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Thread: Responsibilities of a neighbour

  1. #1
    Regular Member Top Turkey's Avatar
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    Default Responsibilities of a neighbour

    Hi all.

    I read often, but rarely post, so hope you go easy with me on this!

    My elderly neighbour has a number of extensions on the side of his house. Each roof slants towards my side wall. However, there is no guttering on the edge of any of his roofs, meaning all of the rainwater simply gets deposited againt my wall! We now have damp in side of the house, roughly where his extensions are. I am assuming that his lack of guttering is the cause, but don't know for sure.

    He is an elderly gent in his 80s and on his own so want to handle this as sensitiviely as possible. Does anyone know of the legal responsibilities that a neighbour has in terms of upkeep of their property, so that I can try and use the law as a starting point, rather than his neighbour just being difficult?

    Any idea what the insurance company's view would be of this? They are currently investigating, but haven't looked at the adjoining property as a possible cause.

    Thanks....

    TT.

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    Regular Member Dwabo's Avatar
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    try citizens advice mate..or local council building regs... if they are relatively recent additions then maybe the plans etc could still be available??... total shot in the dark but worth a try??..

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    Regular Member Flaninacupboard's Avatar
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    Drainage has to be part of planning, i expect his extension does not meet building regs.

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    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    Regular Member simac's Avatar
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    Your insurance company won't be interested really, this would be seen as poor design or faulty workmanship (as the lack of a gutter could fall into either category). If there was a gutter which has been removed during a storm then your neighbour could claim from their own insurance co.

    For Building Regs they would need a gutter and rainwater pipe but sometimes I've seen them omitted if this means the extension would then project over the boundary line. How close is the extension ? if it has been constructed right on the boundary line that will be why they didin't install a gutter as they would then be projecting onto your side.

    Are you sure the dampness in your property is from this ? What age is your house, does it have solid or cavity walls ? if it's cavity walls it's very unlikely that any internal dampness is caused by water cascading off next door. However, if it's a solid wall and poorly pointed water can enter your property more readily.

    Could you give us a bit more info about your property and the proximity of next doors extension ?

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    Thanks for the interest, particularly simac.

    The house is a 1950s semi and the neighbour in question is NOT the one that we are joined to. Basically, our house has been extended on the non-connected side, taking up what was the access from the drive to the back garden. He has done the same. All of the work was done before we moved in - we've only been there a year. I think that his was there first and our extension was then put up, but I'm only guessing here.

    We're not sure that his lack of guttering is the problem - it is just me speculating as I find it odd that ALL of his rain water comes onto his extension's roof, which in turn, directs it to our wall. I can't see a gap between the extensions' walls - his extension seems to lean onto ours.

    Would it be helpful if I got some photos up to explain what I mean? If so, will try and do this over the weekend when I'm there in the daylight.

    Thanks as always people - this is such a great forum.

    Ian, aka, TT.

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    Regular Member simac's Avatar
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    Photos would be very helpful

    Your extension is recent enough to have cavity walls which are designed to handle a small amount of water. Anywater which can pass the outer skin should drip down the cavity off the cavity ties which acts as a kind of "secondary defence" to protect the inner leaf of the wall. So if I was to visit your property I would also be considering other water sources such as condensation/roof/concealed pipework or plaster contamination (usually older properties and close to where an open fire has been used).

    Your neighbour should have a gutter though (would one fit in there now or are the extensions too close together?), a couple of photos would help including one of your internal dampness if that's ok.

    Do you have a patch on the wall ? damaged wall paper ? is it at high level or low level ? when did you notice it ? has it got worse now we are into the winter months ?

    Sorry about all the questions but with more info i'm sure we can point you in the right direction through a process of elimation LOL
    Last edited by simac; 17th December 2007 at 12:27. Reason: typo

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