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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am recently in dispute with my neighbour regarding shared

Customer Question

Hi.
I am recently in dispute with my neighbour regarding shared guttering. I live in a block of 4 terraced houses. There are 2 downpipes covering the block of 4 houses. I am the 3rd in the block and therefore my neighbour has the downpipe on his property.
We have lived here for 25 years and our guttering was old and the joins were leaking, causing mild damp to the ceiling on our bedroom.
My wife and I decided to completely replace the guttering, soffets and facias by a professional company of over 20 years standing. I regret that purely from oversite I neglected to inform my neighbour that this work was being carried out.
On the day that the work was being carried out I returned home just as the company were finishing their work and spoke with the propietor of the company who informed me that my neighbour had questioned them extensively over exactly what they were doing and exactly how they were going to do it and placed allsorts of "demands" on exactly how the joins should be seated etc. He also informed me that my neighbours guttering was "blocked up" and that it needed to be cleared in order for the water to flow to the downpipe. He also informed me that my neighbours guttering was running "uphill" to the downpipe and that his side needed to be lowered.
I was happy with the work carried out and they left.
Some weeks later we encountered severe rain and I noticed that the water on my guttering was pouring over the top and hitting the brickwork of the front of my house. I immediately contacted the company and they came out that night and inspected the guttering and told me once again that my neighbours guttering was blocked and needed to be cleared. The proprietor reluctently offered to clear my neighbours guttering for a nominal fee in order to rectify the problem and to ensure that we, as his customer, were completely satisfied with the work carried out.
Unfortunately my neighbour refused his offer and in what I consider to be a "harsh" response, told him that his services would not be required and he subsequently asked his brother, a non professional, to clear the guttering.
A week or so later, we once again experianced heavy rain and the water was once again pouring against my brickwork. I called the company out once again and they inspected the guttering and informed me for the 2nd time that my neighbours guttering was running "uphill" and that the water was flowing back onto our section, finding the weakest spot and pouring over the top. He stood mei n front of the block of houses and it was clearly visible to the naked eye that my neighbours guttering was running "uphill" and must have always been that way, as, apart from the connecting join, nobody had ever touched his guttering. I looked from the top of the ladder and I saw that the half of my neighbours guttering towards my property was full of water, as indeed was my entire guttering full of water. The other half of my neighbours guttering, towards the downpipe was completely dry. My analysis of this leads me to believe that his downpipe was never dispersing the water and, indeed, probably never had, as nobody had touched his guttering.
The propiortor of the guttering company then offered to
lower my neighbours guttering and rectify the problem, free of charge, with the proviso that he didn't, in any way, have to deal with my neighbour, as he had felt insulted by his earlier actions.
Naturally, I felt that nobody would accept work on their property without their suppervision and I realised that this was not a realistic option.
I approached my neighbour, I explained the bad feeling that the company I had employed felt and I offered my neighbour to engage a company of his choice to carry out the work and as a gesture of goodwill I would pay upto £100.00 to rectify the problem.
Sadly, 5 weeks later and with water pouring over my brickwork I find that my neighbour has taken no action torectify the problem.
Please can you tell me how I stand leagaly with this, as I feel my property is at ever increasing risk and I need torectify the situation.
Thank you.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Have you asked why the neighbour has not taken any action please?

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