Who Pays to Cut Back Projecting Foundations?

by: The Party Wall Surveyor


I recently started reducing the ground level on a site in preparation for piling and found that the foundations to the neighbouring building project on to the site by between 200 and 300mm. As the adjoining owner should not have built onto my land, are they responsible for our costs and delays?


There is a right to project foundations on to an adjoining owner’s land under section 1(6) of the Act if it is necessary so it may not be a trespass. Also, whoever owned your land at the time may have agreed to it.

If you can show that it is a trespass, you can take legal action to force the adjoining owner to remove it. That could take months or even years.

Alternatively, you can serve notice under section 2(2)(h) of the Act to cut off the projection (if that’s what you and your engineer decides is required) but section 2(5) confirms that the work will be at your expense and you will also be responsible for making good any damage caused. The risk of damage would be significant if you were to remove the projection with a breaker so you might consider cutting it with a grinder as far as possible. Your engineer will also need to consider whether reducing the width of the foundations to the adjoining property will have an impact on their load bearing capability.