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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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we had an extension built some 6 years ago and the neighbour

Resolved Question:

we had an extension built some 6 years ago and the neighbour was unhappy with it and has since then been very hostile towards us and will not allow us to maintain the guttering, although she has allowed us once to clear them.
The extension wall is on the boundary with her property, and it appears that the builders did not construct the roof and drainage correctly as there is now serious leakage and the boundary wall is damp. We have asked the neighbour (politely and in writing) for access to assess the work that is needed, she has refused, and we are now unsure of what action we should take.
We dont want to take this to court and get a court order if we can avoid that, as it wont help with improving the relationship, but we cannot leave the problem to get worse, and would like to get this resolved before the winter. It is a long boundary (8-10 metres) with a pitched roof towards her garden, that will probably require significant remedial work, and re-rendering of the wall on her side, but we cant assess that without access.
Are there less confrontational ways that this can be approached
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help with this.

Alex Watts :

Yes there are

Alex Watts :

You should consider mediation

Customer:

Ok

Alex Watts :

This is where the parties meet and discuss with a mediator the issues

Alex Watts :

This can be together at a round table or in private sessions

Alex Watts :

Mediation is better as it is not in a Court environment, any agreement is made between the parties and the Court does not impose its own Judgment

Alex Watts :

So I would suggest mediation where the parties can come to an agreement together

Customer:

how do we approach that as she wont even speak with us and was very hostile when my wide went around when the builder was here to look at the problem

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex Watts :

I would write and suggest mediation

Alex Watts :

If the neighbour does not engage the only other option is to seek a Court order under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act

Customer:

I am not sure whether she would know what our rights are - should we mention that - and how do we find a mediator who would know what the options are and find an sensible way forward

Alex Watts :

There are many mediation services and neighbour disputes are quite common

Alex Watts :

if you google mediation services these come up

Alex Watts :

http://www.clerksroom.com/mediators.php

Alex Watts :

http://www.problemneighbours.co.uk/when-mediation-can-help.html

Customer:

Should we contact them first and see how they think we should approach her for this or send her a letter first saying that we want to find a way forward... I am expecting her to just say NO unless she is persuaded that it is better for her to take that route...

Alex Watts :

Yes I would do that.

Alex Watts :

Suggest it

Alex Watts :

Then try mediation

Alex Watts :

Then try a Solicitors letter

Alex Watts :

Then Court

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

I guess so - still feels we are likely to wind her up and get her to dig her heels in further if the next contact she gets is from us ...so not sure how I feel about this

Alex Watts :

Yes. Sadly I can only give you the legal options

Alex Watts :

But I really would try mediation, because its not a court imposed solution

Customer:

Would the mediation service approach a neighbour on our behalf or would we make the first approach?

Alex Watts :

Sadly not.

Alex Watts :

Both parties have to agree to mediation

Customer:

OK - and there are no easy documents that we can give her that would show what rights we have - that might persuade her that this is a better way forward?

Alex Watts :

She can go to:

Alex Watts :

http://www.problemneighbours.co.uk/rights-under-access-to-neighbouring-land-act.html

Alex Watts :

Or:

Alex Watts :

http://www.mylawyer.co.uk/going-onto-your-neighbours-land-a-A76076D34458/

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you