Property boundaries: what can I do about a garage built on part of my land without permission?
Question: I own a plot of land and the adjoining owner recently built a garage next to their property.
The garage has recently been completed and it now appears that they have built it over part of my land.
Surely this isn’t allowed? What can I do?
Answer: In the first instance it may be worth instructing a specialist boundary surveyor to carry out an inspection in order to clarify whether the neighbouring property is actually on your land and, if so, to what extent.
This would be particularly relevant if there are no clear boundary markers.
If it is confirmed that the property has been constructed over part of your land, then this is a trespass which offers a number of remedies.
An injunction may be sought to require the adjoining owner to remove the relevant part of the building, or damages may be payable in order to compensate you for any loss suffered.
Such a decision will be at the discretion of the court.
Another option would be to enter into a negotiation with the adjoining owner to sell the land to them.
It may also be necessary to consider whether the adjoining owner’s building interferes with your ability to use your property, such as access to light, rights of way or your own ability to develop the property, as there could also be a claim in interference.
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.
If you have a question for Piers King, email legalsolutions@or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE.
Questions cannot be answered individually, but we will try to feature them here.
Piers King is a solicitor in the property department of Streathers Solicitors LLP.