Looking for Machiya to renovate? Worried about its conditions? Before deciding on a property, consult with your architect to make a better-informed decision. Architects can provide on-site visual inspections, property document reviews, evaluative comments, and more.
Encroachments are so common in Machiya
Historically Kyoto has been a dense city. Most buildings were built tightly without side setback. Because of this zero-lot-line condition Machiya properties are prone to encroachments.
For instance, Machiya's rake (roof overhangs on the gable side) projects over the adjacent roof. Also, side property boundaries are prone to encroachment issues particularly among row house properties.
In Kyoto, those encroachments are usually accepted as historical condition. As such they would not present issues, as long as the property boundaries are confirmed by the adjacent owners.
But what if they are not confirmed? Oftentimes it can be still worked out by your cooperativeness along with the help from your Land & House Investigator who would mediate between you and the neighbor(s).
What Architects can do to help
In all cases it is crucial to share the property boundary information in entirety with your architect upfront so as not to worsen the issues down the road. Better yet, before deciding on a property to renovate, take advantage of your architect's evaluative comments based on property document review and on-site non-invasive visual inspections.