Boundaries - 'Relief'
Updated 29 May 2019
1 Jersey common law provides that a window should be built at a minimum of three 'Jersey' feet from the boundary of the neighbouring property unless the window is non-opening and opaque.
3 Jersey feet = 3 times 11 inches = 2 feet 9 inches Imperial
2 This may also affect the building of greenhouses or conservatories.
3 No building should encroach beyond the centre of a party wall, generally speaking, (but it is important to check the contract). This includes roof parts, fascia boards, guttering etc
Boundaries 'with relief'
4 A relief is a strip of land running along the inside of a boundary between two properties, or a boundary bordering a road, which must not be built on, unless the deed of title gives a contractual right to do so.
If nothing has yet been built on a property (property A) in the vicinity of the boundary, and the owner of property A wants to construct something, he must leave this strip (the relief) open.
If something has already been built on property A in the vicinity of the boundary, and property A is described in the deed of title as having the wall and relief, it means that both the wall (which may be the wall of a building, or just a boundary wall), and the strip of land on the far side of the wall (the relief), are part of property A.
The width of a relief depends on whether the wall will have windows (other than windows with opaque glass which do not open) or other openings, or not. If it has no windows or other openings, or if the only windows have opaque glass and cannot be opened, the width is 1½ Jersey feet wide. (As there are only 11 inches in a Jersey foot, this means 16½ imperial inches.) If the wall has windows or other openings through which one can see, the width is 3 Jersey feet (33 imperial inches).
Relief should not be confused with the right to go onto the neighbouring property to maintain one’s own property. That right is known as tour d’échelle , because it gives the owner of the property which has a tour d’échelle the right to stand a ladder (échelle) on the neighbouring property.