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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2456
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My neighbours (neighbour A) and I have our 2 driveways between

Customer Question

My neighbours (neighbour A) and I have our 2 driveways between our houses.
When they bought the house there was an existing carport with its guttering inside their boundary.
Consequently, in rainy times the water would go over the end of the gutter, therefore pouring over the front of their garage.
During one of the strong windy and rainy days, the weather destroyed they carport, resulting in them building a new one.

They then built a new carport with guttering, that crossed over onto my boundary a few years ago. They did this by gaining access to our property without informing us; we used to leave our front drive gate open.

We were surprised by their actions, from that day we decided to close our gate; however not knowing the law and not wanting to cause friction with them, tacitly we left it like that. This was until we noticed that when it rained our drive was 6” full of water because their carport gutter would overflow into our driveway and create a pond there. This was something we videoed. We therefore decided to ask them to move their carport and it’s guttering inside their boundary, but just at the time we decided to do this, our neighbour (neighbour A) had a motorbike accident and lost one leg. As we sympathised with his situation, we decided to wait until he had better recovered from it. We did not want to give them more stress.

However, the situation of the water on our boundary grew worse (and worse still as it fell into disrepair), so we decided again to tackle the problem and highlight the issue to our neighbour. However, he was then declared with terminal cancer and a short time after, he passed away. After that we decided to tackle this situation with their children but never had an occasion to do that as his widow moved to be with her mother and left the house unattended for 2 years. That is, until now that their sons decided to sell the house.

We finally had the opportunity to explain to one of their sons (who is a solicitor) the problem. We explained that we would be grateful if they fixed and moved their carport roof and its guttering inside the boundary of their property, in a decent way. Thus, leaving my boundary free before they sold the property, as we would not like to tell their buyers (our potential neighbour) the problem, and thus possibly create friction with the new neighbours.

Without hesitation, he agreed to solve the problem immediately, with the promise that the solution to the carport will be inside his boundary (as I insisted to him).By way of example, I showed him a carport built on another neighbour’s (neighbour B) property (on the other side of my house, and how this particular neighbour achieved it without going on her neighbour’s (neighbour C) boundary).

Neighbour A’s son agreed with us that there was a problem with the carport that needed to be resolved, but originally said he said he would find a potential solution to the “water overspillling” problem by replacing the guttering only.

I repeated to him, that I do not mind which way he will do it, so long as his carport repairs will not cross over or overhang my boundary. He promised me that it will be inside his boundary.

He then posted a note through our door, stating that he has a roofer to whom he has explained the situation, and that they have a potential solution but he would like to discuss with us first.

The day following the posting of this note, I saw the neighbour’s son (whom we had been dealing with so far) outside the property as he was doing some clearing.

I went to speak to him and he explained to me regarding the note and the meeting with the roofer, the potential buyer, and us.

I confirmed that we would attend this meeting and repeated to him that so long his carport is built inside his boundary and did not cross over or overhang mine, that we would have no problem. At this, he promised again, and assured me that there would be no overhang or crossover as a result of the solution being suggested by the roofer, and that the roof and the guttering will be inside his boundary

I told him again, that so long it did not cross over or overhang our boundary, I would not mind how he achieved it. He told me that he guaranteed me that will be inside his boundary, with these last words I left the conversation relaxed, and safe in the knowledge that he woulddo as he promised.

On the day of the meeting then he give some changing is his wording reminding us that the work that his father did had been 10 or12 years old, and he then had to consult with his solicitor regarding the problem.

Also of note, is that the concrete pillars that are acting as supports for the carport are leaning into our driveway and over into our boundary by about 2 degrees – from vertically upright. While this exacerbates the boundary incursion (by about 4-6 inches from the boundary line) created by their carport, it is also a potential health and safety issue. Eventually, the concrete pillar would collapse and fall over int
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law