My neighbour’s new shed is touching my house and I’m worried about damage

A DISGRUNTLED homeowner is seeking advice after their neighbour built a shed right next to a shared wall.

When it comes to property spats, it can be tricky to know where you stand, so we shed some light on your rights.

Neighbourly property spats leaves homeowners wondering where they standCredit: Getty

Despite being on good terms with their neighbour, the homeowner explained that shed plans were kept hush-hush.

The neighbour reportedly began building it during the early hours of the morning.

In a forum on Money Saving Expert, the homeowner wrote: “My neighbour’s built a shed right next to my back wall with no gap.

“My wall is 8ft, and his shed will be around 12ft when the roof is on, meaning if it rains, over time it’ll cause damage.

“Not only this, but it’s blocked out light, because the shed itself is not at ground level – it’s been put on a raised platform.”

We spoke to some experts to reveal where this homeowner, and those in a similar predicament, stand.

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Can you build a shed without permission?

Paula Higgins, chief executive of HomeOwners Alliance, said: “Outbuildings such as sheds normally do not require planning permission, and fall into permitted development rights.”

However, she added, this is only the case if the outbuilding is single storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres, and a maximum overall height of three to four metres (depending on the type of roof).

If the shed is within two metres of the neighbour’s house, the maximum height allowed without planning permission is 2.5 metres.

How close can a shed be to a joint fence?

Paula told The Sun: “The neighbour may need to get a party wall agreement in place with the property owner if the shed is being built within three metres of their property, and if the construction is brick and not timber.”

There are no specific laws preventing sheds being built next to fences as long as the above rules are followed.

But the situation can change if the outbuilding causes damage to an adjoining property.

Often when sheds are built directly next to fences, there are issues surrounding dampness.

Angela Gregson, partner at Royds Withy King, said: “If the impact of the shed is that water now falls onto the garden and this causes damage, there is likely to be a claim in nuisance.

“It is the responsibility of the shed owner to make sure rain drains onto his own land.”

But when it comes to issues surrounding light, there is not much that can be done.

While a small amount of light to windows is protected under English law, there would be no rights of light claim in a garden, said Angela.

Can I get the shed taken down?

If you believe your neighbour hasn’t taken the appropriate rules into consideration, you may be able to get the outbuilding taken down.

Councils have the power to force homeowners to take down a structure or may require them to apply for retrospective planning permission, said Paula. 

If you think your neighbour should have applied for planning permission, you could contact their local planning agency to find out – you can do this through your local council.

But before you go down this route, it’s best to try and sort things out with your neighbour directly.

Property disputes can become long-winded, full of friction, and costly if the courts become involved.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors offers a boundary mediation service, and Brits can access 30 minutes of free advice from a chartered surveyor.

Shed squabbles aren’t the only kind causing neighbours to fall out – Storm Eunice caused fences up and down the nation to fall down, leaving Brits to wonder who’s to pick up the pieces.

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One couple won £10,000 in a bitter feud with their neighbours when a huge fence was put up.

Another neighbour dispute over garden decking forced the council to intervene after is supposedly breached privacy.

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