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LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 818
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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I live in a staggered mid terraced house with my neighbours

Customer Question

I live in a staggered mid terraced house with my neighbours house being set slightly further forward to mine. They have got several wires (Aerial/sky)running down the party wall on my side of the party wall. It looks very ugly but until now I have never complained. We have now got planning permission to extend to the front of our property, which will mean something having to be done with my neighbours wires. My neighbours are refusing to have these wire moved to their side of the boundary. Can you tell me what my legal rights are? If they continue to refuse, after me giving them fair notice, can I allow my builders to cut the wires so that they can get on with the building work or would our builders have to simply brick up over them? Regards. Wendy
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.
I assume that the wires run down the outside of his house but on the side that is on your side.
If you are carrying out works on the party wall you will need to serve a notice under the Party Walls etc Act 1996 giving at least 2 months notice of the work you intend to carry out. He can serve a counter notice if he wishes to assert that the work would be injurious, or unnecessarily inconvenient or delaying to him. If he does this you may need to use the dispute resolution procedure under Section 10 of the 1996 Act.
If you are successful then you will be able to deal with the cables in whatever way the surveyors decide.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am fully aware of the party wall act and the need for me to serve a notice. However, I am hoping, if possible, not to have to go down the route of involving a surveyor. Lets pretend that I didn't say anything about the building work - basically my question is: do I have a legal right to remove my neighbours wires from my side of the party wall? (Obviously after having given them prior notice to move them themself) Wendy

Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
If you are certain that the wires are on your side of the boundary then your neighbour will be trespassing unless he has some right to run them down/along your wall. This could be either through express grant of permission (an easement) or through more than 20 years continuous use in this way he may get a right by prescription.
In the absence of a right to use your wall then he is trespassing and you could remove his cables. However if he claims he has a right to use the wall he can bring an action to prove that right and to re-instate them. If successful the legal costs and re-instatement costs would be yours to bear.