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Can my neighbour build on my land?

Tuesday, 30th October 2018 | by: Justin Burns

In general, your neighbour only has the right to build up to the boundary line (line of junction) between the two properties but there are circumstances when they can legitimately build on your land.

Ground Floor Extension

You can give consent for them to build a new party wall and foundations on your land.

An existing boundary wall built on the land of both properties can be taken down and rebuilt as a new party wall, possibly when your neighbour is constructing an extension. In this case, the new wall should not come any further on to your land than the existing wall.  Any thickening of the wall, for example, changing it from a single brick wall to a cavity wall, would need to be done on your neighbour’s land.

The foundation of your neighbour’s extension can be built on your land if necessary. However, in practice, it is very rarely necessary for a foundation be built over the boundary. The foundation for a single storey or two storey extension or new building does not normally need to project beyond the boundary.

There is no right for your neighbour to put a reinforced concrete foundation on your land without your permission.

Loft Extension

If your neighbours are constructing a loft extension then they have the right to increase the height of the party wall.  The party wall is effectively in shared ownership rather than half the wall belonging to one property and half to the other.  The person carrying out the work can raise the party wall for either part or full width.

Basements and Underpinning

Your neighbour has the right to underpin the party wall and in this case, can place the underpinning on your land although this may be subject to some restrictions, particularly if reinforced concrete is used.

If your neighbour is constructing a basement or excavating close to the side of your property, then your neighbour is entitled to underpin or otherwise safeguard the foundations of your building and then has a right to put new foundations (underpinning) on your land. This however is fairly rare.

There is no right for your neighbour to put a reinforced concrete foundation on your land without your permission.

If you have any concerns about proposals that your neighbours may have or would like to know how your own proposals might affect your neighbours, then please do not hesitate to contact us