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Joanne M
Joanne M, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 264
Experience:  LLB (Hons), LPC
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Our neighbours carried out extensive works to their garden

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Our neighbours carried out extensive works to their garden a few years ago. They built walls to retain our garden beneath the fence that already existed. Although no party wall notice was served, are these now party walls? We are now working on our own garden and have exposed the walls which are no longer needed to retain anything but are acting as a boundary. Can we render the side exposed in our garden to protect and maintain it?

Have you discussed your plans with your neighbours at all?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No, they were away when work started and have been rude and told our contractors we had no right to do work in our garden without asking them first. They won't speak to us, just shout at our contractors when we're not there, including " that's our wall, don't you dare touch it" hence the question. Our neighbours on the other side are just interested in what's going on and supply our contractor with tea when the other side have been giving him a hard time. True colours have really been shown by them, the anger from them that we've been told about is staggering. Can we render the bits of wall we've exposed? To match in with retaining walls we've built - We've retained all parts of their garden where necessary and have ensured we haven't touched or damaged the fence above the wall. They won't be able to see it without climbing over the fence and it will protect the wall rather than damage it. The whole garden is being landscaped, not just by the boundary with them.
Provided the wall is built on the boundary or immediately adjacent to the boundary, this is a party wall now. The fact that they did not serve a party wall notice initially is immaterial after all this time.
Please look at this booklet which explains the situation with regard to party walls and look in particular on page 7, diagram 4

Although the layout is different, their garden appears to be as in the left-hand property (or the wall straddles the boundary) and therefore it is a party wall.
If you then go to page 10, paragraph 6, and it may be that you don’t have to have consent to do the rendering but the bottom paragraph qualifies that. I think you would be better to serve a party Wall act notice.
They can of course object and if you carry on regardless, they are faced with taking you to court. I think it likely that the court would allow you to do this because it does not affect the structural integrity the wall and only you will be looking at it
Can I answer any further questions? Can I clarify anything?
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX put my mind at rest.

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