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LondonlawyerJ, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 831
Experience:  Experienced solicitor
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In March I discovered green mould growing on the bottom few

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In March I discovered green mould growing on the bottom few inches of the back of some furniture in a bedroom. This led me to investigate what was on the other side of this external wall. I discovered that the neighbour's path is built right up to this wall and the gravel surrounding the paving is several inches higher than the level of my damp course. This is consistent with the height of the mould. The property is let and I have had contact with the letting agent and the owners (via email). They were very defensive, insisting that the path was built before they bought the property, etc. They had a builder do a survey and quote for remedial work to include a membrane between my brickwork and their path gravel and they are insisting that I pay for this if I want the matter rectified. This seems wrong to me since the offending path belongs to them.
Please help. I don' t know how to resolve this without incurring an expense to myself.
LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a solicitor with over15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

It is totally wrong and the landlord has the responsibility to fix this.

Customer: Thank you for confirming that. Are you able to tell me what I should do next to get their cooperation without having to instruct a solicitor to act for me which would likely cost more than the quote for the remedial work.
LondonlawyerJ :

His repairing duty is in s11(1)(a)landlord and tenant act 1985.

Customer: Should I just write him a letter quoting that
LondonlawyerJ :

Yes you could do that. What sort of tenancy do you have?

Customer: I'm an owner occupier (retired). The neighbouring property is currently let and the owners abroad. Their letting agent has been most unhelpful
LondonlawyerJ :

Sorry I thought you were the tenant. So you are the owner and the neighbour's house is tenanted and causing the problem in the way you describe.

Customer: Yes, that's right. They claim that the path was constructed by the previous owners back in 2004. There is no view from my property of this path (no windows in my side wall and a tall fence the rest of the way along this boundary line). I have no idea when the path was built this way or by whom.
LondonlawyerJ :

The answer I have given was wrongly premised. S11 LTA does not apply. The situation is not straightforward. The use of his land is causing you problems which if they are foreseeable will be his responsibility in negligence. However, if the properties were as they are now when you moved in then it could be argued that caveat emptor applies.

LondonlawyerJ :

You should get a quote and if it is not too much then just fit the membrane and avoid litigation entirely. I am sorry I misunderstood your question.

Customer: No, their property has been modified since I moved here but I do not know who constructed the path. I have lived here for 31 years and the neighbouring property has changed hands a couple of times. Their defence is that I do not have sufficient ventilation which is causing the mould, but it grew in a straight horizontal line on the back of a chest of drawers at exactly the height of their gravel
Customer: Oh, so I do have to pay for it then
LondonlawyerJ :

have you asked the same question twice but with figures in the other question. The short answer is that you mayhave the legal rights on your side but at this level ofcost it is not worth going to court over it.

Customer: Yes, I did ask twice (£588 +vat). Mother having trouble with technology, daughter took over!!! We understand that paying the bill is cheaper than a legal battle, it just seems grossly unfair given the facts. It seems the neighbours have all the rights and we have the responsibilties. Thank you for your help this evening, much appreciated
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