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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8535
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My neighbours have block paved an area previously to lawn.

Customer Question

My neighbours have block paved an area previously laid to lawn. The lay of the land means that most of the rainwater that falls onto it now drains towards my garage. This resulted in dampness on the inside of the wall and floor slab. They have since had a drainage channel installed where the block paving meets the garage wall. The channel is not connected to the main drainage. It merely collects all the water before discharging into the ground adjacent the wall. A structural engineers report states that this could cause erosion, resulting in susidence. The level of the block paving also breaches the building regulations and therefore devalues my property. With all this evidence against my neighbours, it seems there is no recourse in law. Can anybody help/advise here ?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 6 months ago.
I disagree that there is no recourse in law. If you have insurance on your house and contents see if there is a legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal costs of dealing with this.The neighbour is culpable on two fronts, nuisance in respect of the damp and negligence in respect of any damage or erosion.How the neighbour remedies the problem is not for you to worry about. The neighbour is the one that needs to worry about doing that.Fortunately, you have the structural engineers report that will support your case.If the neighbour won’t do anything about it, you are faced with an application to court to make the neighbour deal with it and pay for any damage and pay for the costs of the application.If you do not have legal expenses cover, there is no legal aid and you would be faced with dealing with any cost yourself although if you are successful in court, the court would normally award costs in your favour against the neighbour.The threat of legal proceedings and substantial costs coming from a local solicitor may spur the neighbour into action. You see, there is stuff that you can do.Can I clarify anything for you?Please not forget to rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.Best wishesFES

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