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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 29193
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My new neighbour is looking into extending his property

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My new neighbour is looking into extending his property which is fine but I have two worries: we have a shared drive. Both properties are partially extended on it. Mine is a 3-4 foot extension to the original property, towards his property. Up and down. His is same width but more of a porch. I would be happy t For an extension up and down but he wants to bring it out another couple of foot at least. He expects to use “our side” as a right of way to his bins and back gate. further, he is claiming that our garden is too wide and actually the middle of the drive way should be closer than you would say it is
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No steps - lhe’s literally just moved in told me my garden is too wide (although we all bought our properties accepting the boundaries and no disputes previously) and are we ok with his ideas - I’ve said we’d look at the plans
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: South east london
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: just The plan so far and the imminent possibility of a dispute over the boundary

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

may I clarify, are you suggesting that your neighbour wishes to extend his property on to parts of the drive over which you have a right of way please?

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
It is a shared drive so I assume we have a right of way. We have lived here 5 years.Originally there were garages at the end of the shared drive (he still has one but does not use it for a car). Both houses have been extended a little on the shared drive as described earlier but he wishes to come across further which would be up to “our half” so he would need to use “our side” to access the rear of the property. Some houses in the road have extended to “the boundary” (with a shared gate or no rear access). If he wanted to do this, the next worry is that he claims our garden is too wide and our gate post should be further over. So he would want to be closer to my property than we believe is possible.Hope this helps. Thanks for your time - hear from you at your convenience.

thank you. the above is helpful but it remains slightly less unequivocal than I would like in order to be able to provide a reliable response. For the avoidance of doubt, so far as you are aware, your neighbour is planning to build from what you say on part of his land or drive over which you have a right of way whether or not you use it in practice. Is that correct please? If you are unsure, do you have a copy of your deeds and file plan available to upload?

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
I've dug out the title register for myself and my neighbour:
my property register says:"The land has the benefit of the following rights granted by but is
subject to the following rights reserved by the Conveyance dated 14 May
1934 referred to in the Charges Register:-
"Except and reserved unto the Vendor and his successors in title in fee
simple the free passage and running of water and soil coming from the
adjacent land through the channels and drains made or to be made under
or upon the said premises And also except and reserved unto the Vendor
and his successors in title in fee simple owner or owners for the time
being of the piece or parcel of land adjoining the said premises known
as and numbered***** Little Danson Park Estate aforesaid
and all persons authorised by him or them respectively a right of way
for all purposes over and along such part of the said premises as forms
a moiety of the passageway between the messuage or dwelling-house
erected on part of the said premises and the messuage or dwelling-house
erected on the said adjoining piece or parcel of land Together with a
right of way for the Purchaser and his successors in title in fee
simple for all purposes over and along the other moiety of the said
passageway in common with the Vendor and all other persons who have or
may hereafter have the like right."
Customer: replied 1 day ago.
My neighbour's says:The land has the benefit of a right of way and such part of***** as forms a moiety of the passageway between the land in this
title and*****

thank you. So this refers to a passageway between your two properties rather than a drive. is it this passageway between your two properties that we are referring to above and upon which he is seeking to build please?

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
that is correct - apologies for the confusion and lack of clarification!

not at all - it can be difficult to explain physical circumstances in text. I believe I now very clear on the arrangements thank you.

The position based on the extracts you have kindly provided from your title is that there is a passageway between your respective properties and each of you appear to own approximately half of that passageway divided down the middle in line with the dividing boundary line and over which respectively each of you have a right of way over the others parts allowing each of you effectively to pass freely over the entire width of the passageway by combination of owning half and having a right of way that the other half. Such arrangements are common in respect of shared passageways.

It therefore follows, that an attempt to build over that part of the passageway over which you enjoy a right of way would amount to a derogation of your rights of way over the passageway. In other words, if he seeks to build over such part of the passageway over which you enjoy right of way, this would infringe upon your right to pass over it and as such, you could seek to resist such building if necessary, by way of injunctive relief.

Ideally, you would be able to negotiate some form of settlement with your neighbour which is agreeable to both of you but ultimately, if you are unable to reach agreement, then you would be able to consider applying for injunctive relief in the County Court to prevent him from proceeding with the proposed work so far as it delegates from your rights:

in addition, if he is planning to excavate within 3 m of your building where he is laying foundations lower than your existing foundations, then he would need to serve the party wall notice upon you before commencing works quite separately from the above

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
Thank you - that's very very helpful. I would be happy with a side extension similar to the size of my own - he has that in part with a "porch style" extension and that depth is fine - we would both have reasonable access to that passageway too.Would the party wall notice be required even though we are not "attached". The original building and subsequent extensions would definitely be within 3m.Finally, if he wanted to build up to the dividing boundary line, what is his position that what seems to be our boundary has taken some of "his" garden - although the previous neighbour did not dispute our land, nor did he with our vendor 5 years ago. And there is photo evidence a previous owner of his house provided for planning permission that our gate post has been there at least 20 years.

the party wall act applies in respect of party walls where a wall divides properties such as semi detached or where a detached properties wall forms the boundary of the property but also where the neighbour is excavating within 3 m of the neighbouring property deeper than that neighbouring properties owned foundations or even, where they are excavating within 6 m of the neighbouring property where the foundations will be deeper than the neighbouring property where a line is drawn between the two respective foundations at a 45° angle.

in respect of any boundary disputes, if the fence has been in its location for a period of 10 years or more and you can evidence as much either by your own statement or neighbouring statements, then you should have the basis of the claim for adverse possession in respect of that land even if it turns out that the boundary is in the wrong place

Joshua and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 day ago.
That has all been incredibly helpful - and provided a lot of relief at a bit of an anxious time. Fingers' crossed this will resolve itself without needing to follow up at all.Have a good weekend.

I'm glad the above answers all your questions. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me otherwise thank you very much for visiting JustAnswer and I hope we will see you again in the future.