How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask LondonlawyerJ Your Own Question

LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 777
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
76316425
Type Your Law Question Here...
LondonlawyerJ is online now

We own a detached property built c.1970. We recently decided

Customer Question

We own a detached property built c.1970. We recently decided to build an extension and refurb the house.
While doing the groundworks, our builder replaced a surface water soakaway. The new one is of a suitable size for the surface water run-off from our roof. After replacing it and completing most of the work our builder discovered that one of our neighbour's downpipes from their roof fed into our old soakaway (on our property). Our new soakaway is not large enough to cope with their surface water also. Further, their pipe will need to be re-routed to avoid some of our new foundations (yet to be built).
Providing our neighbours with soakaway capacity on our property and re-routing their pipe will mean an increase in our build cost. Also, it would seem better long-term if our neighbour’s surface water run-off was re-routed to their property.
Can we insist that our neighbour’s surface water be re-routed to their property? If so, can we insist that this should be at their cost?
If we cannot insist on this, and their surface water must continue to flow into a soakaway on our property, should our neighbour contribute to the cost of re-routing their surface water pipes and enlarging our new soakaway or another soakaway on our property?
It may well be that some of our neighbour’s surface water has run into our soakaway ever since the houses were built, however we can find no reference to this in our land registry title deeds. We bought our property about 10 years ago and our neighbour bought his about 18 months ago.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Customer:

Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

Customer:

If there is nothing in the deeds then there is probably no expressly granted easement (ie right of usage of your land by your neighbours land) but if the property nest door has been using your land to soakaway as of right (ie without being given permission, not doing it by force or by stealth) their roof water for 20 years or more they may have acquired an easement to do so through prescription ie long use.

Customer:

At present it is not clear if they have acquired such a right but there is real risk they have. Resolving disputes over this can be difficult and expensive. Unless you have some extra knowledge there is a real risk that this has been going on since the houses were built and they have acquired a right over your land.

JACUSTOMER-xyo6v8vh- :

i have to go out for an hour

Customer:

OK I will be on and off this site today in between appointments.

JACUSTOMER-xyo6v8vh- :

Back again now.

Customer:

Can I give you any more help?

JACUSTOMER-xyo6v8vh- :

Yes. I did ask some specific questions. You have so far shown that google trawl revealed most of this. I think we would find it hard to disprove that they have

JACUSTOMER-xyo6v8vh- :

Sorry pressed return before finishing! Try again:

JACUSTOMER-xyo6v8vh- :

I suspect that we would find it difficult to disprove that the surface water run-off is more recent than 20 years, or indeed if it is more recent, then probably the previous owners would have had to have given some form of permission for the digging up of the garden for them to access the soakaway (even if not documented)!

JACUSTOMER-xyo6v8vh- :

So my questions remain, in these circumstances must we presume that we cannot insist that our neighbour’s surface water be re-routed to their property?

JACUSTOMER-xyo6v8vh- :

Also, if we cannot insist on this, and their surface water must continue to flow into a soakaway on our property, can we insist on our neighbour contributing to the cost of re-routing their surface water pipes and enlarging our new soakaway or another soakaway on our property?
Presumably if this was a case of necessary repair, they should contribute?
Should they contribute in our circumstances - where their use of the soakaway was unknown and so we could not have known in advance that the replacement would not have sufficient capacity?

JACUSTOMER-xyo6v8vh- :

Do I need to re-post the above request for further clarification?
How do I get an answer to the above?

Customer:

The point is that you are unlikely to be able to know the actual answer to your question. The likelihood is that your neighbour has the right to use your land in the way that they have been doing. You therefore cannot insist on them draining into their own garden garden. They do no have to contribute to the cost of your extension.

JACUSTOMER-xyo6v8vh- :

Do I presume that yours is shorthand? I did not ask if they should contribute to our extension, merely to a replacement soakaway.

Customer:

No I don't think they will need to contribute to any costs caused as a result of your extension.

JACUSTOMER-xyo6v8vh- :

I guess I should have expected that I would get little (no?) more I could achieve through a google search, from which I had seen the existence of the concept of a prescriptive easement, where such is not by force or by stealth, and for over 20 years.
Still I guess you have saved me from a face to face consultation with a lawyer at significantly more expense.

Customer:

I would be grateful if you would please rate my service.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice