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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19594
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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We are currently doing our garden as part of the end of a complete

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We are currently doing our garden as part of the end of a complete renovation of our house. We have a boundary wall with a neighbour which is marked as our theirs in the sellers pack that we had when we bought the property. We were just about to put a trellis along on the top of the wall as they can see straight into our garden. It just occurred to me that this may not be allowed. The house next door is rented and the landlord is not friendly or helpful in any dealings we've had with him. The builder thinks we should just put it up and not worry about it - i'm not so sure this is the right approach, but am worried that if we ask him he will say no and/or he will start talking about party wall issues and costs (as he did when we did the extension)
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to help you with this today. Please bear with me if I ask for more information.

You should not really put it up without asking the owner of the next door’s property consent.
Even if it is a party wall, he is just as entitled to not have it up as you are to have it up and if it ended in court, the court would maintain the status quo and that means you would not get your trellis.
You can ask the current occupier if they mind because they are the ones who would report this to the landlord and cause the problems. They may actually prefer it with a trellis up. However, even so, you should have the landlord’s consent.
Many people would simply do this and then deal with the fallout afterwards, perhaps having to remove it, and you might want to do that rather than bring it to his attention, but it is not what I would recommend from a legal point of view.
If the landlord does not agree, then the only thing you can do is put a fence up immediately on your side of the wall. Remember that it must not be more than 2 m high otherwise you need planning consent.
He cannot do anything about what you port immediately on your side of the wall as long as you do not attach it to the wall.
Does that answer the question? Can I help further?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

I think you are right that I should ask, i'm just worried that he will say no - if that is the case I think you are saying there is nothing I can do apart from build my own fence inside my boundary. I don't really want to do that as the wall is a lovely old wall so it would be a shame to cover it up.


 


For clarification are also you saying that I can't attach anything to it even if it's fixed on to our side of the wall rather than the top?


 


The height thing is also difficult as our garden heights are really different (up to 50-75cm which is partly why they can see straight into our garden) so i'm not sure where you would measure the 2m from.


 


thanks


Kirstie

Expert:  Stuart J replied 8 months ago.
You can actually fix things on your side of a party wall which could include brackets for the trellis, however, don’t expect the neighbour, if he is as uncooperative as you say, to accept that because he will just blindly think that it is his wall when you cannot do anything to it.
The 2 m comes from the lowest point. Look here on page 2

http://www.fenland.gov.uk/chttphandler.ashx?id=5307&p=0

bottom right hand side.
It doesn’t matter which counsel, it comes from, because the rules are obviously national. I must admit I think that it should be the other way round, but I do not make the law, I just regurgitate it
Customer: replied 8 months ago.


Well it sounds like the answer is brackets on my side of the wall then, as it least if I do that and it's legal he doesn't have any comeback apart from being cross. I'm happy to have a run in with him about it if I know where I stand legally.


 


Or I could ring and tell him i'm putting up a trellis and would prefer to affix it to the top and if he says no I could say that in that case I will put it on my side only.


 


I presume the 2m is the total of the wall and trellis combined? I will measure it from the new lowest point when I've laid the decking and patio as that will be the lowest visible point.


thanks


Kirstie

Expert:  Stuart J replied 8 months ago.
if you end up having a running with him. It might help if you can wave something official in front of him.
Here is the party Wall booklet.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/207310/Party_Wall_etc._Act_1996_-_Explanatory_Booklet.pdf

have a look on page 10 paragraph 6 and I think that what you propose would come under the same as the first bullet point. Remember that this booklet is the interpretation of the act and not the definitive law.
Yes, although you may be better asking him if he minds if you could rather than telling him that you are going to anyway and if he then says no, you can then waved the paperwork in front of him.
2 m is indeed the total height, although to be honest, the chances of the planning authority ever coming out and looking at this, if it is not visible from the road, is remote. But you do need to know the legal situation obviously.
I think that you are being liberal with your interpretation about measuring it from the top of the decking and if it came down to an argument I think it would end up being ground level, otherwise you could raise the decking by 12 inches to gain another artificial 12 inches.
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19594
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
Stuart J and 2 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.

Thank you that's really helpful


Yes I take your point about the height, we've raised the ground level by about 4 inches by building the decking and levelling the patio - but I don't think that's the main issue in terms of the neighbour and what he might do.


 


I will mull over how brave I'm feeling in terms of asking or not and then go with the bracket option for safety.


best wishes


Kirstie

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