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wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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Hi,Sadly, My husband and I have intimidating neighbours.

Customer Question

Sadly, My husband and I have intimidating neighbours. They've bullied us over many years. Thrown garden cuttings over the fence, shouted racist abuse at us on many a drunken night, displaying union jacks and st. george's cross flags outside their property all year round. We're British born from immigrant parents and consider ourselves truly British. We just ignore them, are polite and get on with life.
The neighbour (man of the house) used to be in surveyance for many years but was fired from his past 3 jobs and now works at Sainsburys stacking shelves. He's a really angry, aggressive, misogynistic bigot of a man. I dislike saying that but it's true.
Anyway, the above is just to set the background. We would love to move but can't afford to and are stuck plus my mum's just been diagnosed with alzheimer's and so she's moved in with us so that I can take care of her.
We have a semi-detached property with said neighbours and have an existing panel build conservatory. They don't have a conservatory or exstention attached to the back of their house. We've applied for planning permission (the architect informs us we didn't need to as we're replacing an existing) to be considerate to our neighbours.
The neighbours have hired (without asking us) a really expensive surveyor £3,000.00 to do a party wall act even though there is no party wall just a rickety wooden fence. On there side of the fence there's a crazy paved patio but no wall for the 3/6 metre rule.
Their surveyors have sent us an intimidating letter and given us 14 days to pay the neighbour's surveyors fees plus ours if we choose to use them too.
We haven't even got the go ahead from the council planning permission. In fact the planning officer hasn't even visited our property yet. We're not even sure we will do the work either seeing as mum's so ill now and I have no support and am her main carer plus trying to keep my job too.
Sorry to be so long winded, but that's kind of it and I just wanted to know if we will be forced to pay these surveyors fees. I hope you can advise me.
I wish we could move :(
Best wishes,
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 3 years ago.
wingrovebuyer : Hi Emma. I can't see how you'd be liable for these fees if you aren't yet in a position to start the works. I'd write back to the surveyors and say you do not yet have planning permission, nor a start date for the works, and that in any event you do not consider the Party Wall Act applies. £3,000 is a ridiculous sum for fees too - sounds to me like there is either some kind of scam being set up, or the surveyor is not aware of the full facts. Is the letter on proper letterhead, with a logo for the RICS? If so, complan to them about the surveyor's conduct. Best, WB