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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I inherited an unoccupied terraced cottage in a beauty spot.

Customer Question

I inherited an unoccupied terraced cottage in a beauty spot. The cottage lies on a village green and on one side there is a B&B with a converted barn to the rear. Their conversion took place in the 1990s and the rear barn guttering was allowed to drain down the pipe that takes my cottages rain water. In heavy rain there was ingress of water into the roof space which allowed water to run down the internal wall. My aged uncle who previously owned the property never mentioned this to the B&B owner.
Since my ownership a bizarre series of events have occurred. I live 100 miles away and d'ont drive but try to get there when possible. I know the property has great potential once renovated and this was my intention. I set about getting plans drawn and building quotes but was approached by a business couple in rented accommodation who said they would pay whatever price I asked. I actually asked £200k but reduced this to £190k (without them asking) because there was an overgrown garden etc . Conveyancing proceded and after 3 months I met them again at the property and to my horror opened the door to extensive water damage primarily from the gutter problem. This was in March and my previous visit had been December. I decided to let my buyers have a copy of the keys so that they could set about clearing the garden etc. However the next day I rang them expressing concern that the premises had been sabotaged and they reckoned that they would investigate my fears that somebody may have crawled through the roof space and also have a look at the gutter problem. Later they explained everything had been fixed and the place was airing out. The next event was they posted my keys back to me (not to their solicitor as mine had requested) along with two books I had originally posted them on cottage renovation. These potential buyers were actually highlighted to me by a note from the B&B owner who said they had called on her realising the cottage was unoccupied.
Strangely on my next visit to the cottage there was a note from another potential buyer very similar situation to the other couple, i.e living in rented accommodation and only a mobile number. Again they arrived in separate cars and later made a viewing with a building adviser. At no stage had there been any attempt to reduce what I asked. They were meant to be contacting me but a week has elapsed with no call.
Sorry this is so long but as with most things the reality is much more convoluted. On my last visit I noticed that a new drain pipe had been positioned from the barn conversion gutter and positioned about 18 inches onto my land ( no proper soakaway) I immediately e-mailed the B&B owner who claims a neighbour had alerted her that the gutter had fallen and she had not told me that the repair had taken place. I have photographic evidence that the gutter never existed and am blazing there had been trespass.
Really the whole situation is very concerning as my property is not insured. The cottage originally was two separate ones and apparently the mains supply to one had been capped in 1990, I am worried that someone may have broken the cap as the drained hot water tank is now slowly filling.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : What would you like to ask about this please?
JACUSTOMER-k1142wq3- :

Hi Alex yes sorry I was wittering on without actually asking anything. Basically I feel I am in a situation where my property has suffered serious damage and I have been delayed months in my renovation efforts. My feelings are that the cottage is in a close knit community where a type of business sydicate seems to be delaying my renovation plans. Can you advise me at what point I would have grounds to involve the police? And what ombudsman help exists in tacking the trespass on my property on I maintain was a newly erected downpipe not a repair. Its water from their building been drained onto my land and I think without proper soakaway provision.

JACUSTOMER-k1142wq3- :

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