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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 8545
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I'm a builder looking advice ! I'm working on a semi

Customer Question

Hi !
I'm a builder looking for some advice !
I'm working on a semi detached house,
Looking from the front left to right, the house is on the left, small ally, then a detached single garage ( which is on our land but kisses the boundary, then an ally ( on the neighbours side ) then the neighbours house .
The neighbour has filled in his ally with a single story extension thing and connected it to our garage, can he do this? Would he need planning ? What if I wanted to knock down the garage? If it's been there for a while ( I've heard a rule about this ) without complaint does it mean it can't be removed ? If so is this provable !??
Please help !!!!!!????
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 5 months ago.

Please let me clarify.

Looking at the front of the houses the house you are working on is the left-hand of the two semi-detached houses. The issue is between the left-hand house of the semis and the house to the left of that one which is not connected?

There is no alleyway on the extreme left hand house because that is now an extension which goes right up to the boundary as does your garage.

You say that the single story extension is connected into the garage on the property you are working on. Is it actually connected into it or just right up against it. Have the bricks been keyed in?

How long ago was this extension completed?

Was there ever consent to connect the two?

What would be the problem if the garage was knocked down?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi
We're a semi connected to the far left
Yeah so from left to right looking from the front it's my house, then my ally, then my detached garage which touches the far right boundary, then the filled in ally !!!
I'm not sure but as he has put a door to the front and s door to the rear, I can't be sure how long it's been there! Although it looks maybe a year or two old,
Just wanted to know if this is allowed?
I'm sure he's not applied to the council !
Would he get planning for this !!!???
Expert:  F E Smith replied 5 months ago.

Thank you. I had the houses the wrong way round but the effect is the same.

You say that the single story extension is connected into the garage on the property you are working on. Is it actually connected into it or just right up against it. Have the bricks been keyed in?

Was there ever consent to connect the two?

What would be the problem if the garage was knocked down?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi
Here's a photo !
Pics worth a thousand words !!!
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
That pic was taken from the rear !
Expert:  F E Smith replied 5 months ago.

Thank you. Which is the neighbouring house? From what you said, and the way you described it it’s the white one.

Is the cream coloured pitched roof the garage, the filled in alleyway the bit with the flat roof with one side exposed and what looks like a plywood wall? It looks as though something was up against their which has been removed. Has it?

Are you intending to knock the garage down?

I’m not certain what the problem is here. What exactly is it that you are concerned about? If it is the question as to whether you can take the garage down, then yes you can provided their extension fall with such as would happen if they had attached part of it to the garage. In that case, you would have to tell them what you were doing and they would have to make other arrangements to support the alleyway extension.

What you can’t do is simply remove the support and let their extension fall down. You can stop them continuing to rely on support, in the fullness of time but not immediately.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Your description is correct !I have taken down a small conservatory at the back of the garage, the small brickwork you can see was part of the dwarf wall the conservatory was built on, I can't remove it our wall cos the neighbour has built and attached to it ! pretty sure they have used the side of the garage! Also!
My question is this....... Is he allowed to use the garage wall ?
Also would he have needed planning permission for what he's done!?
Cheers
Garry
The ply you can see is what he has buil
Expert:  F E Smith replied 5 months ago.

Thank you. He can only attach things to a party wall (this is not a party wall) which are ancillary such as sockets, shelf brackets et cetera. However, a party wall is a wall separating two buildings and this did not separate two buildings before the structure was in place as the two buildings were separated by an alleyway. Have a look at the Party Wall Booklet,

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/523010/Party_Wall_etc__Act_1996_-_Explanatory_Booklet.pdf

and in particular diagram 4 on page 8 and the notes on page 5. Referring to the notes, a party wall is used to separate two buildings as it does in diagram 4. In this particular case, before the strange -looking structure was built, the wall of the garage was, on this definition, not a party wall and he could not attach anything to it without the consent of the wall owner. Hence, he could not attach his wooden infill to the garage wall.

If the wooden structure had been there for 20 years, he would have acquired the right under the Prescription Act of the easement of support. That obviously doesn’t apply.

As it is now, you are entitled to ask him to remove the fixings into the garage whether you want to knock the garage down or not. If you are knocking the garage down, he is going to have to make some other arrangements to hold his structure up. If he will not do so, you (the householder) will have to take the neighbour to court to get an injunction to make him do that.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please don’t forget to rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid. We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.

FES.

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