Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby arborlad » Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:15 pm

echo wrote:I guess I should also ask whether or not the concrete base to the fence could be any excuse for them? As in that would act as a sufficient 'support' for my garden? Doesn't seem likely to me though.



No - absolutely not. You will have had a 'right of support' from whatever was in place before the excavations took place, and they cannot remove it without replacing it with a suitable alternative. You need to ask how they intend to support your land and property.
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby echo » Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:28 pm

Thank you all for your advice.

I have now pushed the letter though their door, and had it witnessed.

They were out, so I'm now expecting either banging on my door about 11pm or so when they get back home, or the torn up letter pushed back through my letterbox.

Here's what I wrote, in too much of a hurry... (I'll probably wish I'd changed a few things as I mull it all over for the rest of the evening)


Mr X,

First
The council advise that noisy works should not be carried out on the weekend.

Second
I hope you are not planning to build anything out front that will restrict or block my existing legal right of way. As every word stated previously by my solicitor still stands.

Third
You have damaged driveways and asked nobody’s permission to bring heavy machinery across their land.

Fourth
You have concreted over the boundary line on both sides of the garden, despite the explicit instructions in my objection comment not to touch my land in any way.

Fifth
The wall that has been removed at the base of the fence was a retaining wall, in place to ensure that my garden is supported and does not fall into yours.
This kind of wall, and your excavations, is covered by the ‘Party Wall Act’ which you have obviously not followed. If you are unaware of this Act, I suggest you Google it; and then Google what happens when you don’t follow the Act, because you have now left me no option but to treat this as a legal matter.

Please cease any work until Monday.

At that point I expect you to remove the concrete that you have laid over the boundary line next to my path. The side wall of your house designates the boundary line, and as you had bricks laid down alongside your house and the path, you should have no trouble working out where the line is.

In preparation for the gate and fence that will be re-erected around my path I also expect you to remove anything further down the garden that will prevent this. I do not expect you, at this point, to remove the wooden structure at the end of your garden, so the fence will put in place up to that point. However, depending on circumstances in the future, I reserve the right to change this.

Finally, I also suggest that you speak to your solicitor on Monday, because you will be hearing from mine.


For a father of 3 small children, your disrespect for other people and your inconsiderate behaviour, past and present, is appalling. And it has been noted by several neighbours and properties in the area.


Me.


The point about 'building out front' was put in because they appear to be clearing that land as well - previously they wanted to build an extension at the front but after several letters from my solicitor in reference to it blocking my right of way, I thought they had abandoned the idea - hence the rear extension.
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby jonahinoz » Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:41 pm

Hi,

My understanding ... feel free to correct me ... that you can share a surveyor, who will be paid by your neighbour.

If you refuse to share his surveyor, you can appoint your own, who will be paid by your neighbour.

I believe that if there are two surveyors, there will also be a third surveyor to act as umpire/arbiter, who will be paid by your neighbour.

Your neighbour will not be a happy bunny.

There is also the matter of the fence. Who does it belong to? If it belongs to you, how will you maintain the other side? Will your neighbour expect you to leave it there? if it belongs to your neighbour, does he intend to leave it there?

I would expect your neighbour to build up to DPC level, then backfill between the wall and the excavated face below the fence. I would expect a gap between the wall and the fence. Do you know if he plans to have any windows in the side wall? Does he plan to leave the TV (?) cable where it is? Will he have rainwater goods projecting over the fence? How is he disposing of surface water? Are there any drains running underneath the extension?

John W
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby echo » Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:48 pm

jonahinoz wrote:Hi,

My understanding ... feel free to correct me ... that you can share a surveyor, who will be paid by your neighbour.

If you refuse to share his surveyor, you can appoint your own, who will be paid by your neighbour.

I believe that if there are two surveyors, there will also be a third surveyor to act as umpire/arbiter, who will be paid by your neighbour.

Your neighbour will not be a happy bunny.


3 surveyors it is then.

jonahinoz wrote:There is also the matter of the fence. Who does it belong to? If it belongs to you, how will you maintain the other side? Will your neighbour expect you to leave it there? if it belongs to your neighbour, does he intend to leave it there?

I would expect your neighbour to build up to DPC level, then backfill between the wall and the excavated face below the fence. I would expect a gap between the wall and the fence. Do you know if he plans to have any windows in the side wall? Does he plan to leave the TV (?) cable where it is? Will he have rainwater goods projecting over the fence? How is he disposing of surface water? Are there any drains running underneath the extension?

John W


The fence, whilst on my side of the boundary line, has a T mark towards my neighbour on the plan. I do know that he was the one who erected the current fence shortly before I completed on my property, so it's even possible that he moved it slightly more towards my property when doing so.

I know nothing of the design. The only 'plans' submitted under the GPD was a crude pencil drawn square with 2 single length measurement given. If you have a look at my thread linked in the OP it has a few more details.

In my objection comments I explicitly stated that I would accept nothing built on, over, under or overhanging my land, however, given what he has done so far who knows what he plans.

There was a rainwater drain underneath the extension footprint. They dug down to it then refilled it back with gravel, but they also left a gap, using a spacer, above a section of it by the paths edge, but this now appears to be filled in as well.

I think I'm going to be rather busy and very stressed come Monday!
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby despair » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:38 pm

He might have installed the fence but since its your side of the boundary ...its become your fence

Have fun telling him whats on the land goes with the land ergo the fence has been gifted to you on your land
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby echo » Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:53 am

Well I actually had to go out for the evening myself, but upon getting back nothing has been put through my letterbox, so we'll see what happens tomorrow. I do at least know that they have read the letter.

Thinking about it, as I advised him to Google the Party Wall Act, there's a chance he might end up discovering this very thread, that'd be interesting!
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby despair » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:05 am

He could just as likely ignore you hoping you wont go and get an injunction

Are you sure he does not need full Planning permission for this extention

have you checked with the council
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby echo » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:37 am

despair wrote:He could just as likely ignore you hoping you wont go and get an injunction

Are you sure he does not need full Planning permission for this extention

have you checked with the council


He could ignore me yes, and I certainly wouldn't put it past him. In fact, he has this morning started to move some more breeze blocks to he back garden - none are actually laid down though.
But come Monday I'll do my best to get my Solicitor on it all asap.

As his 'conservatory' fell under a GPD, and prior approval was given - despite two objection comments from neighbours, he didn't need to go through the full planning permission.

Just to correct a previous comment of mine a few posts back where I said I knew nothing of the design, actually on the submitted forms it was described as an 'Edwardian style' conservatory. Which means that you would expect either entire glass walls, or a dwarf brick wall at the base and then all glass walls and roof. I actually mentioned this in my objection comment as I believed that he would not build such a structure and instead just build a full brick extension instead. Unsurprisingly, the planning officer just waved it off saying that conservatory's come in 'all shapes and sizes'.
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby arborlad » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:54 am

echo wrote:........there's a chance he might end up discovering this very thread, that'd be interesting!




That has happened before - with mixed results!

What size of building is going to be erected?........the footings don't seem adequate for a two storey extension.

Whatever is erected there it seems quite clear that the flank wall will (whether intended or not) at some point have to do some retaining of your land, if the neighbour/builder has a well thought out plan for this, all well and good - if not!!...........the quickest and best way to find out his intentions is to go and ask.

DPCs and damp penetration are all going to complicate matters.
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby echo » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:21 am

arborlad wrote:
echo wrote:........there's a chance he might end up discovering this very thread, that'd be interesting!


That has happened before - with mixed results!


Well if does, he does. I'm quite confident now that he's really messed up, so things are going to get a lot worse for him now.

arborlad wrote:What size of building is going to be erected?........the footings don't seem adequate for a two storey extension.


It's a single story 'conservatory' extension.

4.5m out from the house, 4.3m across, 3.6m max height, 2.6m eaves height.

arborlad wrote:Whatever is erected there it seems quite clear that the flank wall will (whether intended or not) at some point have to do some retaining of your land, if the neighbour/builder has a well thought out plan for this, all well and good - if not!!...........the quickest and best way to find out his intentions is to go and ask.

DPCs and damp penetration are all going to complicate matters.


I imagine that the flank wall will be absolutely right up against the boundary line of our houses, certainly he has now trimmed up the concrete 'stack' underneath the fence post in Image 4 in my OP so he can get as close as possible. Presumably the remaining gap will be back filled.

It's gone too far now for us to speak, I don't want a confrontation and actually I'm not interested in talking to him now.
I'm also aware of his opinion of me because of all this, he has a dreadful sense of entitlement and is basically the 'I'll do whatever I want' type. He could've learnt from the previous exchange regarding his proposed front extension and just showed an ounce of courtesy and consideration, but no. In fact he couldn't even be bothered to just stick a board down at the boundary line and concrete up to that, instead he ignores my explicit instructions and just does exactly what he wants.

One good thing about this is I've at least received support from several neighbours, some of whom that I'd never even met prior to this mess. Of course they can't really do anything to help me, although at least one will be complaining to the council about him working on the weekend.
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby despair » Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:33 pm

Conservatories have guttering on all sides so WATCH OUT there will be guttering overhanging your land before you know it

are you sure he does not need PP for a conservatory that size ..............it sounds wrong to me
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby echo » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:01 pm

despair wrote:are you sure he does not need PP for a conservatory that size ..............it sounds wrong to me


Unfortunately not, see this post http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=20352#p195847 regarding the 2015 GPDO rules in a previous thread of mine.

To be honest, planning law seems so oppressive to the third party affected that I imagine PP would be granted anyway.
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby echo » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:55 pm

The matter is now with Solicitors.

I will update this thread if/when appropriate.
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby ukmicky » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:58 am

2 surveyors . 3rd surveyor only required if the two cant come to an agreement.

This is now a mess and its a mess because the partywall act is crap.

It looks like they have already laid the foundations so the work which you required the party wall surveyor for has already been performed so its beyond the stage of a party wall award. . But you can still request they send you a party wall notice before they perform any more work but they will most likely refuse your request and as they have already performed the work the award would have dealt with.

You should have a party wall surveyor perform a condition survey of your property so if cracks appear it will show that the chances are it was due to the works they performed. Its a bit late now as it should have been done pre-work but due to the height differences with your properties, there are more chances that problems could occur in the future so it would be a good idea to get one done even if you have to pay for it.

If they had sent you a party wall notice they would have paid for the survey but unfortunately because they didn't and the foundations have already been laid and they are beyond the stage of a partywall award there are no legal procedures except through solicitors threats or asking a court to force them to pay now. If you went to court and argued your case you would most likely come out the winner but you may not .

You could apply for an injunction and would probably get an interim one. However the injunction would be to force them to follow the procedures of the act for works pertaining to the act , if those works are now complete the argument is the partwall act cant now be used and any action now can only be taken if damage occurs due to the works which is why you need to gain a condition survey.

There are many party wall surveyors out there touting for trade , ring one up and explain your issues and see if they will take on your case based on them forcing the neighbours to issue you with a late notice.

Next

The part wall could actually be anywhere. The stepped bricks may not mark the edge of your house. Builders don't often look at the problems they can create when drawing up building plans and there is actually a very good chance that the party wall is under your roof line down the middle of the stepped area with your tiles sitting on and being supported by their skin of the party wall. Nothing wrong with that . The only way to tell for sure are to take proper measurements which a party wall surveyor can do for you.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Urgent advice on Party/Retaining wall needed

Postby arborlad » Sat Aug 27, 2016 9:46 am

despair wrote:Conservatories have guttering on all sides so WATCH OUT.......




Having guttering on all sides isn't exclusive to conservatories and would be dependent on roof type - not building type..............and please - stop shouting!
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