My Neighbour has Started Excavating and has not issued a Party Wall Notice. He was uncooperative in discussions, should I bother taking the Matter any Further?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

My neighbour who is a registered builder has this week started excavations of his drive to provide a side extension to his property. He has not issued a Party Wall act Notice. When approached about the excavations being within less than 1 metre of my property he became very aggressive.

The property concerned is a brick garage which was an adjoining garage, my neighbour took his side down without asking permission and left my wall which was the internal wall as open brease block and no side to the garage at the top, so he has already caused damage.
 
I have the concern now that the Party Wall Act was not issued and he will cause more structural damage as he is digging lower than my garage foundations. Am I wasting my time taking this any further?

Answer

I would not say that you are wasting your time taking this any further but it may be that you need to take legal action. I would start with a letter from an experienced local Party Wall Surveyor or a solicitor pointing out to him that the work comes within the scope of the Act and you should be served with a notice. It may be necessary to threaten an injunction to make him take notice.

If he ignores the letter you will have to decide whether you are happy to pay the up front legal costs of an injunction and claim them back later. Should he come on to your land without serving a notice he will be trespassing.

If he thinks that you intend to enforce your rights he may decide it is best to follow the correct procedures.