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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10949
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Flooding in my cellar has been dye traced at my cost to surface

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Flooding in my cellar has been dye traced at my cost to surface water leakage from a rainwater downpipe on my neighbour's property. This downpipe takes the rainwater from both properties. I am now facing a second winter with increased damage, remedial costs to the cellar, stress and inconvenience.
My neighbours seem to accept responsibility but also say they cannot afford the cost of repairs and connection to the street sewer.
I have contacted Yorkshire Water and Environmental Health and both say they are unable to intervene given current legislation.
My question is that given the rainwater downpipe and drain serves both properties does this mean that there is joint liability for repair.
If so, can I get the work done (this will involve digging up flagstones in my neighbour's front garden) and get them to pay their share of the costs.
I thank you in anticipation of any reply.
1. Dear *****, Yes, you can go ahead and get the works done a charge your neighbour for half, as there is a joint liability to deal with the rainwater which is coming from the roof(s) of both properties. Here, you can successfully sue your neighbour for half the cost of remedial works to ensure that your cellar no longer floods. However, be aware that the joint liability only extends to dealing with the rainwater. No other works should be included and you should get the best quote possible for doing the works. It is helpful to have had more than one quote to do the works and to have obtained the lowest quote for the works, as you don't want issues arising about whether the works were overpriced or not.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Good news as far as it goes. I assume any connection to the Yorkshire Water sewer will be at my neighbour's cost. They have worked this out hence reneging on their previous verbal commitment to do the job now saying they are unable to afford it. I have attempted to get quotes but all say the final price depends on what they find when they start excavating.At least I now know the extent of liability and can attempt to broker a deal with my neighbours. If they continue to kick the can down the line then I will just have to commission the works and use the County Court as a last resort to get payment to cover their liability.With grateful thanks for your prompt advice.Mike