Can you please advise on the requirements, especially with the municipality, to replace a palisade fence in front of your home with a solid built wall (and what about when replacing with a precast wall)? What are the requirements to replace and extend an existing boundary wall?
Our neighbour wants to replace and extend this wall, but with a style, colour and brick totally different from the present facebrick, and which is also not complementary to the facebrick of our house.
With that, he also wants to extend the wall and remove the palisade in between. He claims that the palisade is then his to sell (which we have recently painted). He also seems to want to not disturb his paving coming right up to the fence at present and requested that we remove our beddings for the foundation. The wall will then be in our yard, thus moving the boundary and decreasing our yard. No measurements have been done.
Les responded to our reader as follows:-
Thank you for your enquiry. I am assuming in my reply that you are the registered owners of your property. With regard to side boundary walls or fences, if the palisade fence that you just painted is on your side of the site boundary, then your neighbour can't touch it. If it is on his side of the boundary line then you unfortunately don't have any say as to what he does with the fence. You may have to hunt for the boundary pegs or get a surveyor to verify their position for you to make sure whose fence it is.
One thing is for sure and that is that he may not even step onto your property without your permission and he has to build the new wall entirely on his side of the property boundary. Not even the foundations may protrude over the boundary line onto your side. He may not encroach onto your side at all. He will also need municipal planning approval for any solid brick wall along your common boundary.
If he wishes to build a pre-cast panel wall along the side boundary then most municipalities still require that drawings are submitted for approval. Even with a panel wall though, the posts of the wall may not encroach onto your side of the property boundary. You are unfortunately not in a position to dictate what materials he uses to build the wall but you can insist that he finishes the wall off properly on your side. The upkeep painting and long term maintenance of the wall as it faces your property would be your responsibility but the initial painting would be his.
I would enlist the friendly assistance of the municipal building inspector for your area to keep an eye on the construction process, particularly when the trench for the foundation is being marked out to ensure that the wall is in fact being built in the correct place. It is an unfortunate fact that any flower beds on your side will be damaged but you can insist that your neighbour undertakes to make good any damage that he causes.
I hope that this helps. If I can be of any further assistance, please contact me.