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Ask wingrovebuyer Your Own Question
wingrovebuyer, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  I am a property solicitor specialising in English Property Law, mines and minerals, sporting rights and rural property.
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I live I a detached house. My neighbour is in a semi

Customer Question

Hi I live I a detached house. My neighbour is in a semi detached and the space between his house and mine is a little bit over a car's width. in fact it is his driveway and which extends from the road and the full length of the right hand side of my house. on the driveway side of my house there are no widows/doors. he has built an 8ft high fence between the 2 properties such that I can no longer access/inspect 2/3 of the RHS of my house behind his 8ft high fence. I have a drain pipe from the roof to the drain on the RHS side of my house at the back of my house and attached to my wall. i have never given him permission to attach his fence to my house wall. he has subsequently built some kind of shed structure behind this fence and which I reckon fixed to my wall. he has also built a Jacuzzi behind the shed and which drains into my drain pipe! i cannot also for instance get access to my tv aerial which is on the RHS of my house roof as it is 'behind' his fence. can he do all this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
his claim is that the boundary between the properties is my house wall and his driveway. the tarmaced driveway is the full width between our 2 properties. his Jacuzzi is next to my rhs wall and i can hear it when it's on. I bought a detached property to be 'well clear' of the neighbours in terms of noise, etc. surely he can't put it so close to my wall? at the moment if say I wanted to attach anything to the rhs of my wall, e.g. cable tv cable to the rear of my house on the rhs, I can't. (it's another detached house to the left of my house).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
he built his first fence in around 2006 when I had moved out for a couple of years, and when I wasn't around. he's subsequently replaced it with a higher one and done all the shed/Jacuzzi stuff in the last couple of years. I have previously told him to remove any attachment to my wall and that I've never given him permission to attach anything to my wall either - because it prevents/restricts access to the rhs of my house.
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 2 years ago.

Hello. Simple answer - even if the legal boundary is where your gable end meets the side of his drive, he cannot attach anything to your property. This is trespass and, quite probably, criminal damage. I suggest you write to him to tell him to remove all fittings and make good all damage within 28 days or you'll seek an injunction requiring the removal of the fittings, and you''ll seek costs against him. If he doesn't comply, you'll then have to decide whether to live with it, or see through your threat. If you do, you'll need a lawyer and you should expect to pay around £3,000 plus VAT for getting the injunction. It is likely you will get most (if not all) of these costs back from your neighbour if the injunction is upheld. Best, WB

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi. Thank you - but I'm not sure that your reply quite answers my concern, so I'm not going to score you just yet! It seems to me that if I ask him to remove any attachments, and if he refuses, I could get an injunction at significant cost to me. If after I've applied for an injunction and he complies doesn't that mean I've incurred significant cost with no prospect of getting my cost back? I am assuming that he would have to refuse an injunction for me to get my costs back? (But in the mean time he removes any attachments).
However, if he was so bloody minded he could remove all of the attachments and say create a structure which doesn't actually attach in any way to my wall, but which would still prevent me any access to that side of my house? He might put something up which is only 1mm from my wall! That wouldn't really benefit me as I would be in no better position to do anything with my house wall e.g. get access to it to put in a gas pipe, tv cable, etc. It is this which is my real concern. The only way I can realistically get access to that side of my house is for me to be on his driveway. Unfortunately the builder didn't leave a gap between my house wall and say a couple of feet away as the boundary. If this had been the case at least then I could walk/look at that side of my house unfettered/unhindered. This is why I suggested to my neighbour that my boundary is surely where the gable end is, as it overhangs the wall by around 10-12". At the moment I cannot for example get at my tv aerial because to do so I would need to put a ladder on his drive. This is not helped by the fact that he now has a shed like structure and also a jacuzzi on his driveway. I would have assumed that he would have to provide me with unfettered access to that whole side of my house. It also rather defeats the objective of being in a detached house if he is able to put a shed/Jacuzzi right up to my house wall. My question then is 'is he allowed to build any thing the length my house wall on his drive and which prevents me from access to that side of my house in any way'? If the answer to this is yes, the he would not be able to put any structure up.
I attach a photo which might be easier to understand! My house wall on the left, his shed structure in the foreground, and his Jacuzzi in the background (still being built at time of photo).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Just one other thought that I remember - the drain pipe at the back of my house - it's attached to my roof, so I can say it's mine - but the neighbour says that because the drain at ground level is on his land (because it's on his drive) that he can cut a section out of the drain pipe and connect his Jacuzzi over flow into it. I'm sure if there was a problem with it, then he'd say 'not his problem' !! So who's right here? !! (I uploaded some other photos earlier but they seem to have disappeared so I'm reattaching them - please forgive me if they appear twice).