Party Wall Knocked Down

Post Reply
User avatar
twits
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:22 am

Party Wall Knocked Down

Post by twits » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:18 pm

I looking for a bit of advice on what can be done with regards out neighbour knocking down a party wall in the front garden and errecting a fence in its place.

It is a privately owned house and we have the deeds in our hands. Reading through the deeds, it states that on the boundary of the front gardens there is a party wall for which we are responsible for the maintenance of. I assume that as a party wall both ourselves and neighbour have joint ownership of the bricks. Our neighbour took it upon himself to demolish the wall use the bricks elsewhere in his own garden and put up a fence.

I understand there is a party wall act but the act is pretty useless unless we are prepared to line the pockets of the solicitors (we don't have any insurance policy to cover). The police will not entertain any form of criminal damage as they see it as a neighbour dispute and part of civil law. At a guess because ownership of the bricks are jointly owned or maybe they don't actually want to get involved.

We don't have the money to take them to court to put the wall back to how it has been since the houses were built and states in the deeds of the house. Which means we are going to have to let them take the bricks and let the fence stay where it is. My question is regarding the deeds.

Are we now responsible for this fence that has been put in place of the party wall? The deeds state we are responsible for the party 'wall' not a fence.

Can we do anything to the fence, ie paint it, pin things to it? I ask this because we didn't pay for the fence and our deeds state we are responsible for a brick wall that came part and parcel with the house we have paid for.

There has recently been a case in the papers where Lyndsey Gagrica is due in Nottingham magistrates court for painting the fence her neighbour put up. This baffles me how someone can demolish a wall with no action being taken yet this lady has been taken to court for painting a fence on her side.

I understand there is absolutely nothing we can do with regards the wall being taken down without permission. People are allowed to knock garden party walls down with no redress for their actions. I am just seeking advice and help from the community as to where we stand following the events that have happened.

Many thanks
Member of the Trollman fan club since 2011 - I'm right you're wrong, this is the law.

arsie
Posts: 1957
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: Party Wall Knocked Down

Post by arsie » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:28 pm

In the case you refer, I believe the fence owner had to get planning permission, as it was quite high and down to the road. The permission specified brown. The G person painted 'her' side white. There was a history of her harrassing the older couple who had put the fence up. G was fined.

In your case you seem sensibly to have realised there isn't a lot you can do except I would make clear to them that they own the fence as you were not party to their unilateral decision and had no choice in the matter. Were it a 'party fence' then you would have shared the costs. If you have a pressing use for them I would ask for my share of the bricks back otherwise leave it drop. You never know what might happen and you might want to move one day and better to be free of any disputes.

As it is not your fence you cannot do or attach anything to it. Although in practice this often goes on, it was just that the G person had been too nosey for too long and the old folks were at the end of their tether and what the G person did was a step too far. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/yo ... al-2118880

kipper
Posts: 855
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:10 pm

Re: Party Wall Knocked Down

Post by kipper » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:34 pm

Have you spoken with the neighbour about this?

User avatar
twits
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:22 am

Re: Party Wall Knocked Down

Post by twits » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:52 pm

Cheers for the reply.

@ Kipper unfortunately we are not on speaking terms.

If we make it clear that we want nothing to do with the fence, how will it effect the deeds of the house? Do the deeds of the house have to be altered to suit the changes as there will be no party wall there now.
Member of the Trollman fan club since 2011 - I'm right you're wrong, this is the law.

arsie
Posts: 1957
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: Party Wall Knocked Down

Post by arsie » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:19 pm

The loss of obligation to maintain a party wall, to have to negotiate and pay towards the same, could be seen as less onerous on your property? The neighbour owns the fence so that is his fully responsibility and I would resist strongly any attempt on his part to get you to pay. Just as long as he has not annexed any of your land.

I would think that such a responsibility has clearly lapsed if there is no longer a wall to be maintained.

Not a big deal I would have thought but perhaps someone expert can comment re deeds.

Maybe there is a Land Registry form you can complete/submit?

kipper
Posts: 855
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:10 pm

Re: Party Wall Knocked Down

Post by kipper » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:54 pm

If the fence was replaced centrally where the wall was, it is a party fence and the neighbour has gifted you an interest in it. You can attach things to it, paint it, etc. You are under no obligation to maintain this fence though.

arsie
Posts: 1957
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: Party Wall Knocked Down

Post by arsie » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:10 am

By jove Kipper that sounds as if this could be a good outcome for the OP. Solves his worry about the deeds.
Any legal beavers care to confirm?

Conveyancer
Posts: 5610
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 3:19 pm
Location: Andalucía

Re: Party Wall Knocked Down

Post by Conveyancer » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:52 pm

I would like to see the precise wording in the deeds. Assuming it is a standard declaration it relates only to the structure in place at the date of the deed containing the declaration. Any new structure will only be a party structure if it straddles the boundary, the precise position of which may now be difficult to locate.

The OP owned the half of the wall on his side and accordingly the bricks in it, rather than being joint owner of all the bricks. The neighbour did not of course have the right to demolish the wall, but having done so he ought not to have appropriated all the bricks. The OP is entitled to sue for their value, but the action is probably not worth the trouble and in any event, wisely, he is not keen to get involved in litigation.
If you have benefited from advice on this site please consider contributing to a cancer charity.

Post Reply