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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hello, We have a leak on our back wall which we believe

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We have a leak on our back wall which we believe comes from our neighbour badly built extension. We have done every possible repair, recoating, etc, on our side and the water is still coming through which is why we believe that it comes from the neigbour, as suggested by our builder. However, the neighbour is what one would call a slum landlord and we anticipate every type of issues if the problem really does come from his property.

What we want first is to establish if the leak really comes from his house as suggested by our builder. What is the best course of action for now? We have knocked on the door but the tenants never seem in so we have not been able to go in; if we write to the landlord can he give our builder access to his house?

Obviously the first step is to assess whether the leak really comes from his but unless a builder we trust goes in, I am sure he will just say there is no problem and leave it at that.

so my questions are

1) How can we ensure that there is a proper diagnostic done in his and our house to assess where the leak comes form?

2) After this, assuming the problem comes from the neighbour house, how can we ensure the problem is addressed (rapidly)?

PS: I have called my insurance, but they advise that if the leak comes from the neighbours, the only think i will be able to do is claim for repair work in my house once the cause of hte problem is repaired in the neighbour house.



Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX 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 : Have you had a surveyor round to do a report yet please?

No we have had several buildors


builders sorry


THe previous buidlders did some work on what they thought could be the sources of the problems but this did not work. We got another builder who suggested that the source of the problem may be the neighbour extension; however without access to the neigbour property, we cannot be sure. Also I am unsure if I should open a claim with my insurer just in case, so that they could take it against my neighbour insurance if we found out the issue is definitely with him.

Alex Watts : Ok. You need to get a proper surveyor expert out not just a builder. You need to make sure they are able to do expert reports as required by a court, as you may need this,
Alex Watts : You will have to pay the cost of this which may be around £500 but they will do a full and proper report.
Alex Watts : They will identify where the problem is coming from and then you know whether it is your side or the neighbours.
Alex Watts : Once you have this you can disclose the report and get a number of quotes for getting the work done. The neighbour should then carry out this work.
Alex Watts : You need to write and set out your losses and request they do the work within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy. If they do not then you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court. You will have a copy of the surveyor expert report which you can use in evidence to support your case. The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce. If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation. Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Thanks - I assume that to do a proper full survey the surveyor will need to enter the neigbour property. How can we go about this?

Alex Watts : The neighbour needs to consent. You can look online for court approved surveying experts.
Alex Watts : If the neighbour refuses sadly you need a court order to compel.
Alex Watts : Does that help?

Yes thank you - What about doing this through my insurer? Is this an option? Can I open a claim with my Insurer, get the surveyor, I imagine this would make matters simpler as this would mean my insurer claim against his insurer?

Alex Watts : Yes you can go through insurance,
Alex Watts : Might make sense.
Alex Watts : i hope this helps

Would the surveyor and all the court process you described above still pertain or would it be a whole different process?

Alex Watts : Yes it would still apply.
Alex Watts : Does that clarify?

thank you and is the 14 days deadline from the date they receive the registered letter asking them to complete the repair work?

Alex Watts :

Yes 14 days when they receive the letetr.

Alex Watts :


Alex Watts :

Does that help?


Hi My insurance mentions sending their own assessor; would this be the same as a court approved surveyor or shall i still pay for one myself?



Alex Watts : Not necessarily. An assessor is not a surveyor,
Alex Watts :

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