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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9335
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My neighbours kitchen roof was repaired and the work done

Customer Question

My neighbours kitchen roof was repaired and the work done was built over my house boundary a flat roof. Obviously this now devalues my property if I wish to sell. The neighbour in question I do not talk to through pure hatred on both parts. She claims that it was the responsibility of the previous owners, her parents both now deceased. I say that because she has profited by taking over the house then she also inherits responsibility of the property and defects. Putting the fault right would entail in damage to my kitchen roof sucoflex pvc coated witch could not be avoided. My roof was coated due to a problem created by her fathers cowboy builders encroaching upon my property without permision whilst I worked on regular nightshifts. I require a independent decision on if I should persue this case in court, likely outcome and costs involved.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

Can you explain exactly what’s happened here with the roof and what you are looking to achieve?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Her roof is now on my property line, and surely that is illigal. I want my full property border back.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

What do you mean when you say it’s on your property line? Do you really goes to the boundary over the boundary?

How long has this been in place for?

Have you tackled the neighbour about this and if so, with what result?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I am profoundly deaf and the only way I wish to comunicate with her is through a medium. The problem was first pointed out to her husband approximately late 2004. However he then became severely ill and is now permanently in a care home and so progress halted. Upon questioning as to his health the answer received was he is a cabbage. When I say over my boundary line it is in line with what would be my inside wall minus plaster.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

Thank you.

If the neighbour has built something which is your land the property, that is trespass and you are allowed to make the neighbour remove the trespass. If the neighbour simply ignores your protestations, you have no alternative but to threaten court action to make the neighbour remove the trespass and to make good any damage. Often, a solicitors letter will do the trick without the need for going to court.

Check your house insurance to see if you have legal expenses would pay for the cost of this and if you do have, pass it over to your insurer to deal with.

It may be that her parents did this but that doesn’t mean that she does not now have to resolve the issue.

If however this was done more than 20 years ago, the neighbour can claim an easement to keep whatever trespass is there, in place.

If you could attach a photograph with some explanatory notes, I may be able to advise you further.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Please rate the service positive. It is an important part of the process by which experts get paid. It does not cost you anything but helps us greatly.

Best wishes.

FES

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Satisfactory answer received, it took us a time to get there but yes fantastic result thank you very much Mr G T Townsend.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

I am pleased to have helped. If you could use the rating service on the site, and rate 3- 5 stars that triggers my credit.

If you have a problem with that, just let me know and I will ask admin to deal with it for you. Best wishes.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I do not think I made it totally clear that the area of the trespass concerned the portion of sloping kitchen roof that both houses have on our original property lines. At a later date I had a kitchen extention with a flat roof felt covered, which became damaged by their builders sorting out a problem they had with dry rot. I can not supply a photo just yet but hope to do so soon. Is a extra fee £44 required to supply me with a letter to my neighbour on your official headed notepaper? I could download it and save on time and postage.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I do not think that I made the area of trespass totally clear,it concerned the portion of sloping roof above both kitchens. This was of both houses and their side needing repair in 2004 after dry rot was found on their side. This was after I had a extention put in place in 1978 with a bitumin covered roof. Consequently their workmen stacked their tiles upon my roof without permission ripping the the covering on mine. I then had my flat roof repaired with socuflex pvc when it was discovered that their repair now came across over my side of the joint party wall. The owner took his builders to court over a false claim about their credentials which I beleive he won. Before matters could be rectified my neighbour was taken into hospital for surgery from which he never survived. I believe his widow then died a couple of years later and their daughters inherited the property now owned by their eldest daughter Who refuses to accept she also inherits the trespass and choices to ignore.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I wish to know could a letter from yourself, on your headed notepaper be e-mailed with your judgement to my neighbour via myself her name being Mrs A. O`Brian Is a fee of £44 required for this? yours sincerely ***** ***** Townsend
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

I’m afraid that we are not able to provide letter headed paper. We can provide you with the wording of letters for you to write for which there is an extra fee but the threat coming from a local solicitor will have more weight.

If their builders damaged the roof doing whatever they were doing, then the builders are liable. However, under the Limitation Act you can only pursue them for 6 years after the damage after which time your claim is statute barred.

The situation with the damage to the roof is one thing and the trespass is another. For example if next door’s roof overhangs your roof, and has not done so for more than 20 years, after which time they could claim an easement under the Prescription Act, that is trespass and you can get that removed.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
How much fee would be required for the wording of letters for me to write ?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

I will submit a premium service is proposal for you but before I do that, I need some photographs and a sketch to indicate exactly the nature of the trespass and the extent of it and the date this happened which was sometime in 2004.

I just need to make sure that I have all the facts right.

What I would suggest that you did send me what I asked for and that you write your own letter in completely or own words without worrying about the legalities into a legal format to send to the neighbour which makes it obvious that you have had legal advice.

If you accept my premium services proposal, you will be able to give me your email address and I will give you mine and we will exchange privately.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I struggled to get these photos, when viewed the grey area and the pebble dashing are on my property and therefore the neighbours tiles should then line up with them and not over to the left, agreed
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

There was only one photograph. Your house is the pebble dashed one.

It is the kitchen roof you said which is problematical, the bottom one. I assume the top roof is okay.

If the tiles which appear to be a slightly lighter colour and which appear to overhang the boundary do overhang the boundary to the extent where it appears that it doesn’t line up with the pebble dashing and assuming that the pebble dashing is in exactly the right place, the overhang of the neighbours roof is trespassing onto your land and you can get it removed as I told you earlier.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Neighbour tells me to wait untill they have some money, although having already told my workman that she had plenty in the bank on 22/07/2016. I think it obvious that she intends to ignore our warning, so what can you suggest before the 20 year rule kicks in?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Make sure that you put your objection in writing and keep a copy. You need to reiterate that objection every couple of years or so and it defeats the 20 years.

What you can actually do and you will only need to do it once would be to grant her a licence to have the roof remain there which could be revoked on say, 3 months notice, which would regularise the situation if you came to sell now or at any time in the future.

Such a document by a solicitor would probably cost a couple of hundred pounds plus the fee for registering it at the land Registry. The neighbour would be responsible for that cost. It’s probably going to be cheaper to actually rectify the roof. It’s just an alternative.