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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12088
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I live in a ground floor flat that extends out about five feet

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I live in a ground floor flat that extends out about five feet from the rest of the tenement building - so I have a roof which the person in the first floor flat can access simply by stepping out of their window. Recently my neighbour has taken to accessing the roof space on a regular basis and has installed some pot plants - without asking my permission. This is a concern for me because the roof surface isn't designed for the wear and tear of regular foot traffic and any problems with the roof will only have an impact on me. (Four years ago I spent a small fortune re-surfacing the roof and repairing my front room after a leak.)
Is my neighbour trespassing? Am I within my rights to remove the pot plants if he doesn't remove them at my request? What legal options are available to me to prevent my neighbour from accessing the roof space?
Thank you for your question.
Unless your neighbours title deeds contain a right of access to your roof, he shouldn't be doing what he is doing, either using it for standing on or for putting pot plants there. You can remove the plants to ground level and ask him to stay away from the roof.
If he refuses, you can have your solicitor write to him and thereafter can go to court to get an order banning him from stepping onto the roof or using it in any other way.
Happy to discuss further.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Under Scottish law, are all people who live in a freehold tenement block responsible for all parts of the building? If, for example, there was a problem with guttering or the main roof of the building I would expect to have to pay my share of the repairs. Does that then mean that my roof isn't so much my private property, that there is actually nothing stopping my neighbour from using the roof space as a balcony?

That is generally the case with common parts but where your property just out in the manner you described it is entirely possible that this is not a common area. You would have to examine your title deeds to see what the position is and whether your roof has been deemed common or not.
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