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propertylawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 288
Experience:  Property solicitor with expertise in commercial and residential property transactions.
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A year ago our neighbour started to replace the boundary

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A year ago our neighbour started to replace the boundary fencing between our 2 gardens. He has built a garden room right to the boundary line, before replacing the fencing, so that part of the roof structure and soffix are hanging over our boundary. We have asked him on numerous occasions when he is going to put this right. My husband approached him yesterday to ask when to rectify the problem and was met with verbal abuse. Obviously an amicable solution is out of the question. Can you please advise what our options are.

What sort of construction has been built? Did the neighbour obtain planning permission?

It could be in breach of planning.

The parts which overhang represent trespass. The overhanging parts have no right to be there, then it may be that you can insist on their removal. They are a trespass and, as a last resort, a court has the power to order an injunction to remove them. However, a word of caution is necessary here, a gutter or minor overhanging many feet up in the air may be considered by the court as a trivial trespass. Unless you can show some real harm or serious implication requiring its removal, then the court may not order its removal and can penalise you for bringing a trivial case, penalty being costs awarded against you.

So unless there is a serious problem, you should consider whether to simply let it be.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He did not obtain planning as he has built on the site of an old garage that he pulled down. It is not constructued from brick but is a single storey 'garden room'. He did not advise us that he was going to put it up in place of the garage nor, did he say that it would be built so close to the boundary line. We feel that had we not caught him he would have moved the fence further over our boundary to incorporate the overhanging roof structure and guttering.He is a roofer/general builder by trade and is fully cognisant of not crossing boundaries. He admitted, when we first raised the issue with him, that he had built it too tight to the boundary line.We feel that we have been extremely tolerant in allowing him a year to put it right. There is also the issue concerning the fact that he has not replaced the fencing either which allows anyone to walk into our garden.

I do not feel there is more that I can add on the garden room. There is trespass of the overhanging parts but it would be down to the court to decide if the infringement is sufficiently serious to require an order be granted against the neighbour.

Boundary fences are also uncertain. Unless the deeds specifically state who has responsibility for that part of the boundary and us under a specific obligation to erect and maintain then there is not much you can do to force a neighbour to reinstate the fence. If the neighbour refuses then your only option is to reinstate the fencing yourself.

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