Property line dispute, any advice?

Mandofred

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
2,706
Location
Harrogate
Visit site
One thing you should bear in mind is that the Party Wall Act covers more than just party walls - it covers building works close to boundaries & property. For a moment, forget the precise location of the boundary and think about your actual house. If the new extension will be within 3metres of your house and the foundations of it will be deeper than yours, then he is obliged to serve formal notice on you - with a view to reaching agreement as to how your foundations/property will be safeguarded. If your foundations need strengthening, he has to make the necessary arrangements. You really need to read up on the Party Wall Act. Use the link spongebob gave, then from there follow the link to the information booklet.

At the very least, now that the planning notices have been posted, you need to make a response to the planning department. If you are generally happy with the proposal (as regards design, possible light restriction etc etc) you should reply along lines of "Due to the proximity of the proposals to my own property, I object to permission being granted unless all requirements of the Party Wall Act 1996 are met". That at least flags the matter - although the Council can't enforce it as its a civil matter between you two. If you dont like the proposal at all, then you should respond to the Council setting out your full concerns/objections as well.
The situation does not appear to be a Party Wall issue. When we moved in (2015) there was a 6 foot wood fence separating the properties from the back line up to about halfway to the front. It had rotted out and was just leaning against his garage. He didn't want to help in replacing it so we just had a stronger replacement put in. From that mid point to the street there was the obvious property boundary as shown in the pictures at the beginning of this post. We added the picket fence when he was destroying the new drive to keep his van off our drive. Party Wall rules don't cover regular fences if I have read it correctly.

After doing some more measuring this morning, poking my tape measure through the fence up to their house, the measurements are ok with us....but as with most property lines over the years....it doesn't line up perfectly and wobbles a bit. If they build exactly on what the drawings show, their extension will be a single story garage that's only going to be about 200cm wide inside and the wall of that will be about 5" on their side of the fence. So unless the footings for that head our way more than I think....it should be ok based on my trivial amount of building knowledge.

So at this time there are only 2 things I would be concerned about that I will put on the planning notice.....
1. Are they putting a gutter on the side of the garage? And the planning people might not care about that.....would they?
2. They will have to do SOME kind of excavating to remove the tarmac drive and put some kind of footings in.....it would be nice to know how much that will be.

The reason why his garage is going to be so small (other than the fact he doesn't have room) is that he runs a rug cleaning business from home and he needs a place to keep his crap. He currently has one of those pebble pre-made garages at this time.....this extension will give him even less room for storage. Although he also just put in a nice backyard studio? (nice shed) so I think his partner will likely use that for her office. He still won't have room for all his crap though......no way he is going to get all his stuff in this new extension/garage.
 

CliveW

Tour Winner
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
5,351
Location
Perthshire
Visit site
The reason why his garage is going to be so small (other than the fact he doesn't have room) is that he runs a rug cleaning business from home and he needs a place to keep his crap. He currently has one of those pebble pre-made garages at this time.....this extension will give him even less room for storage. Although he also just put in a nice backyard studio? (nice shed) so I think his partner will likely use that for her office. He still won't have room for all his crap though......no way he is going to get all his stuff in this new extension/garage.

I don't see what relevance this has to do with you. :unsure:
 

spongebob59

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
6,571
Location
Kent
Visit site
Think you need to look up your local regs for the footings, guy down the road had an extension this year and they looked a lot deeper and wider than I remember when we had ours built years ago.
 

Mandofred

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
2,706
Location
Harrogate
Visit site
I don't see what relevance this has to do with you. :unsure:
I was explaining why his garage is going to be so small....which has to do with the size of excavation etc that might be needed....which directly impacts me. Some people might wonder why he was putting in something obviously smaller than a normal garage. If you don't care....why post?
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
14,844
Visit site
They basically added a single floor extension to the full length of their semi detached house.
I'm guessing at least 1 meter deep and same width. Did have a full roof to match the existing house.

Building Regulations: Foundations | Extensions | Planning Portal
I doubt the footings would be that wide. For a 2 storey extension, I did about 3' deep and 15" wide. I can't remember exactly what the Buildings Inspector said but I was within his tolerances.
 
Last edited:

backwoodsman

Tour Winner
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
6,858
Location
sarf Lunnon
Visit site
The situation does not appear to be a Party Wall issue. When we moved in (2015) there was a 6 foot wood fence separating the properties from the back line up to about halfway to the front. It had rotted out and was just leaning against his garage. He didn't want to help in replacing it so we just had a stronger replacement put in. From that mid point to the street there was the obvious property boundary as shown in the pictures at the beginning of this post. We added the picket fence when he was destroying the new drive to keep his van off our drive. Party Wall rules don't cover regular fences if I have read it correctly.

After doing some more measuring this morning, poking my tape measure through the fence up to their house, the measurements are ok with us....but as with most property lines over the years....it doesn't line up perfectly and wobbles a bit. If they build exactly on what the drawings show, their extension will be a single story garage that's only going to be about 200cm wide inside and the wall of that will be about 5" on their side of the fence. So unless the footings for that head our way more than I think....it should be ok based on my trivial amount of building knowledge.

So at this time there are only 2 things I would be concerned about that I will put on the planning notice.....
1. Are they putting a gutter on the side of the garage? And the planning people might not care about that.....would they?
2. They will have to do SOME kind of excavating to remove the tarmac drive and put some kind of footings in.....it would be nice to know how much that will be.

The reason why his garage is going to be so small (other than the fact he doesn't have room) is that he runs a rug cleaning business from home and he needs a place to keep his crap. He currently has one of those pebble pre-made garages at this time.....this extension will give him even less room for storage. Although he also just put in a nice backyard studio? (nice shed) so I think his partner will likely use that for her office. He still won't have room for all his crap though......no way he is going to get all his stuff in this new extension/garage.

I know its not (and won't be) actually a party wall (ie not a shared wall) but you say the extension will be just 5 inches his side of the boundary. From the photos you posted in post #1 that looks like the new wall will be only about 1.5m away from your garage wall? That is plenty close enough for the party wall regulations to kick in. (They kick at 3metres) And its plenty close enough for the possibility of your garage wall foundations being effected - depending on how deep he needs to dig. Have a read of the booklet on this link - section 28 is the applicable bit (wont take you that long)

https://assets.publishing.service.g..._Wall_etc__Act_1996_-_Explanatory_Booklet.pdf
 

spongebob59

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
6,571
Location
Kent
Visit site
I doubt the footings would be that wide. For a 2 storey extension, I did about 3' deep and 15" wide. I can't remember exactly what the Buildings Inspector said but I was within his tolerances.

They were , I saw them, I remember saying to the builder if he filled it with water I could do a few lengths ?
 

Bunkermagnet

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
8,124
Location
Kent
Visit site
I doubt the footings would be that wide. For a 2 storey extension, I did about 3' deep and 15" wide. I can't remember exactly what the Buildings Inspector said but I was within his tolerances.
I thought footings had to be 1m deep and 600 wide. I know my double garage rebuild and latest conservatory had to be anyway.
 

Mandofred

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
2,706
Location
Harrogate
Visit site
I know its not (and won't be) actually a party wall (ie not a shared wall) but you say the extension will be just 5 inches his side of the boundary. From the photos you posted in post #1 that looks like the new wall will be only about 1.5m away from your garage wall? That is plenty close enough for the party wall regulations to kick in. (They kick at 3metres) And its plenty close enough for the possibility of your garage wall foundations being effected - depending on how deep he needs to dig. Have a read of the booklet on this link - section 28 is the applicable bit (wont take you that long)

https://assets.publishing.service.g..._Wall_etc__Act_1996_-_Explanatory_Booklet.pdf
Thanks. Yes, I noticed the 3m rule. I believe the distance from the side of our garage to where their future wall will be is 125cm. I'm hoping it won't be an issue considering the size that he is building. I'm most certainly NOT knowledgable on building rules, but I was thinking that with the fairly limited size of the extension facing us that the footings would be on the smaller side of things (if there is a sliding scale of the size needed according to size of building). I need to get a write up ready to send in just requesting info on the overhang/gutter...or lack of, and whether they plan on oozing onto our property with the footings.

We aren't planning on being as spiteful as the neighbours about workers being on our side as long as we talk with workers about it. When we built the drive and put the fence in our neighbours wouldn't let the workers stand on their side at all.....and my wife had to paint the picket fence by standing on a stool and bending over the fence, they wouldn't let her stand on the other side to paint. We are NOT planning on letting the fence be moved, but I don't have an issue if they need to stand on our side to do a little work. Question I have, as mentioned above, is whether when building the base that they may have to do something on our side. Seems like I read something where they may have the right to put footings onto your property....although that just doesn't seem right somehow.
 

Pants

Challenge Tour Pro
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
1,785
Visit site
Might also be an idea to agree in writing with your neighbour and/or builder the condition of your side before work starts, with photos aplenty.
 

Mandofred

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
Messages
2,706
Location
Harrogate
Visit site
Might also be an idea to agree in writing with your neighbour and/or builder the condition of your side before work starts, with photos aplenty.
Oh yeah....already been doing that the last few years. Plenty of pics of his parking with his van up against the fence and parking part way across our drive. I am assuming this work won't start until at last Spring.....and who knows, really. They refuse to talk to us even though we always say "good morning" to them etc. There is pretty well always one of us home, even if/when the golf courses ever open up.
 
Top