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I live in a terraced house and my nieghbour has had some work done in his property, including knocking down a wall. Unfortunately his builders were a bit enthusiastic and now I have some damaged wallpaper, and a brick poking out of my wall. Apparently I should have been served with a party wall notice, to give the builders permission to touch the wall between the two properties. I was not, and in conversation with the building inspector, it turns out these things are not enforced. Also when the work is finished, the inspector only inspects the property that has had the work done on it, so it appears that my only course of action is to get the insurance in.

(I have tried to contact the builders, but it's a bit tricky as they work the same hours as me)

Does anybody have any suggestions, or experience with anything like this and could you perhaps advise me as to my next course of action?

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Try ringing the Citizens Advice, they are reliable.

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Party Wall Act procedures are a legal requirement and they can be enforced. I would suggest that a solicitor with property knowledge (not a conveyancer) would be the first thing to do... AFTER giving the builders and your neighbour an ultimatum to repair it within say 4 weeks form the date of your letter.

 

However, here is what might be a good workaround if you don't want to get all official yet.

 

Under a different bit of legislation, The Construction Design and Management regulations your neighbour also has a responsibility as the 'Employer' to see that they have employed a 'Competent Contractor'.

 

If there is no 'Health and Safety Plan' in place there is potential criminal liability. Now I will bet my bottom dollar that there isn't, so you might find it useful to concentrate their minds on putting it right at their expense.

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I'd go along with what Tony says 'cos he uses big words and seems to know what's what in the blodging world.

 

We had a wall knocked down once when our neighbour had some blodging work done. Talking to the builder didn't help but a solicitor's letter to our neighbour did the trick and the wall was rebuilt the next day. (Sorry Anne if you're reading this but we did warn Steve).

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Originally posted by smellie1

I live in a terraced house and my nieghbour has had some work done in his property, including knocking down a wall. Unfortunately his builders were a bit enthusiastic and now I have some damaged wallpaper, and a brick poking out of my wall. Apparently I should have been served with a party wall notice, to give the builders permission to touch the wall between the two properties. I was not, and in conversation with the building inspector, it turns out these things are not enforced. Also when the work is finished, the inspector only inspects the property that has had the work done on it, so it appears that my only course of action is to get the insurance in.

(I have tried to contact the builders, but it's a bit tricky as they work the same hours as me)

Does anybody have any suggestions, or experience with anything like this and could you perhaps advise me as to my next course of action?

 

I would think that your first line of action must be to contact the builder either directly or via your neighbour and let him know what he has done to your property.

 

Give him written notification (and keep a copy) that you want the situation correcting within a set timespan or tell him that you will employ a builder of your choice to do the work and send him the bill. If he won't pay then you will be able to claim via to the small claims court.

 

Also take photos of the damage before it is corrected.

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I have written a letter, which invites the owner of the property next door to come and look at the damage caused, and offers a 4 week period for him to arrange to get the damage repaired. I have taken some photos also. I will deliver the letter tonight and we'll have to wait and see.

One thing that does worry me is the quality of work that will be done in my house. If the builders are that slap-dash next door, and they don't repair my house properly, then do I have any comeback?

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Originally posted by smellie1

Thanks for the advice everyone. I have written a letter, which invites the owner of the property next door to come and look at the damage caused, and offers a 4 week period for him to arrange to get the damage repaired. I have taken some photos also. I will deliver the letter tonight and we'll have to wait and see.

One thing that does worry me is the quality of work that will be done in my house. If the builders are that slap-dash next door, and they don't repair my house properly, then do I have any comeback?

 

Why not give your house insurers a call? I am sure they have a helpline for things like this. Perhaps they can arrange a reputable builder to do the work and bill your neighbour. He can then sort it out with the builders in question.

 

I don't think you should have to be inconvenienced for up to four weeks.

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have you tried speaking to your neighbour before getting all legal on his ass. He'll probably want to put it right without needing to force him and upset your neighbourly relationship.

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Agree with you there Cyclone. In my reply I was assuming that that route had broken down.

 

The route to solving problems should always be in this order...

 

Communication ... and if that doesn't work...

Mediation ... and if that doesn't work...

Litigation.

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Thanks everyone

I have spoken to my neighbour, at last! Apparently they are aware of the damage that was caused and have been trying to contact me to come and fix it.

Hopefully there will be no need to get all legal with him, as he seems genuinely upset about it. Apparently there is only one course of bricks instead of two between our properties. I think I still should have been given a party wall notice, but I don't want to ruin our neighbourly relationship over this.

I did contact my building insurer and they offered to send out an assessor, but recommended that I ask my neighbour to repair the damage first, to prevent me having to make a claim.

Once again, thanks for the advice, and if I have any further problems, I know how I'm going to handle it now.

Cheers!

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