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Footings crossing boundary between neighbours

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by thetcutkid, 11 Sep 2016.

  1. thetcutkid

    thetcutkid

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    Hi,

    I wonder if someone could clarify the legality of a situation my cousin's family is in.

    They had a single story extention built at the back of their property 10 years ago. They had an architect draw up plans, employed a local building company, they did everything by the book, with building control and council etc. etc.

    Last week their neighbour started work on a similar single story extension and after only about a day of digging out, the neighbour arrives on their doorstep, just a level down from cardiac arrest with rage as his builders have informed him that the footings for my cousin's extension cross the boundary line into his land by 20cm.

    My cousin has got back in touch with their architect (which, would you believe, is the same architect working on the neighbours extension) and their builder and both say there is not a problem.

    Now I've done a tiny bit of searching on the internet and can't really find a definitive answer.

    So I guess my question is have my cousin's architect and builder screwed up ?

    Has legislation in the last 10 years changed to disallow this sort of thing ?

    Is this perfectly legal ?

    Thanks for your help.
     
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  3. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    If a Party Wall Award is in place for the foundation, then its OK. If not then it's strictly a trespass.

    But its not a problem if the neighbour is putting a foundation next to it
     
  4. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Yes, it will be trespass absent the application of the PWA. But your cousin's neighbours can do little about it if it's been like that for 10 years. If it went to court, the only remedy for a trespass is an injunction, but that is a discretionary remedy. The very worst that would happen is that your cousins' neighbours would be awarded nominal damages (£1?) plus costs.
     
  5. thetcutkid

    thetcutkid

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    Thanks for your reply Woody.

    Just to clarify, when they built the extension 10 years ago, they weren't building up against any existing structure, essentially where there was a fence between the two patios, that became the outside wall of my cousin's extention.

    Would a party wall agreement still needed to have been in place ?
     
  6. noseall

    noseall

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    Does the PWA mean (land) trespass is ok?
     
  7. thetcutkid

    thetcutkid

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    Hi Tony, thanks for your reply too.

    So unlikely though court action may be, it would still be my cousin's fault despite them taking all the advice from the architect, builder, council etc. etc. at the time ?

    It wouldn't be a case of them arguing they'd been poorly advised, because I'm sure they would never have heard of a PWA 10 years ago, I only got to know of them 18months ago when our neighbours built a loft conversion.
     
  8. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    OK? Off the wall question?

    As I have stated on this board before, I live in Scotland --- no party wall stuff---

    When did the Boundary change? meaning your cousins build, as instructed, designed by an Architect, authorised by the LA within the boundary [presumably] after all why would any qualified Architect Design something that goes over a Boundary?? [Party wall act or not?]

    Your cousin is now being told that an until now undisputed boundary line has changed??

    Question is where is the Boundary, just a thought???

    Old story, prove to me [unequivocally] where the Boundary line is please?

    This then places the Designer, the Architect under a load of pressure as to what advice he gave to your Cousin and is now giving to the neighbour? suppose that is why they carry Insurances, worth a thought???

    Very glad Scotland does not subscribe to the PWA stuff

    Ken
     
  9. thetcutkid

    thetcutkid

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    Hi Ken, thanks for your input.

    You make very valid points, I've kinda said the same thing to my cousin - how can all these professionals and authorities all make the same mistake, if indeed it is a mistake ?

    This has all been made a 100 times worse because the neighbour seems to have been spoiling for a fight for a while now and this has just given him so much ammunition to be really unpleasant and aggressive.

    It's almost like he feels my cousin has gone out and laid the concrete themselves - I've said this is mad, if he wants to get mad at someone, get mad with the guy he's just employed to plan he's own extension !!!

    In terms of the boundary, its never changed and my cousin has gone round to look at the disputed area and says if you visually line up the 'join' between the two houses and follow this down onto the patio, you can see that the foundations do cross this visual line into the neighbours garden but isn't there something written in stone (excuse the pun) defining the boundary, on the deeds perhaps ?
     
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  11. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Within the Act, is the right to place unreinforced foundations across the boundary. But it must be stated within the Party Wall Award.

    It won't be a trespass, and the foundations can stay as long as the wall does.
     
  12. chappers

    chappers

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    both the builder and the architect don't have a problem, just tell the neighbour to let his builder get on with it get his extension built, bury the foundations back in the ground and forget about them and stop being a twat
     
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  13. motorbiking

    motorbiking

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    I take it the neighbour issued a party wall notice, given that he is digging within 3M of your foundations? the requirement is actually to give notice if you go deeper and within 3M, but given he's only just found the problem, would suggest he hasn't tested the depth.
     
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  14. thetcutkid

    thetcutkid

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    Chappers I couldn't agree with you more but this neighbour is something else. The builder of my cousin's extension has actually suggested that, with a PWA in place, it would actually work out better for both sides if he butted the extension right up to my cousin's.

    He's says he won't do this so there will actually be a 2 inch gap between the two extensions. I think this is nuts, what happens if there are damp issues (or anything else for that matter) with the outside wall of my cousin's extension, how could you ever examine and treat it ?

    He's already said that if there are any damp issues he won't be held responsible.
     
  15. motorbiking

    motorbiking

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    why would you turn a detached house into a semi? or link detached, by butting them up?
     
  16. thetcutkid

    thetcutkid

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    I'm not sure if a PWA was issued motorbiking my cousin has not mentioned this so I assume not.

    I must be honest and say I hadn't realised the PWA doesn't always have to directly relate to a wall...just digging close to foundations is enough to need one ?
     
  17. motorbiking

    motorbiking

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    Yep - within 3M or within 6M at 45 degrees.
     
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