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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25649
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I live in a semi-detached property. Without my permission,

Resolved Question:

I live in a semi-detached property. Without my permission, my neighbour has had a gas pipe affixed vertically, running about 3 metres upwards on my side of the party wall - i.e. on my wall. I have asked him to move it but he is not keen. If it remains there, I fear I might have reponsibility for that section of pipe and it could cause problems if I decide to sel my property. Can I insist he has it moved to his side of the party wall, where there is plenty of space?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience. For the avoidance of doubt your are in a pair of semi detached houses?May I clarify that this is you attached neighbour please that has affixed the pipe?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I live in a pair of semis and it is the neighbour in the attached semi who has attached the pipe.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for that. could you explain exactly where he is attached it? I note what you say in your initial post but I'm not exactly clear whether he has attached it to his side of the property or yours or whether part of your property sticks out and he is attached to that?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It is attached on the outside wall. At about 4m high it crosses to my side of the wall from his property and at about 1m high it crosses back to his side. It thus has two bends. There is no wall projection. The wall is flat in the affected area. The pipe is attached with plastic brackets screwed into the wall.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I am almost certain I understand now but just to be sure. If we were to imagine both your properties (rather unflaterringly for which I apologise) as a cardboard box and draw a line straight down the middle with one half being yours and the other half being his the pipe is from what you say affixed to his property but crosses our imaginary line into your half before returning to his half. Have I undertsood correctly?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes. It crosses from his side, runs 3 m down my side and crosses back again.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
thank you very much. On this basis, the neighbour's actions amount to trespass and you can require that the pipe is removed. initially, you can ask him informally to move the same as you have done; if he refuses, you can serve upon him a formal notice headed "notice of trespass" setting out the details of the trespass in question and requesting him to cease and desist and remove the offending installation within 10 days failing which advising him that you reserve your right to either instruct your own contractor to remove the offending installation and look to him for the cost or that you obtain a court order requiring him to remove the installation. If you decide to retain a contractor to remove the installation for you, the contractor must take care not to damage any remaining pipe beyond what is necessary to remove the pipe from your own property and the contractor must be a gas registered contractor and leave the installation safe though he does not need to ensure that the installation is functioning. If the neighbour refuses to pay the cost of the contractor, you can issue a claim in the County Court to recover the monies. The simplest way to do so is by using the courts online issuing service:https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome the alternative, is to apply for a court order for a declaration of trespass and an order that the installation is removed. If you prefer this approach, you can apply to such an order using the following form:http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=424 I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As long as the pipe remains affixed to my side of the wall, do I have reponsibility for it? e.g leaks, fire.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
I cannot see that you would because the pipe from what you say solely serves your neighbours property but if the pipe remains in place for 20 years or more-I appreciate this is obviously a long time-the neighbour will acquire a right to maintain the pipe there. Whilst I cannot see that you would have any responsibility for the pipe, it may be an issue that crops up if and when you decide to sell. I cannot see it as a significant issue but it is surprising what small issues can upset potential buyers and since there is no advantage to you in allowing the neighbour to leave the pipe in place, you may consider asking him to remove it on this basis. If not, and alternative approaches for you to ask your neighbour to write to you to ask permission to keep the pipe in its place and for you then to keep that letter and respond to him giving him permission providing that he agrees to remove the pipe subject to xx months notice from you. This has the advantage of preventing a legal right being acquired by your neighbour and also put in place some formal documentation which you could show to any potential buyer. I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think that your response is fine. Joshua. Thanks.

I asked my neighbour again today to move the pipe.

If it is not moved in ten days I will ask my own solicitor to send a 'notice of trespass'.

Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
I'm glad I could assist. That sounds like a sensible way forward though you do not need to use a solicitor to serve the above notice if you wish to save costs. It is a simple letter which you can send yourself if you prefer
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