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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
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Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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I live in an old mid terrace house. Guttering is shared with

Resolved Question:

I live in an old mid terrace house. Guttering is shared with a down pipe every few houses. My neighbour at 66 has built a first floor extension with a pitched roof which interrupts the guttering running along below the roof. My gutter drained along his gutter and into the down pipe at 65. Neighbour at 66 has now capped the guttering on the boundary between our properties so that the rainwater cannot flow towards his house. He has had to put a down pipe in to handle the drainage from his pitched roof extension and said he doesn't want my rain water flowing into his new down pipe. Can you just cap off guttering like this? My neighbour says I should get my own down pipe or my rain water can flow the other way until nearest available down pipe but my guttering is angled towards 66 . Do I have a right to rainwater drainage over his guttering as has been the case for the last 100 years since the houses were built?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this for you.
I assume you are all home owners.
The short is answer is that yes you probably do have a right use the roof drainpipe along the front of no 66 to the downpipe beyond. YOU may well have an easement to sue the guttering.
You should look at your deeds at the land registry to see if such a right of use is recorded there.
It may well be that you have an express easement of drainage, if so the situation is clear. If not it is probable that you have acquired the right of use through long use (ie through prescription). if the gutter has been used for over 20 years as of right then you will probably have an easement.
This may help you in negotiating with your neighbour but if you want to enforce your rights in the courts it is likely to cost considerably more than installing a new down pipe of your own. The outcome of court proceedings would also be uncertain.
So you probably do have the right to use the drains as you have for many years but if you can not persuade your neighbour to do the right thing then it is unlikely that there will be an effective legal remedy for you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Yes we are all home owners. The drainage rights have been in place for well over 20 years and most likely since the properties were built Ioved 100 years ago. The guttering no longer runs along to the downpipe at 65 as 66 and 65 have just had first floor extensions built that both cut into the roof. 66 therefore can no longer use down pipe at 65 and have had to put their own down pipe in. They now only have about 1.5 m of guttering at roof level before it is capped at my end and at other end it turns at a right angle to go along their first floor extension and then they have added a down pipe at side of their extension. 65 has had to alter their down pipe with gutter run ning along the first floor extension and then down a new down pipe at side. However 65 has not capped their guttering at boundary and allows the free flow from 64. My thoughts had been to right to say they are interfering with a prescriptive right to rainwater drainage which benefits my property.
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
I think that the reality of this situation is that even though you may well technically be in the legal right there is no remedy for you. A court is unlikely to order that the guttering be re-instated or the extension removed, the best you could hope for would be compensation to cover the costs of installing other drainage arrangements.
But this might not be a sensible claim to bring to court.
I am sorry to say this but it looks like the law may bet be of much assistance to you in this situation.
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