Builders next door have come through my wall what do I do next?

(56 Posts)
Ledkr Mon 13-May-13 20:01:43

Ok so the next attached to me semi is having extensive building work done.
Lots of banging but no probs so far apart from knocking a few bricks off a tiny wall in the garden which they said they'd fix.
So today I'm at work and dh has our two yr old here. Lots of very loud banging then he noticed a piece of plaster has been knocked off our downstairs loo about three inches long but lots and lots if brick dust everywhere and a small hole left that you can see through to outside to unfinished extension.
Dh goes round at 2 on his way to work and tells them.
They apologise and patronise him saying don't worry we will sort it.
I get in at five and babysitter says nobody has been and they've gone home leaving a stuffed piece of material in the hole.
I am beyond furious. They haven't even had the decency to come and see the damage.
I've been to see the owner who is very nice and said he'd speak to them tomorrow and is mortified.
My worry us that if this is happening what about the rest if the house. It's all I've got and I worked so hard to buy my ex out.
I'm worried they don't know what they are doing and don't seem very bothered how it affects me.
I don't think the work should continue until its been checked to be safe for my house.
My dd uses her potty in the loo and would have been showered with brick dust and is also asthmatic.
Who can I phone? Can I get hold of the building regs people? Will they come out?
I'm so worried what shall I do.
I wouldn't be so worried if they seemed more inclined to rectify it but their lack if concern makes me think they are dubious.

TheChaoGoesMu Mon 13-May-13 20:03:57

Yes I would ring the planning dept at the council. Definitely.

I would call your local government building control. That is outrageous.

Ledkr Mon 13-May-13 20:05:30

Thanks for quick replies so you don't think I'm overreacting?
Do I ask for anyone in particular?

Shakey1500 Mon 13-May-13 20:08:15

Ledkr I'm sure you've done this already.....but take some photographs on a digital to record as evidence/dates etc.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 13-May-13 20:08:39

Definately ring the council, this may or may not be covered by the party wall act, if it was, then they should not have proceeded with the work without your permission. It really is down to your neighbour to ensure the building regs are being complied with but you are right, they sound like a bunch of cowboys. My DP is a builder and he would have put this right straight away, if it was not possible he would have at least explained what he was going to do about it and ensured it was safe in the meantime.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 13-May-13 20:09:39

ring your local council and ask to speak to building control.

LackaDAISYcal Mon 13-May-13 20:14:25

What on earth were they doing to your wall anyway? If it's on the boundary and they are building up to it, then you should have been served with a party wall notice, though iirc (been a few years since I was in the industry) certain projects don't need to comply with it.

Call the council's building regs department, or the planning department, or even the Health and Safety Executive. There are health and safety issues here as well as any potential party wall issues.

Ledkr Mon 13-May-13 20:19:43

I have had letters Re Planning permission which I didn't contest.
The first wall was a little garden wall with a fence on top and their digger bashed it when digging footings. Today it was an internal wall which is between our houses and they were apparently banging on it for ages really loud maybe knocking off plaster I'm not sure but that what caused the damage.
Shall I ring my insurance company?

LIZS Mon 13-May-13 20:24:13

Council can stop the work if they feel it is unsafe . Are the owners living there ? Might be worth speaking to them so they have the opportunity to call a halt pending the council's advice. Do you have a Party Wall agreement ? They should have included insurance as well as the builder having liability cover.

IDontDoIroning Mon 13-May-13 20:25:21

It's quite possible they should have got a party wall agreement before starting the work.
Perhaps start a thread on party walls in legal or property
I think you should consider getting some advice off a structural engineer.

LackaDAISYcal Mon 13-May-13 20:25:29

There is more information here but from a quick glance at the pdf, if your wall is on the boundary then you should have been served with a party wall notice.

If their extension is being carried out under permitted development rules, I'm sot sure where the party wall act stands with that though.

If they should be complying then they either make it good, or you can pay to have it made safe and they will have to pay you.

Ledkr Mon 13-May-13 20:29:57

Thanks so much no I've not had any party wall stuff.
I don't want them in my home patching it up and need to know its safe.
Ill ring council first thing.

LackaDAISYcal Mon 13-May-13 20:31:18

I would speak to your insurers, yes.

ajandjjmum Mon 13-May-13 20:33:38

Building Control at your local Council offices.

Ledkr Mon 13-May-13 20:33:43

Gosh it's quite upsetting I'm normally a tough old boot.
We've been really tolerant of noise and stuff but this takes the flipping biscuit.

EleanorFarjeon Mon 13-May-13 20:36:53

The party wall act applies. It is separate from planning or building regulations.

The owner should have served you with a party wall notice.

This is a civil matter between you & your neighbour, who should ensure it is rectified immediately.

Your building control officer may call as a courtesy but has no powers in a case like this.

Oh gosh, our builders did that to our neighbours many years ago - I felt awful for them although it was not my fault personally. Sorry you have to deal with this.

We were v good friends with our neighbours (and thankfully still are!), there was never any question that our builder would not take full responsibility for what happened. They did need access to the other property to properly repair and then redecorated the wall to our neighbour's wishes (they got wallpaper out of it, rather than just the previous paint). It was paid for by the builder's insurer (liability insurance).

I suppose it would not hurt to speak to your own insurance. They can go after the builder if it turns out they are not insured or just not interested in fixing it.

orangepudding Mon 13-May-13 20:38:15

I think they should have asked you to sign a party wall agreement even if it's a permitted development ,I need to request one for loft conversion and the buliders won't procced without it.

Ledkr Mon 13-May-13 20:47:32

The neighbours are nice but as clueless as us really.
I'm not sure what they intend to do though.
No I defo haven't seen a party wall agreement
God we've got so much on our plates we could so do without this.
Surely someone at some stage would have told them about a party wall thingy

LiegeAndLief Mon 13-May-13 20:48:18

We live in a semi and have recently had a conservatory built on the back of our house attached to the outside wall of the neighbours' house, which sticks out further than ours. We had to get a party wall agreement signed for that. When I was reading about it I got the impression that you needed a party wall agreement for any work at all that you were doing on a shared wall.

Hope it gets sorted out properly tomorrow.

jeepers. i have no advice but hope you get it sorted

they dont sound very good if they've just left it confused

Ledkr Mon 13-May-13 20:55:32

Exactly my point. Not even come to look so obviously not very professional.

EleanorFarjeon Mon 13-May-13 20:59:07

The 'good' news is that, if they don't rectify it to your satisfaction, you can get an injunction which will make them stop work until it's sorted (including the party wall issue).

This won't cost you anything - they would have to pay.

I'd advise you to Google 'party wall etc' which will get you to the very useful guide.

racmun Mon 13-May-13 21:09:36

This is a party wall issue. Look up party wall surveyors and have a look online. There is loads of info available.

They should have served party wall notice etc

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now