My Neighbour Built Up Ground Is Making My Wall Damp

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

I’m thinking of buying a property but it has one drag. The back of the house, which is largely single storey, backs onto the neighbour’s garden but it has been banked up over the years to approximately 5-6ft. Meaning that it will have a permanent damp problem I guess.

I asked the neighbour when viewing the house if he would mind if I dug a drainage ditch and retaining wall and he was very non-commital. I don’t want to push it as I don’t want to de-friend the neighbour before moving in.

I’d like to know my rough situation please? I am allowed access into the garden to work on the back of the house, but i’m guessing that doesn’t cover digging 2 ft of his garden up. Should I offfer compensation to do the work? Or is there a legal precendent? I imagine digging by hand it’s going to take quite some time as the house is probably 35 ft long and his garden runs all the way along the back section.

Answer

This isn’t really a party wall matter so not my area of expertise. I think offering compensation would probably be a good approach and possibly cheaper in the long term. Although you could damp-proof the wall internally by tanking it that is quite expensive and unless done properly the long term success of the measure is unpredictable.