A family has been ordered to hand over their £600,000 home to their neighbours after losing a legal battle over a 3-inch extension into their garden.
The Constantine family now have three weeks to leave the seven-bedroom house that they have lived in for over 31 years.
The judge ordered Yvette Constantine, 57, and husband Herman, 66, to hand over the keys to the Ali family so they can recover legal fees after an eight year battle over the 3-inch extension.
The Constantines had accused the Alis of knocking down a fence and building an extension three inches into their garden while they were on holiday.
But the judge ruled in favour of the Ali family and ordered has now ordered the Constantines to pay their neighbours’ legal fees.
The Constantines, who have three grown-up children, have been given until January 2018 to leave the home and hand over the keys to the Ali family.
The order gives Sardar Ali, 62, his wife Haliman and son Tajammul, 36, the right to sell the property in East Ham, East London, for at least £500,000.
A neighbour said: “They will lose the house they had for 31 years and be homeless after Christmas. All because they objected about a neighbours’ fence.”
Speaking this morning, Mr Ali, 62, said: “I don’t want to talk about it. “The time to talk about it was eight years ago but not now.”
Other neighbours supported Ali and his family and said they have always been “good neighbours” who take around food occasionally.
A neighbour on the other side of the road, who also did not give his name, said: “I didn’t know anything was going on there, I don’t know them but I didn’t realise that was happening.
“They’re just normal neighbours.”
The reminders of the spat between the two families are visible on the front porch of the Constantines’ hosue, where a faded note reads: “Please do not leave deliveries with any neighbours. Thank you.”
The Constantines first complained in 2009 claiming that the 3inch extension was illegally built on their side of the house which resulted in a civil court case in 2012.]
Four years later the case went to the Mayor’s and City of London County Court were a judge inspected both properties.
After inspection the court rules the extension did not trespass into the Constantines property.
The Constantines lost an appeal in May this year and a final charging order was placed on them demanding payment of the Ali’s legal fees.
A judge issued a final ruling on December 1 due to non payment.
Both families would not comment yesterday.
Mark Woloshak, of lawyers Slater and Gordon, said: “Border disputes can be horrendously expensive. If you lose you pay the other sides’ costs. “That’s how it works.”