Can I tie in to my Neighbour’s Wall?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

We have recently received planning permission from the council to build an extension above our garage and bring the garage forward to allow us to extend the kitchen into the rear.

I live in a semi with the garage to the side, this is attached to another house which is the reason we asked him if he would allow us to do the project?  He has stated that he will not consent to us tying into his property.  We have a party wall surveyor coming on Monday to see if we have a case to tie in or whether we have to build a supporting wall on our own property.

The question is, our garage does not take up the whole of his wall, there is open wall at the front and above, but at the rear it is a solid wall from our house through the garage and then to the end of his house to first floor level. It then has a standard pitched roof over.  The centre of the fence in the garden at the rear is about half a brick into his property so my question is where is the boundary?  The Land registry information shows the two plots and the fence at the rear is part of the boundary so can I take it that the boundary runs half a brick into his house and therefore the whole of the wall is Party, or is the boundary the wall of his house?

If the later is the case and the boundary is his wall, do I have any rights to tie in? This would save me the surveyor’s fees which could be spent building the structural wall the extension will now need?  Also if this is the case and the boundary is his will his roof eaves overhang onto my side by about 12-14 inches, do I have any rights to remove these so I can build my wall and put my roof on my extension?

We have tried talking to the neighbour and have arranged a number of meetings where we could sit down and discuss like adults how we can go forward.  One minute they tell me they do not want a gap then the next they are telling me we can not tie in.  As you will appreciate this has become very annoying and we just want to know that we can do the build and if we which way.

Answer

I couldn’t attempt to define the boundary between the 2 properties without inspecting. I’m sure the surveyor that is due to visit will be able to help on that point.

If any of the wall has been enclosed by your building for some time (at least 12 years to be safe) then that section of the wall will now be deemed ‘party’. You do not have any rights to tie in to or enclose other parts of the wall without your neighbour’s consent.

Section 2 (2) (g) of the party wall Act gives you the right to cut away anything that is projecting over your land subject to serving the required notice. If your neighbour has acquired rights over your land then the consequences of cutting off the projecting elements will need to be considered.