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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Hi, our rain water has a right of way down our neighbours gutter,however

Customer Question

Hi, our rain water has a right of way down our neighbours gutter,however the rain water was leaking from the stop end of her gutter onto our property.The water is not flowing down the gutter to the fall pipe at the other end of her property.We have asked our neighbour to rectify this as it is causing rain water to overflow onto our property.
Our neighbours have had a fall pipe installed into a small water butt that does not have a soak away.The neighbour has said she will empty it regularly.She is 80 years old and know that this will in all probability not happen.If not emptied the water will run onto our property.What we would like to know is can our neighbour stop our rain water from flowing to the party drain ? Can we stop her using the water butt and insist she rectifys the real problem of her misaligned gutter.Many thanks for your help in advance.Christopher
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.
Why do you believe she will not have it emptied?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Even if she did drain from the tap on the butt there is no soak away and the water will flow onto our property

Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.
Has the gutter broken? Are there two probs? The butt overflow and the gutter?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

She has stopped the gutter overflow by installing a new fall pipe into a small water butt.Where the gutter is misaligned on her property her rain water as well as ours will go into this butt.We are a semi detatched property

Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.

I have a 50 gallon water butt on my shed (small
area of roof) and when it rains, you would need a chain of people with buckets
to keep it from overflowing.

In summer it empties almost completely.

The remedy is to pipe the overflow to wherever it
should have gone to before.

If it overflows onto your property, this is
nuisance and you are entitled to take court action to get her to remedy the

It may cause damage. She is liable to compensate
you for any damage

The nuisance is likely to be as a result of her
negligence. I mention that purely for completeness if you are drafting legal

She is liable to compensate you for any nuisance.

Similarly, the gutter appears to be leaking
because of her negligence/failure to repair. As a result of that, the water is
causing nuisance and may cause damage.

She is liable for that. She is liable for anything
which she causes.

However, if it is a lack of repair and your water
from your roof also goes on her gutter then you are partly liable for the
repair under the doctrine of mutual benefit and burden. You have the benefit of
using the gutter and therefore you have the burden of repairing it in
proportion to your use. Probably 50%.

If however, she has messed about with it and
misaligned it, and that is causing the overflow, she is 100% liable

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