Q. What can I do about an extension built on my land without permission?
Last year my neighbour built an extension at the back of his house and now it's finished, I can see that it has been built over my side of the boundary. What can I do?
I own a terraced house that I rent out and
last year my neighbour who is end of terrace started building his extension, I didn't realise until it was built but now its finished I can see that he has built over into my garden.
This should never have happened, what can I do?
Party Wall Surveyors Answer
In the first instance I note there is no mention of a Party Wall Award (Agreement), if there is I would suggest referring to the Schedule of Condition and or speaking with your appointed Party Wall Surveyor. The Schedule of Condition should record the condition of the adjoining owners property prior to the building owner starting work, therefore there may be a clear indicator as to said encroachment.
The Party Wall Surveyor(s) may then reconvene to consider the options available to remedy the breach of the original Party Wall Award, and subsequently issue another Award detailing said remedy.
If you don't have a Party Wall Award for the original works, then this makes things a little more difficult to initially ascertain, therefore, it would be advisable to speak to your neighbour and let them know of your concerns and see if you can come to a understanding and agreement.
If you or your neighbour cannot agree, then you can either jointly or by yourself instruct a specialist boundary surveyor to carry out an inspection and clarify as to whether the extension has actually been built on your land, and if so, to what extent.
If the specialist boundary surveyors report comes back and confirms your neighbours extension has been built on your land, then is trespass for which there are a number of remedies.
This may include seeking an injunction to remove the offending element of construction and or compensation for damages for any loss suffered, as per the decision and discretion of the court.
There may be a other aspects to consider for a claim of interference if the impact of the offending construction restricts for example, your access to light, ability to develop your own property and your right of way.
At TK Surveying Group we don't advocate litigation therefore we would further advise that you speak with your neighbour and consider any points for negotiation, such as, selling off the land that has been encroached, or if you are considering building an extension maybe you can benefit from the use of their extension wall to form your own extension.
If you do decide to utilise your neighbours extension to build your own extension it would be wise to also consider negotiating the costs normally associated with this under the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
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Please note these answers provide a brief commentary as to the issues raised and should not be relied on, as such, no liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a suitably qualified party wall surveyor.