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wingrovebuyer, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 657
Experience:  I am a property solicitor specialising in English Property Law, mines and minerals, sporting rights and rural property.
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I purchased a semi-detached property in August last year, and

Customer Question

I purchased a semi-detached property in August last year, and it has recently been brought to my attention that my adjoining neighbour has encroached over the boundary line.

I had a survey carried out prior to purchase and necessary searches carried out by my solicitor, but not once was this existing encroachment, or any previously served Party Wall Notice (or consequent agreement by the previous owners) brought to my attention prior to completion.

According to the plan, there is a T symbol stating that I should have responsibility for the wall between our two gardens. However, instead of a boundary fence or wall down the length of the garden, the garage wall makes up part of new boundary (on our land according to the plan), with a brick wall built from the houses up to the side of the garage.

It appears that the wall spanning the distance from the houses up to the neighbours garage may have been constructed at the same time as other building work on our property (a disabled extension and the opposite party wall)

The garage is very tall and unsightly, and blocks out the entirety of the sun into my garden during late afternoon/evening. In addition, and as a result of the garage, the wall that was built up to the side of the garage is also taller than I would like and sloping unevenly.

As it would appear I have responsibility for this separating wall, I would ideally like to demolish it and replace it with a nice level wall mirroring that built on the other side of the garden. In doing so, I would like to correct the encroachment issue and follow the proper boundary line as shown on my plans. However, to do this, my neighbour would need to possibly demolish the rear of their garage, and if necessary rebuild it within their own land.

What are my rights, and what can I do next? Did completing my purchase without disputing this encroachment essentially count as my consent for it? How do I find out whether a Party Wall Notice was served to previous owners (he is now dead), am I correct in thinking that the neighbour built the garage illegally if they did not, and can they be forced to remove it if this is the case? Does the fact that the garage has existed for a while, mean that the neighbour can somehow claim ownership of the land now and therefore alter the boundary? Do I now have to just stick with living with the situation as is?

Apologies for many questions, but this is a rather complex issue! Thanks in advance for any help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 1 year ago.
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