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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12179
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Live in a block of four flats . Late in 2009 there were discussions

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Live in a block of four flats . Late in 2009 there were discussions with neighbours as there was remedial work needing done to a chimney on communal roof . I got quote for work to be done at beginning of 2010 and 3 out of the 4 neighbours agreed to this .The other 4th neighbour wanted chimney removed and rebuilt which was unnecessary and unsafe , and refused to agree to remedial repairs , so the repair did not go ahead . In June 2010 , without consent or notice this 4rh neighbour had a contractor take down the chimney, but he never finished the job and left a hole in the roof where the chimney had been . The roof has been left that way ever since .
This 4th neighbour is now threatening through her solicitor legal action to force us to pay to have the roof fixed . She is the only one entitled to legal aid . Are we legally responsible for the damage she has caused ?
Thank you for your question.
Subject to anything different in the title deed to the properties, the rule is that a majority of owners can instruct common repairs. However what has happened here is that a single property owner has had works carried out without authorisation and to compound things, hasn't had the work carried out to completion.
In the same way that if the owner had broken a close door or vandalised a wall, that owner is responsible for causing the present damage to the roof, even if the roof was in a poor condition to start with. The others can actually have the damage repaired and claim it from the one causing the damage.
The only exception to that would be if the previous condition was such that emergency measures were necessary at the time.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This neighbour is claiming that she had verbal consent from one of the neighbours to do the work, which is a lie . Also to avoid the cost of court we offered to pay our share of the original quote to have the chimney repaired , which has been rejected by her solicitor . In court will the burden of proof fall on her to prove she had permission and will our offer of partial payment affect our case or would we be better to withdraw our offer .