It’s natural to want to make the most of your home and the space round it. This is a practical consideration as well as an aesthetic one. After all, it is generally cheaper to improve and even extend your property than it is to sell and buy a new one.
But, how do you make sure that you don’t infuriate your neighbors or cause some other breach of the law and end up being the recipient of a lawsuit?
Fortunately a few simple steps are actually all it takes:
The first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with the local planning rules. Not every improvement you make at home will be subject to planning but if you verify the rules and then check regarding specific projects this will help to reduce the risk of a lawsuit.
For example a fence will not generally require permission providing it is below a certain height. The same is true for an outbuilding providing it is smaller than a certain size.
Checking the planning permission before you start allows you to apply for permission if needed and cover yourself before the work starts.
Get A Survey Done
The next step is to contact a residential property surveyor. This is important as they will determine the exact perimeter of your property; it may not be where you thought it was. They will also verify if there are any utilities running under your home or land; if there are there could be rights of access. The surveyor will be able to advise you if these apply.
This will ensure that when you start your outside home improvement you’ll know where to put any structure; including your fence.
Speak To Your Neighbors
Just as you may be surprised by the exact boundary of your and so too may your neighbors. If you’re planning to erect a fence and it will appear to go onto your neighbors land then you need to consider if it is worthwhile or not. You may be in the right but that won’t prevent them from handing you a lawsuit.
It’s a good idea to speak to your closest neighbors regarding your plan and any potential issues. This will help to keep them happier and avoid lawsuits.
If you’re doing the work yourself it is important that you check you have valid insurance for the work you’re doing. If anything goes wrong and a person gets injured or property damaged you’ll be grateful for the cover.
Consider The Contractor
You may decide to have a contractor to do the work for you. If this is the case you need to consider the potent for them to damage or obstruct your neighbors and the resultant argument or even lawsuit that you could face.
It’s a good idea to research the contractor thoroughly first and get some other opinions regarding the standard of their work before you engage their services. This should help to prevent unnecessary and nasty incidents on your doorstep.