Fillingham v Wood

Case Summary

 

Court:
High Court
Status:
 Not Binding
Current Legislation:
 Party Wall etc Act 1996,  s. 3s. 20
Historic Legislation:
 Metropolitan Building Act 1855,  s. 3s. 82.
Facts:

Wood owned the freehold of 40 Margaret Street, off Cavendish Square, London. Fillingham owned a 3 year lease of various rooms in the ground and first floors of the adjoining property at No 41.

Wood wanted to undertake works to the party wall which included laying open some of the rooms that Fillingham leased. Wood served notice on Fillingham’s head landlord, but not Fillingham himself. Upon expiry of the notice Wood started works, including laying open Fillingham’s bedroom. Fillingham issued proceedings for an injunction on the basis he had not been served with the required notice under the 1855 Act.

Wood argued, among other issues, that Fillingham was not entitled to notice of the works because he was only in occupation of some of the adjoining property, not all of it.

Decision:

 An injunction was granted.

Anyone who met the description of an adjoining owner was entitled to receive notice no matter how small their interest in the adjoining land. Fillingham was an adjoining owner, and was therefore entitled to notice before the works recommenced.

Comment:

Building Owners should make enquiries into the ownership and occupation of adjoining properties to ensure that all potential adjoining owners are identified.

In some cases this may require the instruction of a solicitor to establish the extent and ownership of adjoining land.