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Is my neighbour obliged to show me his plans for renovations and extensions he is doing? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
What is the situation when your neighbour is building a three storey house  that blocks any  light from the left or view that you had - that has happened to me in the past - and I found that there is very little you can do.   My neighbour in fact had exceeded his height restriction and so he paid a fine - and that was that. Very frustrating.
One of our readers wrote in with the following question.
I hope you can help me with a quick question: I live in an area in Johannesburg where the trend is for people to buy old houses and dramatically extend and renovate them. If my neighbour decides to extend his property, is he under any obligation to inform me of his intentions? I would like to know what his plans are so that I can address any objectionable plans early on - how can I ensure that I know of any plans before he starts building and it may be too late to amend them?

Hope you can advise me.

Les advised as follows:

If your neighbor is conducting the building alterations within the building lines for the property, and if they do not transgress any of the building bylaws or National Building Regulation codes, then your consent of any work that they do is not required.

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As a courtesy, your neighbour could show copies of the plans to you but he is not obliged to do so. You may also be able to approach your local building department and ask to view the plans if your neighbor is not willing to show them to you, but objections are usually only considered where a regulation or bylaw has been transgressed. With the vast majority of such cases, personal opinion, likes or dislikes, do not come into the picture.

I hope that this helps you.

Les Abbott

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