Do I have to Allow my Neighbour to put his Foundations on my Land?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

Here is the story. We live in a terraced house and the neighbour next door wants to build an extension at the back of his house. At first he said nothing will be on my side of the boundary which is all fine so long he can build what he wants on his land. Now he is saying that as he wants to have the outside wall ending just on the the boundary line, he is putting his foundation and footing in my land. 

First of all, is he allowed to just simply come and dig my land and put his foundation there without my consent and secondly even if legally he is allowed to do this, what happens when I have to build my extension and have his footing in my land, meaning my footing is starting next to his one which is on my land, therefore my outside wall has not chance of ending on the boundary line like his?

Answer

Yes, your neighbour is allowed to build right up to the boundary line and project his footings beyond it but must serve the required notices. In this case it will be a ‘Line of Junction Notice’ under sections 1 (5) & (6) of the Act. It will then be up to you whether you consent or appoint a surveyor. Appointing a surveyor will not change your neighbour’s plans but will give you some control over the work and how it affects your property.  

If you were to build a similar extension in the future you would have the right to cut off the part of your neigbour’s foundations that project – subject to serving the required notice. If you are thinking of building a similar extension you may want to suggest to your neighbour that he builds a new party wall astride the boundary – this would require your consent under section 1(2) of the Act but you would then be entitled to use it as part of your future extension. You would have to contribute towards the cost of building the wall – either now or when you make use of it in the future.

Follow-up

May I enquire further about the following statement –  

“If you were to build a similar extension in the future you would have the right to cut off the part of your neigbour’s foundations that project – subject to serving the required notice” 

Which part of the Party Wall Act gives me this right?

Answer

The right is given to you under section 2 (2) (g) 

‘ to cut away from a party wall, party fence wall, external wall or boundary wall any footing or any projecting chimney breast, jamb or flue, or other projection on or over the land of the building owner in order to erect, raise or underpin any such wall or for any other purpose;’