PARA claims their neighbor built an attic so close to their home that their wall cracked.
Liz and Adam Peck are so desperate for Debbie Renford’s sequel to be thwarted that they have sued her for “entering”.
The banker’s superstructure of Mrs. Renford was installed just one inch from Peck’s attic before the gap between the attics was closed by filling.
Both Mr and Mrs Peck claim that this led to a water leak into their £ 1.5 million home in East Dulwich in south-east London, and a ‘big crack’ appeared in the wall.
Now they are suing their neighbor, demanding that she dismantle the extension or pay compensation.
The Central London County Court heard how Mrs Renford began construction work on her two-story apartment in 2014 after obtaining consent from Pex.
But Mrs. Peck said she was horrified to learn that to get more room in the attic, Mrs. Ranford instructed her workers to build on the border and encroach on their property.
Mrs. Ranford is fighting for the case, claiming that Pex agreed to her building on top of the “party wall” that separates the two houses.
She also claims that the work done to combine the two was “inevitable”.
The judge was told that both sides were friendly before the quarrel unfolded, and Mrs. Peck even took a tour of the outbuilding after dinner in April 2014.
But while testifying, the 49-year-old man told Judge Simon Monty QC that the work they agreed to should have stopped near the boundary between the two properties.
Their own attic conversion was a little below an inch from the party wall, and they were said to have understood that Mrs. Renford’s room should be located so as to leave a gap for service.
Pex first learned he was attached when a roofer investigating the cause of the leak shouted that her neighbor had built it abroad, she said.
“We didn’t know our property was being built next door,” said Judge Mrs. Peck, who runs an organic children’s clothing business.
“To see this, you have to be right at the end of our garden.
“Given the party wall we signed, we had no reason to check the work.”
Her husband, a singer and songwriter, added: “It was very shocking to understand and discover that something completely different had been built.”
Introducing the couple, attorney Richard Eglton said Mrs. Ranford chose not to leave the gap between the two outbuildings because she did not want to have a smaller room in the attic.
Instead, the builder widened the wall up to use it as the exterior wall of the room in Mrs. Renford’s attic, and the space between the two dormers was filled with material from Pex’s side to prevent worsening weather.
The lawyer argued that the work had led to a “clear offense” and that Mrs. Ranford should be ordered to dismantle the attic to remove parts of the annex that were on Pex’s side from the boundary and the wall.
“The only person who will benefit from this [trespass] is the defendant of Mrs. Renford, although the defendant seeks to suggest that the work done is in favor of the plaintiffs, “he told the judge.
“Defendant, Mrs. Ranford, finding that the applicants’ outbuilding was at a distance of 1.5 cm or about a wall, did not wish her outbuilding to be smaller than indicated by her architect’s plan to include a larger gap between the two attics and thus easier to maintain – and therefore decided to move to the option of increasing the space by building it on the wall.
He added: “The applicants also allege that the works violated the structural integrity of their property and caused damage, resulting in leaks and cracks in the wall on the ground floor in 2015 as well as in 2018.
“The damage is trouble.”
Mr Eglton said the clash between neighbors had “destroyed” both of their properties as neither would be able to sell until the dispute raged.
He said Mrs. Ranford herself had twice failed to sell her apartment.
Giving evidence, Mrs. Renford said the construction on the wall and the connection to the attics was “inevitable” because of fire regulations and to protect against the weather.
It was very shocking to realize and discover that something completely different had been built.
None of her actual duration is on the Pex border side, just the stuff to fill she said.
“We did not cross the wall in terms of our building,” she told the judge.
“The only part that overlaps outside the wall is designed to protect against the weather.”
She added: “The pragmatic decision is to appoint a surveyor who will advise us on the next step.
“We have always been ready to follow a joint surveyor.”
The Peckies are asked to issue a “mandatory ban requiring the removal of that part of the defendant’s attic that is built on the side wall” or compensation for damages.
If the attic hatch extension is allowed to remain, they want Mrs. Renford to re-insulate the weather by replacing the filling.
Ms Renford disputes Pex’s claim on the grounds that it was filed too late after the work was carried out in 2014 and there was no directly related damage.
The trial continues.