Residential Property Dispute Lawyers in Leeds, York & Sheffield
When something has a negative effect on the place where you live, it can be incredibly stressful. Our experienced Residential Property Disputes Solicitors understand how important your home is to you and are here to help you find the most effective way to resolve the issues you are facing.
From endless noise to boundary disputes, there are plenty of reasons why you may be having problems with your neighbours. Unfortunately, we do not get to choose who lives around us, and it is not uncommon for disputes to arise.
Our specialist Residential Property Litigation Lawyers advise clients on the wide range of potential disputes than homeowners face. Whether your dispute relates to nuisances, planning applications or contractors, Lupton Fawcett are here to put you ahead.
Noise and Other Nuisance Claims
The definition of a nuisance in law is when someone does something in their own home or on their own land that has a negative impact on others.
If you are constantly being disturbed by unreasonable levels of noise from your neighbours, including industrial sites near your home, it can be extremely frustrating. In the worst cases, noise nuisance (sometimes called noise pollution) can seriously interfere with your quality of life.
No matter how irritated you are, it is important to handle the situation carefully. An amicable relationship with your neighbour is always going to be more beneficial than a contentious one as you attempt to resolve the issue. Furthermore, if there is an ongoing dispute when you want to sell your property you will have to disclose it to your prospective buyer during the fact-finding process.
For expert legal advice about dealing with a noise nuisance contact the specialist Residential Property Dispute Lawyers at Lupton Fawcett today.
Party Wall Disputes
A party wall is a wall shared with your neighbours. This can include the side walls of semi-detached or terraced houses, and garden walls which are built on both sides of a boundary.
Under the Party Wall Act 1996, anyone planning to carry out certain work on a party wall is required to obtain the agreement of the other person to whom the wall belongs before work begins. If your neighbour gives approval within 14 day of your written notice, you can go ahead as planned. If they do not give their approval, you’ll need to arrange a party wall agreement.
Whether you are the person intending to carry out the work, or the person potentially affected by it, you need specialist legal advice from a solicitor experienced in the implications and process demanded by the Party Wall Act, 1996.
Contact the residential property law team at Lupton Fawcett today for more information about how we can help
Construction Contract Disputes
Disputes in relation to building and engineering projects can be costly financially and, where the family home is involved, emotionally draining too.
We have a wealth of experience in this area of property law, and we understand the importance of swift, appropriate action to present further financial loss and delays.
Given the complex nature of construction, even small projects can give rise to many unexpected issues leading to a wide range of possible disputes.
Some common causes of construction contract disputes include:
- Quality and workmanship
A common scenario is when a private homeowner engages a local builder to carry out an extension, conversion, or refurbishment to their residential property. The work is often agreed on the basis of a quote made from estimations using the architect’s drawings, with no further contractual documentation or terms and conditions being set out.
At this point, the expectations of the two parties may already be different. Variations to the scope of work inevitably occur once work starts, either by mistake, through necessity or at the client’s request, and misunderstandings can begin to escalate.
Resolving a construction contract dispute begins with identifying exactly what the builder was required to do, in what time scale, and at what price. This can be difficult without a written contract in place, and further complicated when alterations to the scope have been made orally or ambiguously through disjointed text messages and emails.
The best way to ensure that any disputes that arise between you and your builder can be resolved cost effectively and with the minimum financial impact, is to seek professional legal advice before signing a contract.
No matter what stage your job is at, if you have concerns about the scope, quality, cost, or safety of the work being done, talk to Residential Property Solicitors at Lupton Fawcett today.
Boundary, Fence and Wall Disputes
One of the most common types of dispute to occur between property owners, are disagreements relating to the boundaries. There are many ways that boundary disputes can arise and the options for resolving them depend very much on the facts of the situation.
Boundary disputes are often about the location of the boundary line, maintenance of the boundary, or rights to a piece of land. They are often triggered when a wall, fence or hedge is replaced, causing the neighbour to claim it is in the wrong place (encroachment).
Information about where your property begins and ends can be obtained from the title deeds and the Land Registry, although older documents may not provide a definitive answer.
If a precise definition of the boundary can be not found, the only option is to create one yourself by reaching an agreement with your neighbours. If this proves to be impossible, you can ask an independent expert to determine the boundary for you.
There are several alternative dispute resolution approaches that may help you and your neighbour to reach an agreement without going to court. If you feel that relationships are breaking down and are worried about the dispute escalating, it is advisable to speak to an experienced Property Dispute Solicitor as early as possible.
Over the years, tree roots and branches can extend into neighbouring property causing inconvenience, damage and in some unfortunate cases even injury.
If the branches of a tree overhang from a neighbouring property, you can cut them back up to the boundary line, unless the tree has a preservation order on it. However, the cut branches and any fruit or flowers attached to them, remain the property of the tree owner and you are obliged to offer them the off cuts.
Before doing any work to a tree or hedge that belongs to your neighbour, the best first step is to talk to them about the issue and explain what you want to do.
If you and your neighbour are not able to reach an amicable agreement about what should happen to problematic roots or branches, and if you believe it may be causing damage to your property or blocking natural light, you may be able to take legal action.
Water and Drainage Issues
Water can cause the sort of damage to a property which can be expensive to repair and difficult to eradicate. Ranging from mold to compromising the integrity of the foundations, water and drainage issues need to be taken seriously. Disputes can arise if the water is coming from a neighbouring property.
The first step is to identify the source of the water. Homeowners are generally not legally responsible for the natural run off of precipitation, unless they have made alterations to their garden that have changed the run-off.
However, if the water is coming from a neighbours gutter, a man made pond, a leaking pipe or due to ‘home improvements’, such as paving a garden area then they may be held responsible for the damages and the cost or repairs.
If a pipe, drain, or guttering is on your property, you are responsible for it within the boundary of your property, including underground water and sewage pipes. The law changed in 2011 to clarify and simplify the homeowner’s responsibilities for maintaining drains connected to different property types so you will need to check the situation for your specific circumstances. In general, you are responsible for the part of the pipes from your property up to the boundary or to the point where it connects to the drains of another property.
The source of a water related issue may not be easily identified until a proper investigation has been carried out by an expert who can survey the underground pipes. Disputes can subsequently arise over the cost of repairs to blocked or leaking pipes if it turns out that the issue is in fact due to a neighbouring drain.
If your home is damaged by leaking sewer pipes or flooding, you may be able to claim compensation from the water company if it can be shown that they have failed in the duty of care.
Our specialist Property Law Solicitors are able to offer expert advice on complex issues and help you to find the most effective solution for your specific circumstances. Call now for a no obligation chat about what is happening and to discuss the next steps.
Planning Application Objections
Our Planning Disputes Solicitors advise and represent homeowners on the process of objecting to planning applications. There is often a temptation to object based on emotive issues such as the noise or dust caused during construction, or the effect on the value of your property. However, these are not planning considerations and are unlikely to be taken into account.
You may have a good case for appeal if any of the following factors apply:
- Loss of privacy
- Loss of light
- Access issues
- Traffic generation
- Visual impact
- Environmental impacts
We will help you to build a robust objection based on valid planning issues, ensuring your objection is given the best possible chance of success.
Planning Application Appeals
If your planning application has been refused you usually have 6 months to appeal the decision. However, the time limit is only 12 weeks if you made a Householder Application for alterations or enlargements (such as an extension, conservatory, or loft conversion) to a single house.
Using our extensive experience with planning permission appeals cases we will help you construct a legitimate appeal with the highest possible chance of being recognised.
Right of Light Claims
The ‘Right to Light’ is an easement that gives a landowner the right to receive light through a window or skylight, and balances the need for new buildings, or extensions to existing buildings, with the impact those developments have on adjacent buildings.
Although there is no quantifiable measure of what an acceptable level of light is, measuring and modelling lighting levels has become more straightforward through the use of software. This allows more accurate assessments and predictions to be made based on the size of the window, the size of the room and the distribution of ‘comfortable’ light throughout that room.
Right to Light claims can be a key factor in determining the viability of a residential property development project, particularly in dense urban areas. Right of light issues can arise after planning has been granted, and even after work has commenced so it is important to seek professional advice at the outset.
Working across the whole of the UK from our offices in Leeds, Sheffield, and York we have been delivering solutions to parties affected by right to light issues for many years.
Contact a Residential Property Disputes Solicitor Today
At Lupton Fawcett, our specialist Property Dispute Solicitors are on hand to help you resolve any contentious issues between you and your neighbours or building contractors, ensuring you get the desired outcome as quickly as possible. We understand the importance of protecting your home from damage, nuisance and changes to the surrounding properties or land which will have a negative impact on you, so you can rely on us to drive the process forward on your behalf.
Lupton Fawcett is a leading personal and commercial law firm in Yorkshire with well-established teams of Property Solicitors at each of our offices.
Our Residential Property Solicitors act regularly for clients across Yorkshire including Bradford, Chesterfield, Halifax, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Rotherham, Wakefield.
As a recognised full-service law firm, we can support your needs wherever you live in England, Wales & Northern Ireland.
Call today or complete the enquiry form and we will get back in touch with you quickly. We will always respond promptly, and we will be happy to help.