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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Our neighbor is developing next door into flats, so far they

Resolved Question:

Our neighbor is developing next door into flats, so far they have fitted 10 toilet and bathroom extractor vents straight into our garden ( some are at nose height )and will be nearly doubling that. Is there anything that can be done about this as our garden is not that big
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Did you mention anything about these when they were being put in place?

Is the boundary wall of the property actually the boundary wall of your garden or is there any other neighbouring land between the boundary and the building?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we have objected verbally.
The neighbouring property is our boundary the full length of the garden , so our property finishes at the wall with all the vents
We are not attached to it at any point
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

If there is anything on that wall which sticks out such as a capping on the vents or suchlike, then that is trespass and you can get it removed. It is not trespass if it is just a hole in the wall with nothing coming out.

The fact that there may be vents coming out of this wall is not relevant.

What can be relevant is whatever comes out of the vents for 2 reasons.

If there is a draft coming through the vents or noxious fumes, then you have a claim against each of the property owners or the developer in common law nuisance.

There is another potential cause of action which is not quite so good and which you would bring in conjunction with the nuisance claim and that is that they are currently discharging air over your property and they do not have an easement to do so and hence, you may have a potential cause of action in trespass because of that discharge. It’s not a particularly good cause of action and it’s not worth bringing on its own, would be worth tagging it onto a nuisance claim.

It seems unlikely that the developer is going to change 10 bathroom ventilation arrangements without some kind of opposition or fight and hence, if a solicitors letter warning him of the threat of court action doesn’t work, then you are faced with taking him to court for an injunction. A word of warning here and that is that if any injunction proceedings are not successful, you could potentially face legal costs running into several thousand pounds. Hence, although a solicitors letter be cheap enough, you need to think very carefully before rushing off to court because if the judge doesn’t grant you the injunctions to get these vents moved, you could easily face legal costs for the developer which could run into tens of thousands of pounds.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.

FES.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately he has put vent bricks in so no trespass.
These are all new but they will be putting the outlet from kitchens and bathrooms which potentially will cause a stink blown straight onto our garden. I have already won in court to stop him blocking our drive, but now just works from ladders ( which I rekon is still blocking the drive )
I digress, just seems wrong that 20 stink vents into a garden does not infringe human rights?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

It is not a human rights issue. There is no specific human right not to have anyone create nuisance.

I’m not saying is not actionable, it’s just that there is nothing in the Human Rights Act about this.

FES

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But human righs protocol 1 article 1 says I have a right to enjoy my property does it not
How can I enjoy my garden if all that stink is being pumped into it?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

By all means bring it under article 1, but to be honest, I think you have a better cause of action under Private Nuisance.

Can you please make sure that you rate the service positive so that I get paid? Thanks.

We can still exchange emails.

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