Basement Trend Grows: Legal expert & geologist advise how to defend against ‘digging neighbours’

Shilpa Mathuradas, Property Litigation Lawyer and Partner at Osbornes Law and Dr Michael de Freitas, a leading engineering geologist will be offering expert opinion on the subject of basement excavations on Wednesday 19th September in Hampstead.

2017 saw a 183% rise in planning applications for basement extensions, with home owners seeking to create luxury living spaces within their homes.

The increased number of basements now containing cinemas, gyms, pools, wine cellars and in more extreme cases panic rooms, has led to Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster councils trying to restrict the maximum depth homeowners are allowed to excavate. With 112 mega basements and 785 large basements developed since 2008 and a number of high-profile basement disputes reported in the UK press, the panel will discuss how ‘Below Ground London’ can cope with the increasing demand for basement living and how neighbours can use existing property law to protect themselves from intrusive neighbour excavations.

The talk will discuss whether the current law is suitable for basement excavations and whether adequate protection is given to the parties involved. It will also offer practical suggestions to parties involved.

Osbornes Lawyer Shilpa Mathuradas often becomes involved when emotions are running high. She comments that property disputes usually involve a person’s main and most expensive asset and therefore often it is difficult for parties not to become emotional. However, careful consideration should always be given to alternative means of resolving a dispute early on.

The discussion is both apt and timely as Hampstead has seen many disputes on basement works.

Entitled Can the Law of Nature and the Laws of the Land Cohabit in a Basement? The talk will take place at St Stephen’s Church in Hampstead on Wednesday 19th September from 7pm.

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