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Council propety/ wall ownership

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  • Council propety/ wall ownership

    Hi all,

    hoping for some advice on here regarding a wall on the boundary of our garden, first time buyer so not really had to worry about things like this before!

    We moved into our property (ground floor flat in larger Edwardian house) 4 months ago. The house next door is rather dilapidated (adjoining terrace). Since moving in we have spent a fair bit of money clearing joint drains/ bushes at the front and having back garden trees cut back (as far as our boundary) from that property. However, there is a large wall running between the properties leaning dangerously to our side, most probably the result of tree roots on their side. Paying for the removal and replacement of this wall is going to cost a lot of money – even if we replace with a fence not something we want to pay on our own - especially as it partly related to neglect of the garden next door.

    The ground floor of the adjoining building is empty but I know an old man (only met him once) lives on the top floor and he rents. I didn’t want to stress the old man and knew the previous owners of our flat had contacted the council about it, so I did too. Got quite a speedy response saying they had done a drive by and the drains and bushes at the front look clear and not infringing on our property. I emailed back to say “that is because we’ve paid to have them cleared” and said issues at the back (inc. Wall) were more concerning. Reply back from council said they did not deal with civil matters and I should contact land register and get in touch with the landlord directly.

    Land registry search says that the council own it! Whether the guy I was in contact with knew this I don’t know, but not sure why they said they didn’t deal with such matters after doing a drive by check....

    Want to know the best way to proceed, looking at title deed plans there is no indication of who owns what boundaries round our property, so there is now way of checking who should pay for this and we are in bad a position because it will fall into our garden.

    Sorry for the long mail, but hopefully someone can offer some advice or experience here.

    Thank you, Jaclyn

  • #2
    Re: Council propety/ wall ownership

    The practical way forward is to write to the Council's Estates Department with a copy of the Land Registry entries saying that the wall is dangerous and as they own the adjoining property which is in a dilapidated state, what are they going to do about it? You will hold the Council responsible if any damage is suffered by you because of the state of the wall.

    To some extent this is a try-on because you really can't be sure (and, probably, neither can the Council) who owns the wall. However, they may well not want bad PR if something nasty does happen so they may give you the benefit of the doubt over the wall ownership issue.
    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.


    • #3
      Re: Council propety/ wall ownership

      Thanks Richard, will give it a go. To be honest I'd settle with a 50/50 split if its deemed a party wall, but I'll give it a go