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tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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My neighbours have recently built their new extension but in

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My neighbours have recently built their new extension but in the process have deviated from their original plans, the council has given them retrospective planning permission. I am not happy as their deviation has caused our house foundations to be exposed. I wanted to know if I have a claim against them? And can I get an injunction from the court compelling them to tear down the build and build according to their original approved plans?
I want to know if it's worth going to court for as I know the costs can be quite high and I am a pensioner.
tdlawyer : Hello thanks for your question. My name is ***** ***** I can help with this.
tdlawyer : Firstly, you need to appreciate the difference between Public law issues and private law issues.
tdlawyer : Planning issues, including deviations from approved plans, are generally only enforceable by the local council.
tdlawyer : Generally, members of the public can complain to the local council about breaches of planning permission. However, it is always down to the local council to decide whether or not to pursue a breach of planning permission.
tdlawyer : Therefore, the fact that your neighbour has deviated from approved plans may not, of itself, be enough to help you take action against him personally.
tdlawyer : However, there does seem to be another issue here. That is whether your neighbour has done something else wrong, so as to interfere with your Private law rights.
Customer: So I won't be able to take out an injuction to against my neighbour?
tdlawyer : If your neighbour has not served a party wall act notice, it might be that they are in breach of that legislation, which if so, would entitle you to obtain a court order, called an injunction, to prevent them from carrying on without following the party wall act process.
tdlawyer : I assume that the neighbours have dug, within a 3 m distance of your boundary?
Customer: Party wall notices were issued. But further addendum awards were made because the neighbour kept deviating from the plan. The neighbour appealed all the addendum awards and the case is still on going. They seem to be in a good financial state as opposed to me, so that's why I do not know if it is worth me going to court to get an injuction for them to tear the work down and start again as set out in the party wall award.
tdlawyer : They obviously cannot do something which a party wall award has not approved, whether by way of the initial award or subsequent addendum.
tdlawyer : It sounds to me as though it would be well worth investigating the possibility of applying to the court for an injunction.
tdlawyer : I would strongly suggest that the best thing for you to do is to consult with the solicitor, and get a letter before action sent in the first instance.
tdlawyer : This would make it clear to your neighbour that you intend, if necessary, to make an application to the court.
tdlawyer : Sometimes, if another party knows that you are serious about pursuing court action, then this of itself will often be sufficient to prevent them continuing to act in breach of the law.
Customer: Ok, are there any relevant forms I can fill out regarding getting help with my legal costs in court?
tdlawyer : It is virtually impossible these days to obtain public funding for this type of dispute. However, there are other ways in which a claim can be funded, which would result in you not having to pay out any funds at this stage.
tdlawyer : You could ask a solicitor whether they would be prepared to enter into a conditional fee agreement, which is a no-win no fee agreement, or can be a variation of that type of arrangement.
Customer: Can I claim for nuisance? And if I do, could you tell me roughly what the costs would be that I may or may not recieve?
tdlawyer : If the solicitor believes you have a reasonable claim, then they are likely to assist you in this way.
tdlawyer : You may have a claim for nuisance and/or breach of the party wall process .
Customer: Ok thank you very much for your help. You have been very informative.
tdlawyer : Costs are notoriously difficult to estimate. Much will depend upon the solicitors you use, they're charging structure, and the issues that you have to argue about (and, of course, the amount of work required).
tdlawyer : I would imagine that the potential costs range, if you needed to issue a court injunction, could be something in the order of £3000 plus VAT to £20,000 plus VAT, but those figures, you must appreciate, are almost a finger in the air job.
tdlawyer : this is one of the first things you should discuss, in some detail, with any solicitor that you take advice from, or whom you propose to instruct.
tdlawyer : Legal costs, as you rightly say, can become expensive, and very quickly. But as I mentioned there are lots of different ways of funding the claim, and even insurance policies to protect you in the event that you lose. Not all cases are suitable, but most often are.
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