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I am concerned that the foundation on my neighbours extensions are coming over into our property. Will this effect the value of my property?

My neighbour asked if they can build the extension up to the boundary of our houses. I thought there was no issue but a freind suggested that the foundation may be on our land. How can I verify if this the case. What can do if it is?


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Your neighbours should have a set of plans, so ask them. If they don't have them, or it is not obvious from them, they could ask the architect or builder. It is unlikely that it would make much difference to the value of your property to have the overlap. You can prevent them. For them to build right up to your boundary would affect your value because it prevents you from doing the same and makes your plot look smaller. I would have objected to the original idea. Mike

They should have a Party Wall agreement with you and at no cost to you. If they don't, then mention it to them, to save future problems. A Party Wall agreement protects both of you as the surveyor is meant to be impartial. I think the foundations have to be within 6 metres of your property to qualify. One surveyor should do for both of you. However you can have one each according to the Party Wall rules. When this happened to me recently I found the surveyor and he was taken on by my neighbour who then paid to have the agreement drawn up. We then agreed on its content and they built what they wanted with no problems during the building process.

Ask your 'Building Control Department' for all details. There will be visits to inspect the construction work in stages, but before any fondations are laid the depth and and quality of sub-soil will need to be cleared by Building control before the cement is laid

There isn't much you can do if they have plans with the exception of the ancient light law, if their new extension blocks the sunlight then you can do something about it. Planning for this extension should have been filed some time ago, unless it is a "lean to" then that is a bit of a grey area. With all extensions the extension shouldn't quite reach the boundary, this allows the foundation to come upto the boundary level, unless both parties agree on the layout

Obviously the neighbour must keep the building on their land, the founds cannot enroach on your land as that is trespass. You need to see the plans to ensure that is not the case, otherwise you will be suing for trespass. I cannot see an architect drawing up plans that would entail building on a neighbour's land. You would have to sell that part of the land to the neighbour and have the deeds amended, otherwise you'll have a job selling your house one day. Need to be careful as one day a sharp solicitor will be going over the paperwork and that is not the time to find a neighbour trespassing on your land!

Perhaps if your neighbour wants to build right to your/their boundary, you could ask to have a legal document drawn up such that if you ever want to build a similar extension in the future, you should be able to fix/adjoin it to his extension wall with no gap. The foundations are usually about 4 inches (10cm) beyond the wall. I can't imagine the foundations could be on your property without your permission. That said the foundations would be below ground so out of sight, so the foundations should not devalue your property. Also if you have drains nearby, the bottom of your neighbours foundations should be deeper than your drains to stop them putting pressure on the drains and crushing them. Also if the wall is on the boundary, will there be a roof overhang or guttering encroaching on your property? If you think you might want to build an extension yourself, it is worth giving it plenty of thought and handling it sensitively, if you make if difficult for your neighbour he/she can do the same to you when it's your turn.

DSJ11 Wants to be very carefull. To agree to any building work going ahead without having been given a copy of the plans. In addition to foundation problems he/she needs to look at the roof arrangements. I have seen a situation where everyone has been concentrating on the foundations only to discover - later - a pitched roof overhanging the neighbor's garden, with all that that means for drainage. My local Council has available a very infomative booklet covering such things as 'party walls'. Good Luck.

If the extension is 3 metres high the neighbour does not need planning permission. Anyone can build a 3 metres high extension which can also extend along the back wall of his property from one end to the other if it is not more than 3 metres wide from the building. This relaxation of building and planning regs came into force 2 years ago under Govt Planning permission guidelines Number 8. Check with your local council Planning Officer for your area. No person can put foundations for a building on your land without your permission. I think the sale of your property might be affected by the foundations being on your land as the new owner might want to put his own extension up and the neighbours foundations could be a problem. Also in Planning terms, there is no automatic right to light or view. The Planning dept may refuse permission if the extension is considered detrimental to the enjoyment of your amenities, but please check with the Planning dept for advice, BEFORE signing a Party Wall agreement. Forms for that agreement are also available from your local council. It is also worth remembering that if a building is extended right up to your property, then the builders are going to need access to your land to point the brickwork etc. I cannot emphasise enough your need to get Planning Dept advice before you agree to anything that affects your property. This advice comes from my wife who was for 20 years a member of the Planning Committee of our local District Council, so is reliable information, not guesswork.

I have been reminded that the 3 metres rule for building without Planning Permission does not apply if you have already extended your original property, only to non extended property. If your neighbour has already used his development allowance of space to improve his property he will need planning permission and if there are objections it will go before the local Planning Committee for approval (or refusal). The extension roof may not overhang your property boundary at all, and specific arrangements must be made for disposal of rainwater, which must NOT be directed into the main sewage system. When we extended our property it was necessary to dig soakaways a set distance from our foundations, and from our neighbours foundations. Another important thing to note is whether your neighbour intends to have a window ovelooking your house or garden, this window may not open onto your property and should be of obscure glass. Planning Law is a minefield and as my previous post suggests, PLEASE see the Planning Officer for your area before agreeing to any work which involves extension work which encroaches on to your land. The advice is free and impartial. Well, before someone squashes me, it is not free because if you pay Council Tax you have paid for the advice already.....but you don't have to pay extra for advice.