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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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We have new Romanian neighbors who have moved downstairs 6

Resolved Question:

We have new Romanian neighbors who have moved downstairs 6 months ago. My wife and I live upstairs have had to excessive noise due to neighbor refurbishing house and generally being noisy.
The new neighbor has builders who sometimes access his rear garden through a gate in my garden which by law I have to give him reasonable access. I'm ok with that

However I have my refuge and recycle bins just outside my front door which when we come home they have been moved on to grass one time of them had toppled over and the rubbish fell out as grass is uneven.
We thought trying to talk to him however about this in the past he interrupts our question and either becomes aggressive or shuts the door. We tried to put up sign in his language to say that if you have to move our bins please put them back on our patio
He has replied by sticking letter through our door saying that the note in Romanian is insulting as he speaks fluent English which doesn't really. and that I should keep path clear. The other upstairs flats in our close do as we do with the bins and we have lived in our flat for twenty years and never had any problems with any neighbors.
We have a reputation as being a good neighbor.

We thought as a last resort to put letter through his door to have a meeting with coffee somewhere to discuss any issues as we think our behavior and language is being misinterpreted

Is this a good idea?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask leaving aside the renovation works, in what ways the neighbours upstairs are being noisy please? i.e. are they undertaking unusual activities in the flat to cause noise?

Joshua :

Do you know if the flat is carpeted or if it has hard flooring?

Customer:

The neighbors are downstairs. We are upstairs the noise recently has improved due to his renovation is almost complete howevr other recent issues have come to light like terrible smell of cooking which stinks our flat ouit and the afore mentioned incident with the bins

Customer:

The real question is how best to approach him with the intent of an amicable outcome as we would like to sell our flat so do not want any disputes which might affect the sale of the property

Joshua :

Thanks. Do you consider the noise issue will not be an ongoing problem following completion of his renovations? Has the cooking smell been an issue in the past or do you think it is due to the work he has had carried out?

Customer:

We think its due to work being carried out he has just renovated his kitchen and that is when we noticed the strong smell like wild garlic . This happens three or four times a week usually its just our kitchen but we could smell it as we were lying bed at 10.30pm one night

Joshua :

Thanks.

Joshua :

The works he is undertaking will almost certainly require building regulation approval which includes substantive provisions relating to ventilation and the like. You can consider advising him about the smell and asking him to look at the issue. Failing this you can make a report to the Building Control department at the council who can inspect and require him to remedy any issues within 12 months of completion of the work and the Building Act.

Customer:

Thanks

Joshua :

In terms of the bins, are these being placed over an area he has a right of way?

Joshua :

If so does it substantively reduce his ability to exercise his right of way over the path?

Customer:

It is on a patio at side of my front door this does not block my back garden gate which gives him access to his back garden, If he walks out of my back garden gate he can freely walk on the grass. On the patio sidewalk wher my bins are there is a drainpipe coming down side of building which partly blocks oath I keep the bins on the side of drainpipe closets to my front dooe. All the other upstairs tenants in our close do as I do and they have no disputes with their downstairs neighbors. He has never approached me about this and appears to move our bins when he thinks we are not in the house

Joshua :

Thank you. If he has a right of way over the path leading to the gate the courts have held that putting something blocking that right of way to some extent is not a lawful impediment unless it makes the right of way substantively more difficult to exercise. Therefore if the bins are preventing him using the path then this would be unlawful but if he can as readily use the right of way irrespective of the bins then this is not an actionable legal complaint on his part.

Joshua :

In terms of how you may consider dealing with him. As you say such matters are if possible best resolved by amicable agreement rather than legal action. If possible you may consider asking perhaps to meet for a cup of coffee to discuss the issues amicably and gently suggest some proposals which you are both satisfied with expressing your concern that you may have both gotten off on the wrong foot. Sometimes this can be successful.

Joshua :

If he is unreasonable then you can a) ask the local authority to take steps under building regulations re the smell and in addition could seek to make a complaint regarding statutory nuisance regarding the same. b) in respect of the bins, again make a complaint regarding statutory nuisance if he is moving your bins causing rubbish to all out. If necessary in addition to asking the council to assist with such complaints you could seek a private injunction in the county court though this would incur court fees as opposed to council action which is free to you.

Joshua :

If you were to wish to put in place an injunction privately you would need form N16A

Joshua :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=402

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

No thank you very much Joshua

Joshua :

A pleasure. I hope you are able to come to an amicable agreement. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though.

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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