Building of an apartment block next to my home. How can I contest or stop this project?
Has a developer bought a plot of land near you? Does he intend to demolish everything and build a multi-story building?
The mayor has issued him with a permit, but you think he had no right to do so? You can probably contest this project, but two fundamental conditions must be met before you can take action.
How can I contest the construction of a building next door to me?
In order to challenge a property developer’s plan to build a building close to your home, you need to check that you are entitled to challenge the building permit granted to the developer. Two essential conditions must be met: firstly, you must have a grievance with the project, and secondly, you must act within 2 months.
1. You must have a grievance with the project
To contest the project, you need to challenge the decision granting planning permission. You can challenge this decision if you have an interest in acting against it.
In other words, the project must disturb you in terms of the nuisance it will cause. The construction, development or work must be likely to directly affect the conditions of occupation, use or enjoyment of your property. In other words, the project must inconvenience you in some way, directly or indirectly.
You are then required to occupy your property regularly in order to assert your rights. However, some specific situations in which you are not obliged to live in your home may meet this condition (for example, if you are the beneficiary of a promise to sell a property, you may have an interest in acting against this project).
You must be able to demonstrate how the occupancy of your property is likely to be affected by the project. At this stage, you need to put together a precise case backed up by concrete evidence. An expert lawyer can help you at this stage.
What do you need to prove that the project is adversely affecting you?
- You risk losing sunlight and light
- The view from your home will be spoiled
- Noise will be generated by the construction site and future residents.
- Traffic and parking will be difficult
- Your house or apartment will depreciate in value, etc….
These are all good reasons to question the legality of the building permit.
You are a tenant. Can you contest this building project?
Good to know: you don’t have to be the owner of a property to contest a building permit – being a tenant is enough.
Please note: if you wish to contest such a project, the beneficiary of the building permit must be summoned to the proceedings. If he is not summoned to the court, he can oppose the decision in your favor. To be on the safe side, you should consult a lawyer who can help you through the process.
2. The permit must be contested within 2 months
You must appeal against the decision granting the building permit within two months. You need to act as soon as possible, because once this period has expired, you will normally no longer be able to contest the building project.
If the information panel has been in place for more than two months and you have done nothing, the situation is more complicated, but all is not lost.
You need to pay close attention to the starting point of the appeal period.
What is the starting point for the 2-month period for contesting a building permit?
This period does not run from the date of the mayor’s bylaw, but from the date on which the decision is made known to third parties. The starting point for this period is the date on which an information panel is posted.
Simply putting up an information board is not enough. It is essential to check that the panel provides complete and accessible information:
- The sign must be visible from the public highway
- The sign must be posted continuously throughout the duration of the worksite, in order to trigger the time limit.
So, if the sign is not visible, if no one has noticed it, or if it is not posted continuously, the advertising formality is not valid. You can then challenge the decision beyond the two-month time limit.
In all cases, it’s best to contact an expert lawyer in town planning and construction law as soon as possible. Their experience and knowledge of the applicable rules will enable them to assess whether it is in your interest to contest the building permit.
3. If the situation is urgent, another solution exists
Can’t wait for the contentious appeal procedure to be completed?
A faster solution can be implemented in parallel with this appeal.
You can try to paralyze the work by applying to the “juge des référés” for a stay of execution of the building permit.
This separate application must be made at the same time as you lodge an action for annulment of the building permit. At this stage, you need to prove that the case is sufficiently urgent and that there are grounds for serious doubt as to the legality of the building permit. The judge will make a decision as soon as possible.
Which court should I contact?
In all cases, you should know that the appeal will be lodged with the administrative judge competent for such matters. The administrative judge with territorial jurisdiction will depend on the location of the building. An expert lawyer can advise you on how to make this appeal, which must be sufficiently precise and substantiated. If you also wish to obtain compensation from the Administration, you must consult a lawyer.
Is there a building under construction near your home? Is this construction inconvenient for you in your daily life or in the longer term? Schedule an appointment with an AGN Avocats lawyer in your area, who will advise you and suggest a strategy to obtain the cancellation of the building permit or even obtain compensation.