One of the worst parts of owning your property is boundary disputes. Not only are they time consuming and costly, but they also rarely come to any satisfactory resolution.
The best way to deal with boundary disputes is to avoid them entirely, but we understand that’s not always a possibility. That’s why we’ve written this handy guide to explain how close you can build to your neighbour’s boundary.
What is a Boundary Line?
In essence, your boundary line is the line at which your property ends and your neighbours begins. This boundary can be marked by something as simple as a hedge, fence or even a tree. It may also not have any physical marker at all.
In the UK, most boundary lines are not officially recorded although you may have a title card or even a boundary agreement with your neighbour that can be requested.
For more information on finding your boundary lines, get in touch with a building surveyor in Cornwall today, or check out our blog on the subject.
How Close Can I Build to the Boundary?
How close you can build to a neighbours boundary depends greatly on the area you live in and what you intend to build. The best way for you to find the exact measurements for your area is to contact your local council.
The 45- Degree Code
The 45-Degree Code is used by most councils and property planners in the UK to ensure any proposed building/ extension works will not affect a neighbour’s outlook or access to light.
The code works by choosing a window to a habitable room (living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms and conservatories) and measuring an imaginary 45-degree line from that window across to your property lines.
If your proposed build crosses this imaginary line, the council will likely deny the build. Find out more about building extensions near boundary lines on our blog.
Building a Fence on a Boundary Line
When it comes to building on or across your boundary line, in line with The Party Wall Act, you must inform your neighbour beforehand in writing. If your neighbour objects to this change then you will have no right to build astride the boundary.
In most areas, fences can be installed between 2-8 inches from the boundary line. However, some areas may allow you to build right up to the property line. Make sure you contact your local council to find out what applies to your area.
Whose Responsibility is it to Maintain a Fence?
If the fence is a few inches from the boundary line then the maintenance falls to whoever’s boundary the fence is inside of. If you build a fence a few inches from a property line then the patch of land between your fence and your neighbour’s boundary is still your responsibility to maintain as well.
If the fence is directly on the boundary, then the responsibility may be shared between you and your neighbour assuming your neighbour agrees to split the maintenance or cost.
Always make sure you have a conversation with your neighbour before you begin any works and never assume your neighbour is happy to take responsibility for anything built on a boundary line.
When it comes to building projects that may affect your neighbour, then the best course of action is to communicate your plans with your neighbour first. Not only is this the more considerate course of action, but it could also save you a lot of hassle and legal fees.
For more information or to get help when applying for planning permission, why not get in touch and speak to an expert member of our team today?