My neighbour has built on our party wall without consent. What can I do?

The best option for your overall wellbeing would be to attain a sense of Zen-like calm

If you cannot let the issue rest, the matter of crossing the party line without consent becomes a legal matter. Photograph: iStock

If you cannot let the issue rest, the matter of crossing the party line without consent becomes a legal matter. Photograph: iStock

 

My neighbour has built on our party wall. I asked the builder to stop building as I had not agreed to this. My neighbour never asked me if it was okay to raise it, became very abusive towards me and put the wall up anyway. What are my rights?

Noel Larkin replies: This scenario is all too familiar. Regrettably the red mist can descend when discussions over raising boundaries start. The fact there can sometimes be confusion over where the actual boundary lies can add to an already tense situation.

In this case you seem sure the wall being built on is a party structure. In other words the wall is jointly owned by you and your neighbour and your consent would be needed to raise it.

It sounds like the work is now complete. Your neighbour’s decision to push on with the works despite your protestations and without consent leaves this matter unresolved between you. This is an unpleasant position to be in. The alteration of or interference with a boundary fence can have a direct impact on neighbourly relations. To turn a blind eye now will allow things to fester.

The negative feelings you have about the extension are understandable particularly as you have not agreed to this and your objection was ignored. A quiet life is enhanced by good relations with your direct neighbours. The route to a satisfactory resolution may be in reviewing the actual impact of raising the wall on your property. The type of extension you describe, where this involves raising the shared wall, is a very standard type of development. This simple type of development rarely has any significant impact on the adjoining property.

The preferred option for your overall wellbeing in this scenario would be for you to attain a sense of Zen-like calm.

But that’s often easier said than done. If you cannot let the issue rest, the matter of crossing the party line without consent becomes a legal matter and is termed a trespass. You can ask that a trespass be removed.

I have seen neighbours lose many years, spend vast amounts of money on legal and professional fees and become embittered by the experience. In most cases the disagreement was rooted in an emotive objection to simple works.

Discuss the matter with your solicitor and talk to your local chartered building surveyor. They will be able to compile a report for your legal advisers and help you assess if the works will have any negative impact on your property.

A cost-benefit analysis with potential outcomes should also be undertaken.

Noel Larkin is a chartered building surveyor and a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, scsi.ie

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.