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propertylawyer
propertylawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 232
Experience:  Property solicitor with expertise in commercial and residential property transactions.
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I live in a stepped terrace house with two shared chimney

Customer Question

I live in a stepped terrace house with two shared chimney stacks eitha side. one on my upper neighbours gable end roof and one of which
sits on my gable end roof this chimney stack in question is for shared use between myself and my attached lower neighbour. The chimney stack has six flues in total I use one of them my neighbour uses five.
Now there is a need to repair on this stack which is effecting my home and theirs however they rent out to others who have told me they have a real problem in their childs room with dangerous damp and spores growing on the child's bedroom wall.
My question is , is this their responsibility or mine?
The owners of the property has said it's mine however he is willing do go 50/50 on repairs and he will get up on the roof and do it himself. However he is really not qualified.
We have had many opinions and it's all very confusing. I have had environmental health around and the council them self's. All said about checking the deeds but this mentions nothing in regards ***** ***** chimney.
The problem is ingress of water into both houses through disrepair.
The properties are around 150 years old.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 5 months ago.

Hi Darren

I would imagine that this would be regarded as a party feature. I will check and confirm.

Kind regards

Paul

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello Paul,That would be great, look forward to hearing from you.Regards,
Darren
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 5 months ago.

Hi Darren

I would regard the shared chimney as being a party structure. Anything which is a party structure will fall within the procedures set out in the party walls act if the property owners do not come to any decision.

I would not say it is your responsibility to do the works but you can choose to do so. The same applies to your neighbour.

You may consider a 50/50 split on the costs to repair the chimney as being reasonable but rectifying the damage caused by damp in the neighbour's bedroom is not something you wish to contribute to.

If you cannot reach agreement then either of you can rely on the party walls act procedure. This will involve service of notice and potentially a counter notice from the neighbour, if there is a dispute the matter is referred to a surveyor for determination, who will also decide on who is liable for the costs and in what proportions. It is possible to appeal the surveyor's determination by appeal to the county court.

If the neighbour will be on your roof to carry out the repair, if he is to do it himself, then this will be a trespass. He cannot go onto your roof without your express consent even if it is to repair a party structure. That is trespass.

In summary, you and the property owner are free to decide who will be responsible and how costs will be shared. In the absence/failure of agreement either can rely on the party wall act and serve the appropriate notices, a surveyor will determine the matter if there is a dispute. The neighbour will be trespassing if he goes on to your roof without consent, unless he has validly served a party wall act notice on you.

I hope this helps.

Do let me know if you have further questions or queries in relation to my reply. I am happy to assist you further with this.

Kind regards

Expert:  propertylawyer replied 5 months ago.

Hi Darren

I hope my answer was helpful.

Do you need further assistance? Happy to help further but can I please ask you to accept /rate my answer so that I receive credit for the time taken to research and respond. Like I say I am happy to continue to assist if required. Kind regards.

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