property dispute

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spindle666 | 20:01 Tue 04th Aug 2009 | Home & Garden
9 Answers
i own an end of terrace house with an extention on the back. my neigbours without my permission built on this wall, now i cant clean my gutters without scaffolding,my bathroom pipes now go through their new loft space, i cannot get to them. i have been told about the party wall agreement they were not interested in it the council also told them but no luck. it is only big enough to be under building regs.i saw a chartered surveyer, he told me the party wall is only where the 2 houses are joined, which is not this wall.their central heating flue is opposite my bathroom window and fills the room with fumes, their plumber says its not dangerous! they are also now saying that this window is illegal and want it bricked up it has been in the wall for 100 years somebody with some know how help me


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I would get in touch with your Council asap and let them come and inspect what's being/been done. If your neighbours haven't got planning permission or they've broken the building laws, they can be made to remove the build, but there's probably a time limit to have your complaint investigated, so you need to insist on a Council visit as soon as you can.
You should speak to your local planning authorities enforcement team. You are allowed to extend your house by 70 cubic metres without planning permission but this has to be set at least 1.0m away from any boundary. I would suggest that your neighbour should have had planning permission to carry out their extension. You can probably get some redress through the courts via the party wall act but the enforcement team should be your first call. Regardless, if your bathroom waste pipes go through their loft space does this mean that they were on their side of the boundary wall? If so then there should be a legal agreement in place to a) allow this and b) give you a right to maintain them. This need not be more than a letter or on the deeds of the properties but should exist. This should also stipulate the rights of both owners in relation to the ownership and maintenance of this wall.
Good luck with this.
Please answer the following then I will comment further:
1) How long has your extension been there - 100 years?
2) When did they start to build their extension? - since 1st October 2008?
3) In one sentence you say the houses are not joined - in another you say they built on to your wall. Please clarify.
4) To your best estimate, was your original wall built so its outer edge was against the boundary of your plot. If so, did your 'bathroom pipes' extend into their plot? What are these pipes? - overflows?
5) What steps did you take to resolve this before it was completed?
Question Author
my old bath pipes went into an old cast iron hopper on a drain pipe on what i call my wall all this wall does is hold up my roof i have a 3 floor house they have only 2. they have also renewed their garden fence and was done by a company not them doing it. it is now level with the outside line of my soffets not where it used to be
Question Author
i also told them about party wall stuff i got land registry and deeds they didnot want to know we will leave it in the hands of god is all i got.. i dont know how long my extention has been up but it was many many years before either of us bought our homes.all i gopt was how do you think i like looking at your wall from my kitchen window ( before they built on my wall) but my extention was there when they viewed their house
Spindle - I think you need to consult a solicitor - you may have cover which will provide a solicitor if you took out the legal cover which is often offered with home insurance. If you do not have this cover then some solicitors will give you an initial consultation free or for very low cost.

This dispute sounds very complicated and if you do not get it properly and legally resolved you may find it could cause you a problem if and when you wish to sell the property.
I suspect Woozer is right, but I'm prepared to keep going with the free advice if it helps.
I still don't get the picture fully, but it sounds like you share a party wall, and for the first 2 storeys, both properties share this wall. More recently they have extended further up the line of the party wall, enveloping the hopper downpipe that was technically in 'their' part of the plot.
If that is roughly right, the Party Wall Act 1996 should have applied, but if the work is done it is somewhat too late now (hence my question about what steps you took at the time).
I still don't get the bit about which window of yours faces into their plot.
There are minimum distances involved in where boiler flues can be - I'll check them out and report back if it helps? Not figures I keep in my head.
Question Author
i was in contact with a serveyer he told me that the party wall was only where the 2 houses are extension is at the back of the house. next door have built from their house to my extention across what was their rear court yard.the only thing my wall does is hold my roof up it does nothing to their bathroom window in this wall is at the same level as their gutters facing the side of their house. there is no agreement the council did not know about the build untill i told them. the surveyer also said that trespass had happened by the build. all my old pipework was as old as the arc and probably many many years in place.
Question Author
all the waist pipes were re routed by their builders into i think a new gutter down pipe was also moved i now drains onto their roof.why did they put their new fence about 9 inches(the width of my facias) into their garden and not along the line of the wall they built onto on my house. which they say is the party wall

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