Seeff v Ho

Case Summary

 

Court:
Court of Appeal
Status:
Binding
Current Legislation:
Party Wall etc. Act 1996, s.3(3)
Historic Legislation:
London Building Act 1894
Facts:

Mr and Mrs Ho wanted undertake works to 314 Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, London. Mr and Mrs Seeff owned 316. Before the works started Mrs Ho and Mrs Seeff had a conversation over the garden fence during which Mrs Seeff had given consent to the works.

Mr and Mrs Ho started works without serving notice as they mistakenly believed the wall between the properties was not a party wall. Part of those works committed a trespass to no 316.

Shortly after the works were completed Mr and Ms Seeff applied for an injunction ordering the removal of the offending works.  Mr and Mrs Ho argued that the earlier oral agreement overrode the requirement for notice.

Comment:

This case should be contrasted with Bennett v Harrod’s Stores Limited where the Court found that a detailed written agreement was sufficient to allow the works to take place without notices being served.

It is expressly provided for in section 3(3) of the Party Wall Act that a written agreement obviates the need for a party structure notice to be served. what may constitute a written agreement is unclear.

Full Text:
 [2011] EWCA Civ 186