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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9348
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My parents neighbour has a path which runs between their two

Resolved Question:

Hi my parents neighbour has laid a path which runs between their two properties on top of the old one and is breech of my parents damp course. As a result extensive damage is being caused inside their house because it is now damp. Initially my parents were reasonable and agreed to a remedy recommended by the builder but also understood that it may not be effective ( a cheaper less effective one!) this hasn't worked and the damp is getting worse, they have had it inspected By a surveyor and a damp expert who have advised them of what the neighbour should do to remedy the situation once and for all. He is now refusing to cooperate and my husband is dealing with him ( refusing to respond to calls and texts). My parents are 80 and very upset. Can we seek legal guidance?? Surely this is wrong? Best wishes
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

Do your parents have the report from the damp expert, confirming that this is as a result of the next-door neighbours path, and is that in writing?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
from the surveyor
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It's quite obvious to all, but he doesn't want to pay to get it fixed. Or to employ his own surveyor to take a look. He has also breeched the boundary in the garden and 6" of decking is encroaching into my parents'.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

It seems that all the writing and speaking to the neighbour the path down, is a waste of time. For that reason, it is probably time to get a solicitor to write to the neighbour saying to get this put right and that if it’s not put right, you will be taking them to court to get a court order to get it put right and a court order for compensation in respect of the cost of the damage to the property.

Tell the solicitor not to waste time in copious correspondence. One letter and if that doesn’t work, court proceedings.

You are going to need a quotation (not an estimate) for the cost of repairing the damage to your parents property.

Your parents claim against the neighbour is in nuisance and common law negligence.

Check your parents house insurances to see if they have legal expenses cover that would possibly pay for the legal costs of taking this to court.

Hopefully, a really robust solicitors letter will do the trick without the need for court.

The most important thing here is that you do have an experts report confirming that the damp course has been breached and that the breach is as a result of the work which has been negligently carried out by the neighbour.

Can I clarify any points arising from this 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.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you. Can I clarify that in the event of the Solicitor's letter being issued but no court proceedings, that my parent's can still claim costs for repairing the damages caused to the inside of their house? Also, is it worth them sending the Surveyor's report it getting him to write to the neighbour formally outlining the issue prior to getting a Solicitir involved? To date he has only been informed verbally of the Surveyor's findings and recommendations. In his mind he fixed the problem, but it was cheap and ineffective unfortunately. Many thanks
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

You can try anything you like to try to get the matter resolved before going to court. By all means show him the survey’s findings. I will say this kind of thing is not uncommon where they simply lay the new path on top of the old path because they don’t want the trouble all the expense of removing the old one. He has just been lazy or tight fisted or both.

Your parents can claim what they like but unless the path is fixed, they may fix the damage inside the house but it will only come back. The other thing is that they can claim what they like but if the neighbour doesn’t pay the solicitors letter doesn’t prompt him to pay, then it’s a case of going to court.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks that's great
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

I am pleased to have helped. Before you disappear, please don’t forget to rate the service positive. That gets me paid. We can still exchange emails if anything crops up in the future.

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