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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Can anything be done, Our neighbour painted his fence adjoining

Customer Question

Can anything be done, Our neighbour painted his fence adjoining our garden with creosote, banned for sale or use by the public since early 2003. Last night my neighbour called an ambulance for me because I became ill from the fumes. I suffer from chronic obstructive pulmnary disease. my neighbour knows this. The fence was painted on friday last week in the blistering weather. Our doors and windows have to be shut 24/7 as I am disabled from a car accident and I have to care for my 87 yr old mother. I have tried the health and safety exec, environment health officer, wildlife organisations, police, my doctor. All said it is banned for sale or use but are powerless to act. I might as well put bars up to my windows and destroy the keys as we are prisoners. Vic Goodwin.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

AlexWatts2013 : Hello my name is Alex and I will help with this. Will your neighbour not replace the panels please?
JACUSTOMER-t2n4iyv7- :

No.

JACUSTOMER-t2n4iyv7- :

are you there

JACUSTOMER-t2n4iyv7- :

I have to inform you the neighbourthat helped me last night calling the paramedic is not the one who caused the problem she lives in the semi datached property connected to mine.

AlexWatts2013 :

Forgive me I was having dinner. Have you asked them to replace the panels because they are causing distress please?

JACUSTOMER-t2n4iyv7- :

No they are elderly people that are unreasonable and wont answer a question

JACUSTOMER-t2n4iyv7- :

They have no idea of legalities

JACUSTOMER-t2n4iyv7- :

I would like to retire to bed now, and reply again tomorrow

AlexWatts2013 : Ok. You want the panels replacing I assume please?
JACUSTOMER-t2n4iyv7- :

yes

AlexWatts2013 :

That helps. You have a common law cause under what is called nuisance. That is someone is liable for noise, smells etc coming from their property. You should write to them and ask that they remove and replace the panels with ones that are covered with a legal treatment. You need to give them a reasonable opportunity to do this, 14-28 days would suffice. If they refuse then you would be entitled to issue proceedings, which you would need to do in the County Court. You would need to complete Form N1 and pay a Court fee of £175 and you are seeking an order of 'specific performance', that is you are asking the Court to order them to do something - in this case replace the panels. If you are granted the order and they refuse then potentially they could be fined or sent to prison for contempt of Court. However you may need a Solicitor to draft the Court papers for you and appear in Court on your behalf. You will not get legal aid for this so you may have to pay privately for representation. If you win in Court the general rule is that the losing party pays.

AlexWatts2013 :

But those are the steps you need to take, but first give them a reasonable opportunity to comply. I trust that this answers your question and if so could I invite you to rate the service that I have given you. If you need more information then please click reply. Alex

JACUSTOMER-t2n4iyv7- :

Your advice is rubbish as Have just spoken to the Environment Agency and they are acting. Where ever you get your info go back to school good bye.

AlexWatts2013 :

I am sorry you feel like that and I am to turn this around for you. The Environment Agency do not always act. Indeed this appears to vary locally. Indeed you said that you have tried the heath and safety executive, Police and the Council but who all were powerless to Act. Indeed when I researched this for you I considered the quickest way to seek an injunction, which you could do within 24 hours. The Environment Agency will take time to respond and I was very much alive to the situation. I had also researched case law for you - In Bramford v Turnley where nuisance was defined it as "any continuous activity or state of affairs causing a substantial and unreasonable interference with a [claimant's] land or his use or enjoyment of that land". That is why I gave you the advice, because you wanted to act quickly and the urgency of the medical situation. Alex

JACUSTOMER-t2n4iyv7- :

I am a disabled person living in a council bungalow have struggled to gather £22 for a reasonable answer. My next course of action is the national press as not even you can give me an answer, don't worry Just answer will not be implicated.

JACUSTOMER-t2n4iyv7- :

Just end your research now thankyou.

AlexWatts2013 :

I understand that you are struggling and if site rules permitted me to write a letter as a lawyer to them for you, I gladly would. There are some cases that I feel very strongly about and yours and would like to take on, yours is one of them. I am sorry that the Council will not do anything for you and I understand that it is frustrating. One matter that may help is if you have motor or home insurance with legal protection, that may cover you for any legal fees with this dispute. If you are covered that may resolve the matter very quickly. I have tried to help you the quickest way I could and indeed researched case law to assist your case. I would be grateful if you would see any way to rating my service is OK as it affects my overall score? If you do need any further help from me I would be only too pleased to tell you what to do next etc then please click reply. Alex

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