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  • FIRST POST
    • rajgn
    • By rajgn 9th Oct 18, 6:46 PM
    • 5Posts
    • 8Thanks
    rajgn
    neighbour building wall - obstructing to open car door
    • #1
    • 9th Oct 18, 6:46 PM
    neighbour building wall - obstructing to open car door 9th Oct 18 at 6:46 PM
    Hi,
    Apologies for long post...
    We need your advice as we are first time owners and bought our first 3 bedroom detached house 2 1/2 years back by spending fortune. We din't have any issues so far.

    We have got single car park (2.68 meter width) in front of garage and there is our house wall at one side of car park. These houses were built in 1999 and other side of my car park there were edging plants bordering the neighbour boundary planted by builder when this layout/residential estate was initially built. The edge plants were planted bit inside to neighbours area as those plants are maintained by them . Similar approach followed in other houses in our area. No one has built any wall in front of their house in our residential estate. I have checked Land registry plan for the high level border but yet to get deeds copy to check the detailed plan/boundary.

    But our left side neighbour owner (old lady) who is not living in the house has rented house to some tenants since few years(before we bought the house). She decided to get rid of lavender bush and also front garden grass for low maintenance. Their front garden space is very small and not able to park any car either. They have got parking at the back of their house.

    They never notified about any work whatsoever . They initially started to remove lavender bush and grass and build wall in-front of their house and also other side of their house which is adjacent to road. I did check with guy who was building wall and he advised they don't have any plan to remove edge plants next to my car park. Apparently owner had asked his advise and he advised her not to remove edge plants.
    The front and road side wall is completed. But after almost a week break then builder came back to work. I did check in the morning around 8 AM and he mentioned - he had been advised to remove edge plants and build wall. I immediately raised my concern and asked builder to call owner as she lives somewhere else and I dint have her contact number.

    Owner came at around 1:30 PM with main builder and I raised my concern with her. Her first words were 'wall going up there(pointing the location)'. She was not approachable but me and my wife try to convince her and also mentioned that it will be very difficult as we have 2 1/2 year old daughter. We mentioned that it will be difficult to put my daughter to car seat or get her out. They were advising to let passengers out first and the park the car. But I raised my concern that it will be difficult for the driver itself to get in/out of the car.

    The guy was building the wall mediated and gave two choices:
    Choice 1: stop the wall next to parking space just 1 meter deep from the pavement so other part will be empty and just block paving so it doesn't obstruct opening car door.
    Choice 2: Build 0.65m height wall 1st around one meter deep and then drop the wall height to 2 or 3 bricks height so that I can open my car door.

    I wanted first option but she forced me to accept choice 2. I was not happy but ok. I took her contact number and then we all departed.

    There was no news/work until next 2 weeks. But after 2 weeks builder came to build wall and he mentioned owner has advised him to build full height wall next to my car park. She never informed about change of decision. It was really shocking.
    I tried to call her on mobile and left voicemail and also sent her text messages explaining the issue. She called me back after sometime and said she is going to build wall and has contacted the solicitor. I asked her if she has checked my text messages but she said no. I never got any response to text messages.

    I consulted my car insurance legal team for their advice and they advised me that I can arge on private nuisance and they advised me to contact home insurance legal team. I contacted my home insurance legal team 2nd time ( first time they had rejected saying she can build wall in her boundary within certain height and can't stop legally). But I mentioned about private nuisance advised by car insurance legal team and why this was never mentioned first time. Then they mentioned they could have advised better first time.

    Home insurance legal team asked me to send objection letter raising my concern/issues with owner. I wrote a letter and printed and then posted one through post office and also personally delivered other copy to their house. Builder was constructing the wall when I delivered the letter. On the same afternoon lady and her father came and just father was trying to tell me that they have already consulted their solicitors etc. I asked him why they changed the decision even though it was mutually agreed other day that they are going to drop wall height next to my car park just 2 to 3 bricks height so that I can just open my car door. He mentioned builder told them that dropping wall would cost more. I couldn't believe this as short wall means less bricks/labour/cost. The owner (lady) didn't bother to speak as was discussing with guy who was building the wall by holding the letter I had hand delivered.
    I dint have any interest to talk to them any more and I said thank you and came home.

    They just carried on building the work even though I raised my concern. Its been 3 days and now wall is completed.

    I contacted our local council and they said as long as they are building in their boundary and also within 1 meter height then no need of any planning permission and can't intervene. They asked me to check property deed for any Covenants. I did check and there is nothing specific as per my understanding but I have asked my solicitor to check as well.

    I also contacted Citizens Advice Bureau and they gave similar response as local council and then asked to check with solicitor about private nuisance.

    I have submitted my side of story/events to my home insurance legal team(got legal cover) with photos and documents etc and waiting for their analysis and prospect of success.

    But we are really confused if we need to proceed with legal action. Its really shocking that neighbour is so inconsiderate and inhumane. My parking space is almost dead and can't image how we manger after having second child. This wall may potential bring down our house price as well.

    Please advise how to proceed on this. I sincerely wait for your advise.
    Thank You in Advance.
Page 3
    • Badger50
    • By Badger50 10th Oct 18, 7:15 PM
    • 120 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    Badger50
    But the OP does not own the land..... the neighbour does.


    Do keep up
    The OP owns land which is part of the land originally benefiting from the restrictive covenant applying to the neighbours land. Assuming a conventional housing estate situation, the developer would have applied restrictive covenants to each plot as it was sold. Each house is subject to the restrictive covenants set out in its original conveyance. But each house is also a sub-division of the original development site and can therefore enforce the covenants against the other houses.

    I agree it would be pointless in this case.
    • MysteryMe
    • By MysteryMe 10th Oct 18, 7:25 PM
    • 2,039 Posts
    • 2,490 Thanks
    MysteryMe
    How do you know?
    Originally posted by Lorian
    I missed out the word "my" as in my house

    Thanks for asking for clarification without resorting to mocking
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 10th Oct 18, 8:36 PM
    • 21,756 Posts
    • 17,638 Thanks
    agrinnall
    I missed out the word "my" but that is no excuse for the manner of your response.
    Originally posted by MysteryMe

    It was a significant omission that entirely alters the sense of the sentence. And G_M has earned the right to post in whatever way they choose within the forum rules (which that post certainly was), when you've built up a similar reputation we'll cut you some slack too.
    • rajgn
    • By rajgn 12th Oct 18, 12:28 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    rajgn
    I think I understand my position better now...
    Thank You all for your suggestions...I appreciate you all taking time to respond in-spite of busy schedule.
    • Bacon Sandwich
    • By Bacon Sandwich 12th Oct 18, 1:22 PM
    • 27 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    Bacon Sandwich
    https://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Powastrike-Sledge-Hammer---10lb/p/167859
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 12th Oct 18, 2:22 PM
    • 26,896 Posts
    • 96,690 Thanks
    Davesnave
    You forgot..
    Gardening is cheaper than psychotherapy.....and you get tomatoes.
    • societys child
    • By societys child 12th Oct 18, 4:55 PM
    • 5,678 Posts
    • 6,397 Thanks
    societys child
    [QUOTE=Badger50;74900403]
    The OP owns land which is part of the land originally benefiting from the restrictive covenant applying to the neighbours land
    What covenant? Think you're confused by something said by another poster, who was referring to their own property, not the one under discussion.

    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 12th Oct 18, 5:10 PM
    • 3,842 Posts
    • 10,379 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Why would it put people off? If the area's too small to park on, I'd rather have it walled off. When it's left open, people have a tendency to treat it like it's a public path...like you've been doing.
    Originally posted by Sunny Intervals
    A lot of houses built in the sixties and seventies have drives that we’re fine for the cars of that time but too narrow now. Most of my street is in that position and most would never consider doing something that made their neighbour’s drive unusable. We all cross over each other’s drives.

    So OP, while you have had correct advice on the legality, I just wanted to sympathise that I think they’ve been inconsiderate and not behaved very nicely or been good neighbours on this.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Oct 18, 5:17 PM
    • 17,429 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I think we've pretty comprehensively established that the majority 21st century view is not to infringe on someone else's land - even if it is such a situation (ie drives built in the era of smaller cars). We've seen too many cases of neighbours trying for a bit and then maybe a bit more of someone else's garden.

    We know also that care is necessary to stop a bad neighbour trying to claim a legal right to pass over our garden - on the excuse they've been doing it for years.

    That from a position of I think part of my garden (on house from that era) might have been deemed to be a drive at that time. But I can see clearly it's simply not wide enough for a drive nowadays - and so it isn't a drive and has now been incorporated into the garden.
    If you feel like you don't fit in in this world, it's because you are here to help create a new one.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 12th Oct 18, 5:21 PM
    • 3,842 Posts
    • 10,379 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    .

    That from a position of I think part of my garden (on house from that era) might have been deemed to be a drive at that time. But I can see clearly it's simply not wide enough for a drive nowadays - and so it isn't a drive and has now been incorporated into the garden.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Well mine is definitely still a drive and I shall continue to let my neighbours walk on it to get out of their cars! I suspect the dozens of other houses on the street will do the same, I don’t think anybody wants all those cars suddenly parking on the street to avoid the disaster of someone setting foot on a few feet of somebody else’s tarmac!
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 12th Oct 18, 5:29 PM
    • 4,498 Posts
    • 6,483 Thanks
    Nick_C
    A lot of houses built in the sixties and seventies have drives that we’re fine for the cars of that time but too narrow now.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    OP's house was built in 1999 and the parking space is 2.68 metreswide. That is massive. I could park my car in a space that wide and access one side of it very easily.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 12th Oct 18, 6:08 PM
    • 17,429 Posts
    • 48,427 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Well mine is definitely still a drive and I shall continue to let my neighbours walk on it to get out of their cars! I suspect the dozens of other houses on the street will do the same, I don’t think anybody wants all those cars suddenly parking on the street to avoid the disaster of someone setting foot on a few feet of somebody else’s tarmac!
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    I don't think it's that per se that's the concern normally. More like if someone decided to "do something or other" on that bit of their garden and then might find a neighbour was able to stop them.

    I think that's what a lot of people worry about.

    EDIT; Quick google - and it's 8.8 feet wide (for those of us that think in feet).
    If you feel like you don't fit in in this world, it's because you are here to help create a new one.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 12th Oct 18, 6:19 PM
    • 26,896 Posts
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    Davesnave
    OP's house was built in 1999 and the parking space is 2.68 metreswide. That is massive. I could park my car in a space that wide and access one side of it very easily.
    Originally posted by Nick_C
    I think the OP would like to access both sides of their car, which seems reasonable.


    As an average vehicle is around 2m wide, they'd probably need to add about 0.6m to the side of their drive to achieve this, perhaps using paving slabs. It's a relatively small job and much easier than trying to persuade a neighbour to change their plans.


    ...hence my sledghammer and nut analogy earlier.
    Gardening is cheaper than psychotherapy.....and you get tomatoes.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 12th Oct 18, 6:31 PM
    • 4,498 Posts
    • 6,483 Thanks
    Nick_C
    I think the OP would like to access both sides of their car, which seems reasonable.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Seems like a luxury to me. Most people I know who park in their own garage park close to one wall and get in or out of the other side.

    Same in public car parks. Other drivers are often parked right on the line and you can only use one set of doors.

    If that is not suitable then buy a bigger house. Or park on the street. Or turn your front garden in to a parking area.
    • Badger50
    • By Badger50 12th Oct 18, 6:32 PM
    • 120 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    Badger50
    What covenant? Think you're confused by something said by another poster, who was referring to their own property, not the one under discussion.
    See post 29:
    There many be no covenant, but let's suppose there is...
    • lookstraightahead
    • By lookstraightahead 12th Oct 18, 6:37 PM
    • 633 Posts
    • 610 Thanks
    lookstraightahead
    What type of car does the op have? Maybe get a smaller car?
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 12th Oct 18, 7:02 PM
    • 26,896 Posts
    • 96,690 Thanks
    Davesnave
    ...turn your front garden in to a parking area.
    Originally posted by Nick_C

    Adding a couple of square metres of hard standing won't necessarily do that. As a gardener, I know that vertical planting and more creative use of materials can offset losses to vehicles in front gardens. The RHS run fairly regular articles on the subject.


    I was simply stating one practical way forward for the OP, not advocating any particular material or stance on the subject.
    Gardening is cheaper than psychotherapy.....and you get tomatoes.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 12th Oct 18, 7:05 PM
    • 3,530 Posts
    • 5,213 Thanks
    Silvertabby
    “ I think the OP would like to access both sides of their car, which seems reasonable.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Seems like a luxury to me. Most people I know who park in their own garage park close to one wall and get in or out of the other side.

    Same in public car parks. Other drivers are often parked right on the line and you can only use one set of doors.

    If that is not suitable then buy a bigger house. Or park on the street. Or turn your front garden in to a parking area.
    Originally posted by Nick_C

    Exactly. We only have a supermini, but I still have to hop out before Mr S parks in the garage - or I'd have to climber out to exit through the driver's door.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 12th Oct 18, 7:36 PM
    • 26,896 Posts
    • 96,690 Thanks
    Davesnave
    Sorry, I've never had an issue parking in my drive and accessing both sides of my car, so I didn't realise I'd hit some raw nerves by suggesting a simple and practical way forward for the OP.


    In case of doubt, my posts in no way imply that the OP's issue with the neighbour's wall has any validity. That's a seperate matter.
    Gardening is cheaper than psychotherapy.....and you get tomatoes.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 12th Oct 18, 7:42 PM
    • 5,345 Posts
    • 8,144 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    What this sounds like to me is one of those estates where some of the houses have parking spaces behind the house especially if the house is on a corner like the neighbour's appears to be and small front gardens. So I suspect that what the lady next door had was a pathway to the side of her house with plants down the side up to the boundary. So not two drives next to each other but a drive on one side and a small garden on the other going up to the boundary.



    The house is sold to the OP who then assumes that as the boundary has a garden on the otherside it is alright to use this garden as extra car door opening parking space. They may even have on odd occasions stepped onto the garden carefully to not damage any plants in order to get out of the car on that side. My reasoning is that if you can't open the car door even a crack to get out on that side with the wall there then they must have been on occasions getting out of the car and standing on the garden on the neighbour's side. Or standing on the neighbour's garden to open the car door to get into the car.

    If you look at the OP it says that the preference was for a gap in the wall with block paving on the otherside rather than the wall being only 2 or 3 bricks high. If you aren't going to stand on the otherside of the border to get in and out of the car there is no difference between these two options. Obviously if you are used to standing on the neighbours garden to access your car the blockwork would be preferable.



    This use of next door's garden has been going on for 2 1/2 years. I can understand that someone might get a bit fed up after that length of time especially if the house has tenants.



    The OP may not have fully appreciated that when tenants rent a house they are entitled to not have next door neighbours using their garden to access their car. So although the lady who owned the house didn't live there someone did and that someone had the right of that small garden to not be encroached on.



    I suspect that what prompted the wall was a desire to stop the OP from using that garden as an extension of the parking space.



    I don't suppose all the text messages, phone calls, requests and the hand delivered letter from the OP asking the neighbour to stop building a wall that she was entitled to build on her land went down all that well either?



    There are two sides to every story and I am beginning to feel very sorry for the neighbour as I think they have been taken advantage of because they didn't live there and the house was "only" rented.

    .
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