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  • FIRST POST
    • Lyndylou
    • By Lyndylou 6th Jul 17, 10:54 PM
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    Lyndylou
    Neighbours extension being built across boundary in my garden
    • #1
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:54 PM
    Neighbours extension being built across boundary in my garden 6th Jul 17 at 10:54 PM
    Hi Guys I'm in need of some advice.

    I'm a secure council tenant of over 30 years, have lived in this property 28 + years and pay full rent with no arrears.
    Last year the council built an extension to the back of my property as the kitchen was deemed too small. This year my neighbour also a council tenant is having hers done.
    On 23rd June I happened to notice that the builders working on the neighbours extension had taken down part of my wall and cut into my patio slab to lay bricks for the outer wall of the extension on what was part of my garden. It is clear for anyone to see that they have encroached the boundary line.
    I contacted the council and spoke to someone in charge of the building works, they sent the site manager of the builders they employed and he agrees that it has breached the boundary and called his boss, who said to take the wall down and build in the correct place and make good the damage that has happened to my wall and patio slab.
    Next day I can hear them knocking the wall down so go off to work, I come home and the builders have left but they have rebuilt the wall in the same place, next morning I ask why? to be told the council have told them to carry on, they agree it's wrong but are being paid to do a job. I call up the council again and I'm told they own both properties so can build where they like, there is nothing I can do as I don't own the house.
    I have had someone from planning round and although he agrees it's not right, the extension has complied with planning regarding size so there is nothing they can do as it's a boundary/party wall issue.

    Sorry for such a long post but does anyone have any idea what i can do next. We were thinking of putting in for the right to buy at some stage but I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be able to sell.

    Thank you for reading.

    Pictures here, first 2 are of my extension showing the boundary and my patio wall before neighbours extension was started https://postimg.org/gallery/llyqq97i/
Page 1
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 6th Jul 17, 10:59 PM
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:59 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Jul 17, 10:59 PM
    They do own both properties. They have absolutely no obligation to preserve the future value of the house should you ever buy it.
    This doesn't seem to materially affect what you are getting for your rent, and if it does, you can just move out.
    • Lyndylou
    • By Lyndylou 6th Jul 17, 11:18 PM
    • 251 Posts
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    Lyndylou
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 17, 11:18 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Jul 17, 11:18 PM
    They do own both properties. They have absolutely no obligation to preserve the future value of the house should you ever buy it.
    This doesn't seem to materially affect what you are getting for your rent, and if it does, you can just move out.
    Originally posted by ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Whilst I agree they have no obligation to preserve the value of the property, do they not have an obligation to inform or ask permission to destroy part of a wall and patio slab.
    Surely as a secure tenant I have a right to be consulted/given notice if they need to enter/change what I have been paying rent for.
    The planner has made the mistake with the drawings, (according to the planning officer). The plans show the extension wall to be built across the existing back door like mine was, this has been built across my bricked up doorway.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 6th Jul 17, 11:29 PM
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    davidmcn
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 17, 11:29 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Jul 17, 11:29 PM
    Bear in mind that there isn't (yet) a legal boundary between the two houses, because they're in the same ownership. There'll be one created when the first house is sold off, which is when you want to make sure that the deed plan is drawn up to accurately reflect what's on the ground.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 6th Jul 17, 11:33 PM
    • 1,701 Posts
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 11:33 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Jul 17, 11:33 PM
    Whilst I agree they have no obligation to preserve the value of the property, do they not have an obligation to inform or ask permission to destroy part of a wall and patio slab.
    Surely as a secure tenant I have a right to be consulted/given notice if they need to enter/change what I have been paying rent for.
    Originally posted by Lyndylou
    Does half a patio slab make a material difference to what you are paying for? As I say, if so I would suggest you give notice.
    • stator
    • By stator 7th Jul 17, 12:41 AM
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    stator
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:41 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Jul 17, 12:41 AM
    Doesn't look like it negatively affects you at all.
    Just ask the council for confirmation that the division of the garden is still in the same place and that the garden boundary doesn't extend from the new wall.
    Once you've got that in writing I don't see how anything could cause you problems in the future. Even if you owned the house, you'd only have lost a useless strip of land
    Changing the world, one sarcastic comment at a time.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 7th Jul 17, 1:34 AM
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    Davesnave
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 17, 1:34 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Jul 17, 1:34 AM
    We were thinking of putting in for the right to buy at some stage but I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be able to sell.
    Originally posted by Lyndylou
    If you were ever to market the house you haven't yet bought, the potential purchasers would only see what's there; not how things were originally.

    They'd probably realise there is a kink in the boundary line, but that's quite common with older property. Provided the title documents accurately reflect that, there would be no problem.
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 7th Jul 17, 5:35 AM
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    FBaby
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:35 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Jul 17, 5:35 AM
    You are treating the property as if you already own it. You don't. The fact that you might do in the future is irrelevant, so is the fact you've been in the house for 30 years.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 7th Jul 17, 6:18 AM
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    seven-day-weekend
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 6:18 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Jul 17, 6:18 AM
    I hsve a neighbour who owns three houses in a row, his own house is in the middle, the other two are rented.. He has taken most of the garden of the two adjoining houses and left them with just a tiny square, big enough to put bins and a patio table. He is entitled to do this as all the land is his.

    Having looked at your photos, I don't think it affects your house at all negatively.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen. Not only because I see it, but because I see everything by it': C.S. Lewis
    St. Augustine — 'In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.'
    • lwhiteman88
    • By lwhiteman88 7th Jul 17, 7:27 AM
    • 60 Posts
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    lwhiteman88
    If you really wanted to pursue this, although I do agree with previous posters, then I would contact a Party Wall Surveyor. The works that have been carried out fall under the Party Wall Act and you should have been notified if you have a 12-month tenancy or more. However the PWA does not have any power for works already carried out but you can stop the works if ongoing.

    This isnt really a planning issue and TBH I am surprised they even came out to have a look.

    EDIT: Also worth pointing out that even if this work was notifiable under PWA there wouldn't be an issue as you are allowed to build a wall astride a boundary. It then, if two separate owners, becomes a party wall and jointly owned.
    Last edited by lwhiteman88; 07-07-2017 at 7:31 AM. Reason: Additional info
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 7th Jul 17, 7:44 AM
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    buglawton
    There's one image showing a 1" gap between the new extension wall and OPs rendered wall. I'm surprised the council surveyor approved that, it makes for an un-maintainable wall that can be highly susceptible to damp. How would that wall be re-rendered ever? Were I the surveyor, I'd insist on the two walls being joined to prevent water/damp ingress.
    • csgohan4
    • By csgohan4 7th Jul 17, 7:56 AM
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    csgohan4
    There's one image showing a 1" gap between the new extension wall and OPs rendered wall. I'm surprised the council surveyor approved that, it makes for an un-maintainable wall that can be highly susceptible to damp. How would that wall be re-rendered ever? Were I the surveyor, I'd insist on the two walls being joined to prevent water/damp ingress.
    Originally posted by buglawton




    your talking about the council, of course they go about things on the cheap
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land"
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 7th Jul 17, 8:19 AM
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    Davesnave
    your talking about the council, of course they go about things on the cheap
    Originally posted by csgohan4

    To be fair, this is seen quite often nowadays, but it's not great building practice. I can't understand why the OP's wall wasn't used.

    Doing things seperately confers no advantage, unless one party later wants to demolish!
    'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they'll never sit in.'
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 7th Jul 17, 8:20 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    There's one image showing a 1" gap between the new extension wall and OPs rendered wall. I'm surprised the council surveyor approved that, it makes for an un-maintainable wall that can be highly susceptible to damp. How would that wall be re-rendered ever? Were I the surveyor, I'd insist on the two walls being joined to prevent water/damp ingress.
    Originally posted by buglawton
    Now that is a valid point - quite apart from the one made of "It's the Council's property - so their choice" - but this does look like a "technical" error.

    At the least - I'd be concerned that all sorts of bits of rubbish - leaves/bits of paper/etc/etc would blow up into that gap.
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

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    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Jul 17, 8:46 AM
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    Doozergirl
    It looks to me, based on the position of the corbel above, like they're building a true party wall, straddling the boundary, which is why you appear to lose some patio slab.

    If you think about it, the walls inside your house are built across the boundary. The true boundary is halfway through the wall and both properties make use of it.

    It's actually how yours should have been built, with the neighbour's extension then sharing the wall.

    That tiny gap between the two is ridiculous. It would have been cheaper and better to build off your wall, even though yours is really the one in the inconvenient place.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Mossfarr
    • By Mossfarr 7th Jul 17, 9:50 AM
    • 388 Posts
    • 493 Thanks
    Mossfarr
    "On 23rd June I happened to notice that the builders working on the neighbours extension had taken down part of my wall and cut into my patio slab to lay bricks for the outer wall of the extension on what was part of my garden. It is clear for anyone to see that they have encroached the boundary line."

    Its not yours - it belongs to the council, they don't need to ask your permission.

    It would be no different if you were renting a private house, the owner(s) can do what they like with their own property. If you don't like the changes you have the choice to move somewhere else.
    Last edited by Mossfarr; 07-07-2017 at 9:55 AM.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 7th Jul 17, 11:14 AM
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    AdrianC
    Whilst I agree they have no obligation to preserve the value of the property, do they not have an obligation to inform or ask permission to destroy part of a wall and patio slab.
    Originally posted by Lyndylou
    Yes, they do. From the owner of the property. The owner has been asked, and given their permission.

    Surely as a secure tenant I have a right to be consulted/given notice if they need to enter/change what I have been paying rent for.
    You were quite happy for your extension to be built? You have no meaningful, tangible loss from this minor detail change.

    How much difference do you think it should make to the rent you pay?
    • martindow
    • By martindow 7th Jul 17, 11:23 AM
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    • 3,907 Thanks
    martindow
    If you really wanted to pursue this, although I do agree with previous posters, then I would contact a Party Wall Surveyor. The works that have been carried out fall under the Party Wall Act and you should have been notified if you have a 12-month tenancy or more. However the PWA does not have any power for works already carried out but you can stop the works if ongoing.

    This isnt really a planning issue and TBH I am surprised they even came out to have a look.

    EDIT: Also worth pointing out that even if this work was notifiable under PWA there wouldn't be an issue as you are allowed to build a wall astride a boundary. It then, if two separate owners, becomes a party wall and jointly owned.
    Originally posted by lwhiteman88
    PWA won't apply as the council owns both of the houses and can do what they like. It doesn't allow tenants to start disputes.
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 7th Jul 17, 11:53 AM
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    KxMx
    Unfortunately as a renter, even with the Council, you have no say in such matters. In these cases, the LL has the entitlement, and not you as their tenant.
    • cloo
    • By cloo 7th Jul 17, 11:53 AM
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    cloo
    I have to say that I think you should leave this one. Boundary wall disputes tend to be very 'how long is a piece of string' and this is the council's property. People tie themselves in knots and lose lots of money and go through loads of stress for these things and it's just not worth it. I know it's irritating, but it's less irritating that spending £££ on surveyors and a fruitless legal case.
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