- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 15 Mar 2018
Right of support
Where properties adjoin, there may be a mutual right of support for both land and buildings. This can apply to buildings that are joined, buildings that rely on the support of adjacent land, and to the land itself. This means that if works are carried out to land, buildings, retaining walls, excavations and so on, or if structures are demolished, the right of support of adjoining properties must be maintained.
Support may be ‘subjacent’ (from below) or ‘adjacent’ (from the neighbouring property).
The right to support arises naturally for land and this right cannot be removed. If support is withdrawn, resulting subsidence, damages may be sought. However, this natural right does not apply to buildings.
Where one party places an additional burden on the land, for example by building on it, there is no natural right of support, but one can be acquired:
- Where it is expressly granted. For example it may be set out in a conveyance deed or a transfer deed.
- Where it is impliedly granted or reserved. For example if properties are separated and the right was intended or mutual.
- By prescription. Where the additional burden has existed for 20 years or more.
The acquisition of this 'easement' (a right which a person has over land owned by someone else) cannot be prevented.
The Party Wall etc. Act establishes a procedure for carrying out work to walls, boundary walls, party structures (such as floors) and excavations within 3 or 6 metres of a neighbouring building or structure (depending on the depth of the hole or of the proposed foundations). The Act requires that anyone carrying out such works must give notice of their intentions to adjoining owners and sets out procedures in the event that the adjoining owner does not agree to the proposed works. See Party Wall Act for more information.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Basement excavation.
- Basement v cellar.
- Derogation from grant.
- Land register.
- Party structure notice.
- Party wall act.
- Party wall surveyor.
- Quiet enjoyment.
- Responsibility for boundary features.
- Restrictive covenants.
- Right to light.
- Right to a view.
- Rights of way.
- Tree rights.
Featured articles and news
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can go some way to show the impact of new buildings on their surroundings.
The shortlist for the 2018 prize for the UK's best new building is revealed.
Amendment to Bill aims to provide councils with greater powers to increase tax premiums on empty homes.
As the latest summer blockbuster 'Skyscraper' is released, we look at some of the best uses of buildings in film.
Read our introductory article on how to layout a building.
New cross-party report calls for combustible cladding ban to be extended to all high-rise residential buildings.
Dr Nicholas Falk, director of the URBED Trust, explains why metro cities are the future of urbanisation.
From next week, UK firms can bid for a share of a £12.5m fund to boost productivity, performance and quality.
A right to light generally refers to the right to receive sufficient light through an opening.
Interference and compatibility - the effects of electromagnetic fields in the workplace.