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Someone is building on my boundary; What can I do? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 April 2010

 

Cheryl wrote in to us with the following problem:

I have a problem with the neighbour behind me.  The builder informed me that they will be removing the vibracrete wall that separates our properties in order to build the back of their house on the border.  In other words, instead of a wall there will now be a big wall (the back of their house) in our garden separating the two properties.  Is this legal?  

I am obviously very upset because this means they will be in our garden, damaging flower beds, never mind our privacy when they build.  Also the fact that we will have to repaint.  They have also put the Sanitech toilet on our property which is irritating.  I told them that I am not happy but the builder said that he has no where else to put it.

Please let me know if they are allowed to build on the border/boundary.  I read somewhere that they aren't allowed to remove any existing walls without our permission, but it seems that if I didn't go over and see what was going on, they would've done it anyway.

They did get our signature to build but they said that it will be up to the wall, not removing the wall!!!!

Please help I am desperate.
 
Les responded as follows:

Piles of issues here. Firstly, The builder has no right whatsoever to place any toilet on her property. The fact that he has "nowhere else to put it" is not an argument. If she does not want it on her property, then the builder can't put it there.

The issue of the builder having to remove her boundary wall in order to build the "back of the house" can be addressed. She needs to contact the local Building inspector, get him to site and explain what her difficulty is. The fact that she signed the initial letter of no objection does not give the builder permission to work in her property, or even enter it. It most certainly does not grant the builder permission to remove her boundary wall, unless the boundary wall is not actually on her property but on the property of her neighbour in which case he can remove it but he then has to address the issue of her security and the removal of the wall should have been made clear to her when she signed for permission for them to build. If this was not explained to her when she signed, then she already has a case for raising a further objection.

If the building work itself is legal, and the builder now intends coming onto her property, damaging plants, causing a security risk, causing issues with respect to re-painting, etc., then she has every right to re-object, which she should do in writing, because what is happening is not what she believed, or was possibly lead to believe, would happen. At the very least, the builder or the owner should have a written agreement with her to restore her garden to its original state and make sure that the new wall that is now facing her property is properly painted. The building inspector should be able to advise her further but whatever she does must be done in writing.

There may be other issues involved but based on the information given, the answers are correct.


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