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RJM Law
RJM Law, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3770
Experience:  LL.B (Hons)
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I have recently purchased a house where a shared gutter has

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I have recently purchased a house where a shared gutter has been blocked and leaking badly on the neighbours side for some time. This has soaked through the party wall to our side and it now requires structural drying to remedy it. I have asked the neighbours to install a new downpipe on their side (we already have one that drains our side of the gutter) as despite the blockage having been cleared it is clearly prone to overflowing, but they have gone silent. What is my next course of action?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: London
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Discussion with neighbour
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no

Hello, and thank you for choosing our service today.   I am the expert who shall assist you with this matter today.

Please note that our service is conducted through emails and from time to time there may be a delay between answers and responses, this is due to the expert availability at the time.  If you do not receive a response immediately, please be advised you will receive one by the end of the day

I will be able to provide you with guidance in relation to your question.  However please note this does not form a professional client relationship and we cannot provide representation, however, I would be hopeful that my guidance will be able to assist you.

Thank you

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hello. That sounds fine. Do you need any further information on the issue?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
We haven’t spoke to our home insurance yet… ideally we would like the neighbours to pay for the drying and repair works as well as installing a new downpour to rectify the problem but not sure if we can legally force them to do this.
Surely they should be responsible for maintaining the party wall and are negligent for not doing anything about this problem?
Please help, we’re really not sure what to do next.

If. you can show they have not maintained their gutters and in turn tat has caused the damage, they could be liable for the repairs (or their insurers).  You can enforce them to do this via the small claims process, or you can pay for it, or look to claim the costs of doing so.   Prior to intimating small claim proceedings, you will require to send a letter to the respondent.  It is a simple letter stating that if they do remedy the matter as you have outlined (in the same letter), you will take legal action against them.  This is referred to as a. pre-action protocol letter.  You can complete the forms for a claims action easily online.  You will have to highlight what the issues are and tell them how much you are claiming for, to be honest the first are straight forward and self-explanatory.   If you feel you can do this yourself then you don’t really need to hire a solicitor, but I will provide details for you in case you feel you want to.  You will then receive a response to the claim and a court date.  On the day (unless they offer a settlement) you will appear at the local court and basically provide your evidence and give you claim to the judge, and they will response.  The judge will assess the merits of the claim and defence and make a judgement this may be relatively easy for you to prove so the respondent may well offer a settlement in the meantime.  In terms of evidence, ensure you keep copies of all correspondence, photo’s, social media items etc. you have in connection with the claim.   These can be used to strengthen your case and will be considered in evidence by the court at the hearing.  The strength of your evidence may also help to obtain an ex-judicial settlement.

I shall provide you with a helpful link that will assist you in finding a solicitor/representative near your local area.  This will provide you with someone nearby your area who can assist you if required.

I hope this information proved helpful.  You will find a local solicitor who deals with these matters on the law society webpage which is as follows;

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ (England)

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/find-a-solicitor/ (Scotland)

https://www.lawsociety.ie/Find-a-Solicitor/Solicitor-Firm-Search/ (Ireland)

https://www.lawsoc-ni.org/solicitors (N. Ireland)

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Should you require any further assistance on this matter, please do not hesitate to post a further questions for additional assistance.

Kindest Regards.

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