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Basement and Penthouse Extensions

The development of basements and penthouses, particularly in London, has become increasingly popular but it can cause tension between the developer and adjoining property owners and occupiers. The legal issues that may be involved include restrictive covenants, party wall issues, rights of light, private nuisance as well as leasehold and other contractual issues. Planning permission may be required. If so planning law may also be an issue.

The developer will need to anticipate problems that might arise and try to address them; for instance recognising that a neighbour's right to light would be affected by development. Adjoining owners would be looking at the other side of the coin. They would be considering their rights and their objectives, which may include trying to stop a development.

Party wall issues often arise, particularly in relation to extensions, and when a development is underway noise, dust and disturbance may amount to an actionable nuisance. If a development is to proceed smoothly a developer has to be mindful of all the above issues.

We advise both developers and adjoining owners and occupiers on their rights and obligations; and represent them in negotiations and in any litigation. If a developer proceeds with building works in breach of a covenant or obligation, eg. a restrictive covenant or a right to light, one of the adjoining owner's most powerful remedies is an injunction. Whether you are a developer who wants to manage the risk of being restrained by an injunction or an adjoining owner who want to obtain an injunction, we can provide you with the advice you need, including advice on strategy, procedure, risk and cost.