound to make good the damage that they have done and can it be done BEFORE they have completed the extension. I am afraid that if we drivE our car up the driveway we will loosen more of the supporting soiL/ hardcore below our block paving.

Alex Watts :

You want them to make good as they go along?

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

Yes Preferably. I know that they want to get the ground slab laid Within their four walls But when the is completed I would like the drI've way subsidence issue resolved by backfilling. We would also like the fence putting back up. However I think that they want build the inner breeze block wall and then the outer wall and use our drive Way for access to build it.

Alex Watts :

Is there a law that says they are legally bound to make good before they do anything else - no

Alex Watts :

But if you are seeking compensation then clearly the longer they leave it the higher the value of compensation would be

Alex Watts :

But there is no law either way saying when they should make good.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

I am Not seeking compensation just requesting respect for our property and requesting that they make good What they have damaged.

Alex Watts :

Yes indeed. There is no law either way sadly.

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

I always respect honeSty and that is what I want. Legally are they duty bound to make Good the damage they have caused.

Alex Watts :

Yes indeed they have

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

Thank you for your advice. I will approach the builder and Advise him of his responsibilities. If there is anything further I shall be In touch. The fact that the fence fell down demonstrates that he left it in an unsafe condition. Would that be an issue for the HSE. Like I have previously Stated I want to know where I stand and make the builder aware of HIS responsibilities. If I do not get any satisfaction with him I may well thRow that into the equation to persuade him I mean business if he does not be reasonable.

Alex Watts :

Indeed that seems the best way. Can I clarify anything else for you today please?

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

No I Think I have all the answers I need for today. ThankS again Alex

Alex Watts :

Happy to help. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today - the button should be at the bottom of the screen

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

No thanks I think I have all that I need for today.

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Alex Watts :

Great

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

Will do!

Alex Watts :

Thanks

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

Hopefully one last question. It would appear that the council planners approved the plans and it would appear that it allows the roof and guttering hanging over the boundary and into my property. I had frequently expressed to them throughout the planning stage that they should not cross the boundary. I lift out my fence panel each year to stain them and I do both sides then climb the step ladders and drop it back in. The current build does not allow for this.

JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

I accidentally pressed return, the question is " I did not look at the plans as I trusted my neighbours and council to ensure their build would not cross over into our boundary, even though I did not review the plans am I correct in saying that legally they should not cross the boundary and I can enforce this on them?

Alex Watts : Ok. The council does not necessarily make decisions on whether something overhangs. You as a neighbour have a responsibility to look at the plans and object.
Alex Watts : But you are right, generally things should not overhang your boundary.
Alex Watts : does that help?
JACUSTOMER-rxs4hl0n- :

Ideally I wanted, to know my legal rights as to how I stand. The gutter is, after discussion with neighbour only just going to be overhanging but they need access to maintain it. I was concerned how it would affect future owners of our property?

Alex Watts :

If you allow it then they are permitted access by law to maintain it.

Alex Watts :

That is the Access to Neighbouring Land Act. The Court would allow access for maintenance only.

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

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