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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3840
Experience:  Two years conveyancing experience.
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My daughter bought a house where the previous owner split

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Hi My daughter bought a house where the previous owner split the strip of land next to her house into a separate building plot and obtained a building permission for a 3 bed-room house. This was done before my daughter bought the house. It turns out now that the building permission was obtained for a plot that runs all the way to my daughter's house wall, where as my daughter was sold the house with a 1 m strip of land next to her house. This strip of land is shown on the building plan as the only access to the back of the new house. So when the house gets build the new house will not have any access to back of its house contrary to the current plan. Can the new land owner build based on this plan that now covers part of daughter's land?

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. Is your daughters property (including the 1m strip) registered at the Land Registry? If so this is the land owners mistake, he should have applied for the planning permission more carefully, he cannot go ahead and build on property belonging to your daughter. Planning permission is just a consent to the proposal not a right to subvert other peoples land rights. Is the land currently accessible? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the land and the strip is very clearly registered at the Land Registry. The builders have moved in and have already dug and filled house foundations which are right up to my daughter's boundary, if not over it. They have fenced off her path (which is the strip next to her house) and also encroached into her garden.

Hi, Thank you. You need to contact the builder and order him to stop immediately. How much would it cost to rectify the damage? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is extensive damage but there is no stopping this builder. We have tried!!! Only things we get back are threats about more damage and him building even closer to my daughter's house. It has been very very stressful.

Hi, Thank you. Is there is anything you can do to stop further building works practically? You must stop him erecting any wall or temporary structure. I would consider obtaining an injunction. Is there any way you practically go any remark your boundary? Have you taken photographs of the boundary?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have taken photographs of the boundary and damage. But not sure what we physically could do as the builder just would take it down as they removed the existing fence before they started.

Hi, Thank you. Do you have photos of the existing fencing before it was destroyed? Are they actually going all the way into the garden to work, erecting scaffolding etc? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not sure if we have photos for before the work started but the boundary line is pretty clear in the deeds and the original boundary fence is still up in the end of the garden so it is possible to work out the line of the boundary as it is a straight line.
They removed the fence in the back of the house and drove their large digger onto my daughter's patio without any permission. They have only got to the foundations level so no scaffolding yet but they obviously would have to erect them on my daughter's land. There is no other way.

Hi, Thank you. They will need to pay your daughter a license fee to erect scaffolding. This is potentially a party wall issue, what I suggest you do is immediately go and see a party wall surveyor and get them to write to the developer to demand all works are ceased. If they trespass onto her property to start building scaffolding I would call the police especially if they are going to be threatening about it. Once the party wall surveyor is involved they will have to engage with him/her - and will potentially will have to pay the associated costs.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex
Many thanks for your previous responses. Just an update. We instructed a solicitor to write a letter to the next door landowner and point out the requirements under the Party Wall Act. They stopped work and we have now proceeded to dispute resolution with them and await for the outcome of it. Extensive damage to my daughter's drainage etc. has been confirmed. At the same time we are now dealing with a boundary dispute (after the next door's builders removed the boundary fence and proceeded to lay foundations across it) An electronic measurement of the next door's plot is due to take place shortly to provide a starting point for confirming the boundary line.
My actual question relates to my daughter's house drainage arrangements.
It now transpires that her drainage runs into a manhole (and from there into the public sewer) which is now located within the next door's plot. This did not come to light during the house purchase. Next door's builders made a threat that they would not allow for this arrangement to continue and that my daughter would have to reroute her drainage. Can they do that? A drainage survey yesterday found that the drains have been badly damaged due to the foundation excavations but that the manhole in next door plot has also been filled with soil, which renders my daughters drainage inoperable. Who will be responsible for putting this right? The reason why this has not become apparent before is that my daughter does not yet live in the house and hence does not use the drainage. Gratefully looking forward to you advice . Tuula

Hi thank you. I am travelling this morning - but I have received this I will review and respond today. Kind regards AJ

Hi, Thank you. When your daughter purchased the house did the solicitor report to you on this drainage issue? It is possible she has a legal right (by way of an easement) to allow what to drain into this man hole. If the builders damaged it they will have to pay for it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I think the attached transfer document refers to her rights to drainage, but I am not sure of the interpretation & implications in this case.

Thank you. Do you have a definition of "Retained Land" in any of the documents? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My understanding is that the "retained land" is the plot next to my daughter's house, which the previous owner retained but then sold to the current owner. I attach a plan which shows the "retained land" with dimensions shows. I also attach my daughter's deeds.