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Extension dispute

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
10 replies 1.8K views
Mike1955Mike1955 Forumite
6 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
In 1993 we had a 3 mtr extension build that was signed off by local council . We have lived next to 3 neighbours in this time with no issues , new neighbours moved in in Oct 2018 .We have been sent a solicitors letter informing us that our footings and part of extension are on their property and we need to remove our extension . Any advice welcome

Replies

  • anselldanselld Forumite
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    The Council don't actually care who's land something is built on so the fact that they signed it off is not relevant.

    The fact that it has been standing since 1993 is probably more important but I don't know the exact rules.

    So to what extent do they have a point? Does it encroach?

    Perhaps it was built as a party wall, ie on the boundary. Was there a party wall agreement?
  • edited 17 May 2019 at 9:14PM
    SlitherySlithery Forumite
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    edited 17 May 2019 at 9:14PM
    Mike1955 wrote: »
    ...that was signed off by local council.
    Irrelevant. Building regulations and planning permission don't take into account ownership of land.

    We have been sent a solicitors letter informing us that our footings and part of extension are on their property.
    Well are they correct or not? Does the extension lie within the boundaries of your land as recorded at the Land Registry?


    You can download the title plan for your property for £3 from the LR website...
    https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/eservices/FindAProperty/view/QuickEnquiryInit.do


    Edit - It's probably worth getting next-door's title whilst your there so you can see exactly what they agreed they were purchasing.
  • G_MG_M PPR Forumite
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    In addition to the above, when you had it built what was agreed if anything with the then neighbours?
    ** If I include a blue link in my post, click and read it before posting a follow-up question. The answer may be in the link! **
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    anselld wrote: »
    The fact that it has been standing since 1993 is probably more important but I don't know the exact rules.
    Assuming it was built without any formal permission from the neighbour and partly on the neighbour's land, the OP would have had exclusive use since 1993 and be able to claim adverse possession of any land occupied.

    However, that sounds unlikely. It's more probable that it was built up to the boundary by agreement, with the option of the neighbour building off the party wall themselves in the future.

    Now, perhaps, some silly @rse has come along, intending to extend themselves and wanting to create an unmaintainable gap between the two structures, instead of using the party wall, which would be best building practice.

    OP don't worry because it's a solicitor's letter; solicitors will write anything (almost!) that a client wants written. Please answer the questions above and dig out what Slithery has asked you to find at the Land Registry.
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  • DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
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    The Party Wall Act allows for a building owner to build right up to the boundary AND for the foundations to project over the boundary - with permission from the neighbour, which you appear to have had at the time.

    Now, ideally you'd have a Party Wall agreement for it, but the thing about PWAs is that they only last for the duration of the build, so there's nothing the neighbour can do, as far as I know, if you tell them it was built under the act with permission, there's just no paperwork after 26 years.

    The act then allows them to cut your foundations back to the boundary if they want to build themselves...

    ...Which is where you'd probably have a little think about letting them use your wall as the party wall instead of having fun with your foundations, and build off it. :o

    It's a tea and cake scenario, this. Lovely of your new neighbours to send a solicitor's letter rather than speak to you, or indeed ask your previous neighbours to have a word as part of the conveyancing process.

    So, you'll have to offer them the cake. Find out what they're trying to achieve and just be nice about it.

    I can't fathom why, if this was a problem, they bought the house!

    Anyhoo, maybe our visiting Party Wall Surveyor will pop by in the next few days and give a bit better advice. You might want to speak to a nice one yourself.
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  • MossfarrMossfarr Forumite
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    if your neighbours are planning to build an extension right up to the boundary (as yours probably is) they may well find that planning is refused anyway.
    This is what happened to our neighbours last year. Our extension was built up to the boundary over 25 years ago (with their consent). We have always allowed them to fix their 'lean-to' garage to our wall but last year, they decided to replace the lean-to with a permanent extension, also up to the boundary. Planning permission was refused as it would have 'changed the nature of the property's from 'semi-detached' to 'terraced'. They had to amend their plans to leave a walkway between our existing wall and their new wall.
  • DigForVictoryDigForVictory Forumite
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    Miword these new neighbours didn’t read the manual on how to make friends & influence people, did they? Even organised crime tends to start softly softly these days.

    All the best with these amateur thugs.
  • SlitherySlithery Forumite
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    Davesnave wrote: »
    ...the OP would have had exclusive use since 1993 and be able to claim adverse possession of any land occupied...

    Really?

    I thought that nowadays if the land is registered then adverse possession requires the consent of the registered owner.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Slithery wrote: »
    Really?

    I thought that nowadays if the land is registered then adverse possession requires the consent of the registered owner.
    From Land Registry Practice Guide:
    "if the application is opposed, it will be rejected unless either,
    blah, blah, blah...or
    the squatter has been in adverse possession of land adjacent to their own under the mistaken but reasonable belief that they are the owner of it, the exact line of the boundary with this adjacent land has not been determined and the estate to which the application relates was registered more than a year prior to the date of the application."

    There's more, but if I read this correctly, there might be a case. However, I was wrong to be quite so sure! :o In my defence, I did say it was unlikely this happened.
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  • Mike1955Mike1955 Forumite
    6 posts
    Not to sure if it makes any difference our house is terrace and at the time it was built there were no issues with our neighbour's on either side . Thanks for all the advice
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