Am I doing this right?

Am I doing this right?

Postby Mr. Annoyed » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:14 pm

This may be long but I am tying to obviate any questions!
I have lived in an end terrace house built 1937, since December 1981. It is separated from the bungalow next door by an appx. 4ft high brick wall as required by covenant. this divides my driveway [appx. 6' 6" wide] from the side path of the bungalow. both run to the rear of the properties where I have a detached garage. At the garage end the wall rises to appx. 6' where it forms what was the rearmost wall of the neighbours coal shed and storeroom, which has been demolished by the neighbour leaving what was the dividing wall standing as a support. There is gate [unused] in the wall next to this section as the previous occupiers' parents lived in the bungalow. There is a "filler" of bricks appx 6" wide between my garage end wall and the late coalhouse wall. the eaves and guttering of the garage end parallel to the coal house wall and the dividing wall leads to this.
During the purchase I specifically asked the vendor about the wall as I was concerned that we had the only garage and side driveway in the road and the possibility he may have encroached on his parents land. He assured me that he had assisted building the wall and it was all on his land. He told me that the garage had been constructed in the mid fifties, prior to his occupation, there are no documents relating to it in my files.
The neighbours purchased the property in 2000, we have enjoyed a good relationship with them, although he has mentioned once or twice that wall is "wavy" and leans somewhat onto his property though not excessively so, and has done so since I moved in without any later movement. There has never, either on purchase or subsequently, been any discussion of boundaries.
On Friday I was chatting with my neighbour over the wall about moving to Devon when he said words to the effect of let me know when you're moving and I can knock the wall down as he had difficulty getting things down the sideway and it was built 3 inches onto his property. I replied I could not allow that and he would have to discuss any such move with any purchaser. I pointed out that I had discussed the matter with my vendor and what had been said, I had the deeds which showed the boundary lines and I believed that the wall was on my property as a result of what I had been told. He replied that he had the deeds and they showed measurements which placed the wall 3" onto his property. We agreed not to argue over the matter but this now places me in an invidious position as no-one will wish to purchase with a boundary dispute in the air. I have managed to trace the vendor but up till now have been unable to contact him and am not sure he will assist me but an email or, if necessary, an affidavit by him may resolve it.
Otherwise it appears to me that I have a very good case for resolving this by applying for adverse possession, I do not wish to do this but will if necessary. I await the possibility of solicitors' letters on behalf of the neighbours, but will point out the failure of surveyors, solicitors and purchaser to raise this matter on purchase and the lapse of time involved. I shall continue to attempt to contact the previous owner in the first instance.
Can anyone who has got the end of this odyssey advise of any other means of dealing with this, thanks
Mr. Annoyed
 
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Re: Am I doing this right?

Postby Roblewis » Mon Jul 25, 2016 6:37 pm

Ask yourself the honest question - Would this loss in this area of land really affect the enjoyment of your house. If not think very hard before you enter into a dispute that will seriously affect your ability to sell now or in the future.
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Re: Am I doing this right?

Postby Mr. Annoyed » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:13 pm

It is a very narrow drive and any further reduction would render the garage virtually useless as the supporting pillars are on my side. My wifes car which is relatively small only just fits with the mirrors folded. I have considered this over the weekend and regret to say the answer is yes. No-one would want a 20 x 10 garden shed
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Re: Am I doing this right?

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:07 pm

Hi Mr Annoyed,

He replied that he had the deeds and they showed measurements which placed the wall 3" onto his property.

they likely don't - and he just thinks they do...

anyway, suppose the wall is on his land, how does that give him a right to a erect a new one on your land once he's knocked the wall down?!?!?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Am I doing this right?

Postby COGGY » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:29 pm

Does anyone know (I don't) whether the side the supporting pillars are on the wall denotes ownership of the wall? Coggy
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Re: Am I doing this right?

Postby arborlad » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:33 pm

COGGY wrote:Does anyone know (I don't) whether the side the supporting pillars are on the wall denotes ownership of the wall? Coggy




Like the posts and rails on a featheredge fence, they should be on the owners side.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Am I doing this right?

Postby Mr. Annoyed » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:48 pm

Hi there,
My understanding has always been that the supports of a wall or fence are on the owners side as otherwise they would encroach on the other parties land. They certainly are in this case. No doubt there are exemptions - aren't there always!
Thanks
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Re: Am I doing this right?

Postby Roblewis » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:40 am

Walls are one situation where the footings can be be on the neighbours land, See Party Wall Act - Line of Junction Notice. The neighbour has no choice but to accept the placement of footings. It would be very hard to demonstrate ownership of a wall where support pillars are on the opposite side to yourself. Courts will likely regard the fair face, ie that without pillars, as the boundary line.

Your problem is that this claim means you have a declarable dispute in any future sale from this date onwards. You do need a resolution. As the width is critical you need t rebut firmly any claim
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Re: Am I doing this right?

Postby jonahinoz » Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:55 pm

It is separated from the bungalow next door by an appx. 4ft high brick wall as required by covenant.

Hi,

Who benefits from this covenant?

It seems to me that both you and your neighbour are finding this wall a restriction on access to your garages. Would the narrow drive deter potential buyers ... it would deter me. Yes, I am capable of reversing down a narrow drive, but I'd rather not, particularly at night when it's raining.

Next question ... how do you persuade your neighbour to pay all the legal and other fees involved in removing the wall, and at the same time think he is winning.

John W
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