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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 20067
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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I am residing in Singapore. I am erecting a three Storey building

Resolved Question:

I am residing in Singapore. I am erecting a three
Storey building which is adjoining to my neighbor 2 storey
Building .
In the course of construction, my builder has
Caused damages to the building next door and the
Neighbor has complained to the local building authority . The damages
Caused were subsequently rectified and the building authority confirmed
With my neighbor that they are satisfied with the rectification .
In fact the damages were very minor in the opinion of the builfing authority
Now we are in a fix how to erect the scaffolding to cement the brickwall .so we approached the building sughority for help . The building authority spoke to my neighbor and obtained their permission for my contractor to use the air space to erect the scaffolding and on condition that the cobyractors cannot step on their toof and no debris shall fall onto their roof, failing which the permission will be revoked . The problem is that there is no way to erect the scaffolding through the air space . I have engaged a professional engineer to design a cantilever to erect the scaffolding but to instal the cantilever , the contractors have to step on the roof for about half an hour to 45 mins . Thereafter, the contractors will be able to erect the scaffolding without touching the roof of my neighbor .
My contractors tried on three occasions to inform MU neighbor of the intended works but my neighbor refused to open the gate or speak to them
So two days ago, my contractors tried to instal the cantilever but they were stopped by my neighbor for the following reasons 1) August is an inauspicious month for the works due to their religious belief 2) we
Must first rectify the same damages to their entire satisfaction before they give us the permission to use the air space 4) no stepping on their roof .
As I mentioned before , without stepping on their roofs , my contractors cannot instal the cantilever to carry out the works to plaster the brickwall on my side and furthermore , there is no assurance that they will grant the permission if they are unreasonable by claiming that the rectification is not to their entire satisfaction .in the meantime , the water is seeping through the wall as there is no water proofing done . My intention is to do the water proofing for my neighbor but they are unreasonable and unapproachable .
In the circumstance, I intend to proceed with the cantilever when my neighbors are not in their house if the discussions with them break down due to the conditions laid down.
My questions are
1) is the trepass a civil or criminal offence under Singapore laws which are basically modeled on English laws?
2) if the neighbor were to obtain a court order to remove the scaffolding , can I file an application to the Court to grant me the permission to erect the scaffolding using the cantilever against my undertaking and indemnity to make good any defects or damages caused ?
3) what other remedies are available to me ? The steel structures will begin to rust once the water seeps into the brickwall over protracted period and therefore it is crucial for me to carry out the wall plastering as soon as possible .
Thank you .
Regards
Eugene
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
we can only answer on UK law. Is that sufficiently similar for you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes because Singapore laws are quite similar to English laws
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Trespass is a civil offence and not a criminal offence. There are signs which say “trespasses will be prosecuted” but that is a nonsense because trespass is not criminal.
Under the UK Access to Neighbouring Land Act the neighbour has to grant you access for any work required to “preserve” your property. That does not include new build.
Subject to what I say in the following paragraph, the court will not order the neighbour to allow your scaffolding to go into place simply because you cannot build it any other way. The neighbour has an absolute right to prevent that. He could get an injunction to compel you to remove it if you have already installed it on the court will not make an order to allow it to go back into place.
What you need is an agreement for it to go into place before it goes into place. Once you have that agreement, the court will then order the scaffolding to go into place under the terms of the agreement. However the terms of the agreement are clear and that is that you must not walk on his roof and you are therefore faced with doing whatever you need to do in order to put the scaffolding up without walking on his roof. The court will not enforce an impossibility. And if the agreement is therefore that you can put the scaffolding up without walking on his roof and he removes consent. You can enforce the agreement to put the scaffolding up the court will not allow you walk on his roof if that’s not what was agreed in the first place.
It doesn’t matter that you agree to repair any damage or not if the neighbour has not agreed to this, the court will not make you agree.
About the only remedy that you can do is try offering the neighbour money.
Just one thing that is worth mentioning, you appear to have a verbal agreement to put the scaffolding in place subject to not walking on his roof. Provided you don’t walk on his roof, you can enforce that verbal agreement although I expect him to say that he never said do that.
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Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 20067
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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