Neighbour Threatening an Injuntion but my Work is Complete

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

I live in a terraced house and am currently having a single storey rear extension built. Unfortunately I was unaware about the requirements of a Party Wall agreemant and have ended up in dispute with my neighbour who thinks that my brickwork is on his land. 

Due to this I instructed an independant surveyor to look at my extension who confirmed that yes I should have served my neighbour with this agreement but in his opinion the building was on my land all be it part of the foundations may have encroached onto my neighbour’s land. After much dialogue we were unable do resolve this matter amicably despite the fact that I initially offered my neighbour the use of my structural wall in the building of his intended extension in the future.  

As a result my builder moved the external wall in to my land an additional 50mm and the outer skin of my new extension now lines up with the inner skin of my existing kitchen wall but my neighbour is still not happy and is going to take an injunction out to stop the building work. The wall in question is now fully erected so if an injunction appears can I still continue with the rest of the work which is not in dispute?

Answer

Talk of an injunction would seem to be an idle threat if the wall is already built – you cannot stop something happening which has already happened.  

You would have had a right to build right up to the boundary line – likely to be the centre of the party wall – and to project your foundations over the boundary subject to serving a Line of Junction notice under Section 1 of the Party Wall Act. You probably should also have served a Notice of Adjacent Excavation if you were digging deeper than the existing foundations.  

It sounds as though your building is now entirely on your own land and as such there is nothing that anybody can do about it. There are no penalties for not complying with the Party wall Act and you cannot have retrospective notices or awards. You are however still responsible for rectifying any damage that you may have caused to your neighbour’s property.