Party Wall dispute

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jsmac
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon 16th Jan, 2017 9:38 pm
Location: Margate
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Party Wall dispute

Post by jsmac » Fri 27th Nov, 2020 10:19 am

Hello,

I am hoping that the collective experience of PPUK will help me with some advice and clarification of a potential dispute with works undertaken by our neighbour. Our house is an end of terrace and the building next door is a small 1920s former industrial building. One wall of the building forms the boundary of our properties (ie. rather than a garden wall there is this building). The building was divided internally into two properties in the 90s and each property has a different owner.

Last week while we were away the owner of one half of the building undertook roofing work and removed the original Welsh slate roof and replaced it with modern tiles that are completely different from the original covering and not in keeping with the character of the building. The roof level has been raised by several inches and so is now at a different height to the shared roof of the property next door and raised relative to the gable end of the building. White PVC fascia boards have been used around the building rather than replacing the wooden boards. The result is a glaring mishmash of old and new which is completely unsympathetic to the period of the building and the area. I have contacted local planning enforcement who are looking at potential breaches of local planning and the Conservation Area.

What I am hoping for advice on is a dispute with regard to the Party Wall Act. The owners of the building did not contact us before starting work and the contractors who carried out the work entered our property without consent and removed the original wooden fascia boards and replaced them with white PVC. The building now has one half PVC and one half wooden fascia which looks terrible and is completely not in keeping with the period industrial building. The contractors trampled over our garden killing and damaging our plants and made no effort to clean up after themselves. Our garden is now littered with bits of broken slates, nails, plastic and old bits of the original roof. Unfortunately, there is little I can do about the shocking roofing work that has been undertaken but I'm hoping there is something I can do about the total indifference and contempt with which this work was completed.

Does the work of replacing the fascia boards with white PVC fall under the Party Wall Act? We now have to look at this jarring mess of a job so I'm hopeful that we can at least force them to replace the PVC with wood.

As always I would welcome your thoughts and advice.
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Cubist
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu 24th May, 2018 3:53 pm
Location: Shropshire/Herefordshire Border

Re: Party Wall dispute

Post by Cubist » Fri 27th Nov, 2020 5:07 pm

I know little to nothing about the Party Wall Act but you may have a case for Trespass.

Sorry if that does not help.

Feltwell
Posts: 5794
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Party Wall dispute

Post by Feltwell » Fri 27th Nov, 2020 5:23 pm

I suspect that Conservation Area breaches will be the most likely to bear fruit, depending upon how effective your Council is of course.

Have you tried speaking to the neighbour about the state they've left your garden in?

jsmac
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon 16th Jan, 2017 9:38 pm
Location: Margate
Contact:

Re: Party Wall dispute

Post by jsmac » Sat 28th Nov, 2020 11:11 am

The part of the building with the new roof is only used for storage. We've contacted the person who rents it but unfortunately have not heard back from them. We've never met the owner and our other neighbours don't know who did the roofing work.

Unfortunately, this sort of behaviour is all too common in Thanet. Owners of properties who only want to do work as cheaply as possible (slum landlords, land bankers, and the like) run circles around the council enforcement team. The main high street in Cliftonville is meant to be a conservation area but owners of shops are regularly ripping out the original Victorian shop fronts. This is largely met with a collective shrug from the council and many of the local cowboys take it as license to be able to get away with shoddy work.

For those of us who care about such things it is deeply frustrating and does sometimes makes me wonder what the point is with caring when the people who are meant to be custodians of this heritage can't be bothered with enforcing local laws.

Sigh.

Zebra
Posts: 2629
Joined: Sun 1st May, 2011 10:42 pm
Location: St Albans, Hertfordshire

Re: Party Wall dispute

Post by Zebra » Sat 28th Nov, 2020 3:41 pm

I suggest ivy. Lots of it.

88v8
Posts: 2830
Joined: Wed 15th Jun, 2011 7:01 pm
Location: Glorious Gloucs

Re: Party Wall dispute

Post by 88v8 » Sun 29th Nov, 2020 10:09 am

Sympathy. Intrusion. Crass.
They probably sold the slates.

You can paint PVC. Leave it a year, then sand with 100 grade and apply two coats oil topcoat, no primer.
Oil, not water.
It will look OK in dark green.
Yes, it's a faff, no you shouldn't have to.

As to the roof, spray it weekly with sour milk until it's covered in lichen/moss.

Check this forum for the Party Wall Act, I'm sure it's been discussed.
https://lemonfool.co.uk/viewforum.php?f ... 1386b307d1

Ivor

jsmac
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon 16th Jan, 2017 9:38 pm
Location: Margate
Contact:

Re: Party Wall dispute

Post by jsmac » Sun 29th Nov, 2020 11:03 am

The wall was actually covered in ivy when we bought the house. We chose to take it back because it was over a metre deep and we wanted to recover the area of our garden that had been hidden behind it. The rejuvenated ivy is now slowly growing back and should recover the wall in a year or two. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done about the mature rose bushes and other plants that were trampled and killed by the roofers. Other than take legal action against the owner of the property and the contractors, of course - something that we are currently looking into.

Good advice about painting the PVC. Yeah, it's a drag to have to do it but you're right that it will be better than having to look at it.

Feltwell
Posts: 5794
Joined: Sun 18th May, 2008 7:28 pm
Location: Shropshire, England

Re: Party Wall dispute

Post by Feltwell » Sun 29th Nov, 2020 12:48 pm

You could paint the UPVC with Bedec MSP as well, which is water based. Still be a good idea to roughen the UPVC for a key first.

Minkeycat
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon 7th Sep, 2015 10:34 am

Re: Party Wall dispute

Post by Minkeycat » Tue 8th Dec, 2020 4:58 pm

I would think you have every right to hand a bill to your neighbour for damaging your plants and a clear up bill for leaving rubbish all over the place. I'm no solicitor but surely they've trespassed, committed criminal damage and are guilty of littering too. It's an arrogant and crass thing to do and I can absolutely see why you're upset. You have to look at it, they don't. Also that guttering...is it correctly angled and straight? It looks too shallow and as though it's going to spill over onto your land so perhaps add rainwater runoff issues to your list.

I guess the thing to do is write to the neighbour outlining your concerns and asking for damage and mess to be corrected and request a response within a reasonable timeframe. If you don't get a satisfactory response, ask a solicitor to write a letter (do you have legal protection on your insurance? It could help you even if it's just with advice.) If that doesn't work, could you head to the small claims court with your neighbour? Keep your photos and take more!

It's all down to how much you can let go of the frustration right now which is not easy as you have to look at it and how much you want to get on with your neighbour. If you decide to move one day you might have to declare a neighbour dispute so that's not ideal. These are really not pleasant situations and, although my post isn't really helpful, I truly feel for you having been through similar.

All the best

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