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My skinflint neighbour has taken a pneumatic drill

(44 Posts)
Pawprint Thu 01-Aug-13 18:14:19

My neighbour had a burst pipe that caused water to rub out of the front of his house. I live in the adjoining house.

Instead of calling a plumber, he took it upon himself to drill a large hole in the road outside his house. This is the road where children play and adults park their cars.

The hole is three feet square in size and about five feet deep. Over the last two nights, he has covered the hole with an old door.

I am angry because I'm sure what he has done is illegal and I am worried that he might cut a pipe and flood the street.

So, AIBU?

Pawprint Sat 03-Aug-13 17:14:00

"Cosie" - I own my house and so does my neighbour. He's rather eccentric at the best of times but here's stunned his neighbours with this latest business!

Euphemia Sat 03-Aug-13 17:16:38

What a nut!

I would be very worried with him living next door! Get that cable checked on your side by an electrician, like someone else said you could be paying for his electricity or even end up with a house fire.

I hope the water board give him a good bollocking for you too.

TweedWasSoLastYear Sat 03-Aug-13 17:38:24

I would be asking a builder to assure me there was a lintel above the door he knocked through. Judging by his cowboy attitude to diggin up the highway I doubt there is.
How did he know there wasnt an electric cable buried next to the water main ? He could have electrocuted himself.
While they are re-working the water mains enquire about a water meter , it could save you £100 a year ( did for us )

cozietoesie Sat 03-Aug-13 18:53:46

Pawprints

Can you afford a proper structural survey of your house? You should have had one done when you moved in (where the knocked through wall should have been flagged) but surveyors are not always on the ball.

If he previously lived in your current house, I would want to ensure that it's sound. (He sounds like one of those people who might have excavated his own subway station in the basement.)

Pawprint Sun 04-Aug-13 16:39:11

Hi Cozie et al - we did have a structural survey done, but I think I will need another one done.

One thing I've always suspected is that the guy chopped away at some of the (original and very old) beams in the ceiling without planning permission (maybe he didn't need planning permission? I don't know).

The other irritating (but not illegal) thing he did is get a cowboy to do the wiring (we had to get it redone) and he also tore out all of the original fireplaces. Fifteen years on, the fireplaces are still for sale in his antiques shop which is rarely open and is full of crap like Fergie and Prince Andrew Wedding Mugs that is rarely visited by a paying customer.

Pawprint Sun 04-Aug-13 16:56:04

Just an update - the local community police officer came round and spoke to my h. They are taking it very seriously and the water board will be round. I don't think they have been round yet, as the site where the hole was dug is still a complete mess of earth and rubble. It's already beginning to sink into the ground...

Punkatheart Sun 04-Aug-13 17:48:45

Yes, it is serious. He seems like a man for whom the rules hold no interest. 'I can do anything.' The council will probably fine him for the damage caused and how much it will take to fix. But it will also be classed as criminal damage - you just cannot go digging up public property.

The couple who previously owned our house did some very dodgy DIY and my OH nearly discovered to his cost a live wire in the wall. That element of this needs to be confirmed - for your own safety.

My family were antique dealers and sadly, I met a lot of characters like this and no gorgeous Lovejoy ones with twinkly eyes and sex appeal. They were mostly rich old skinflints who would turf your granny onto the floor if she was sitting on a Chippendale.

Hope it resolves itself and no damage has been done. Daft old coot!

cozietoesie Sun 04-Aug-13 17:58:31

Chopping away original beams is unlikely to need planning permission - but I would want to reassure myself that he replaced them with something. If this was part of some larger piece of work, I would expect Building Control to have given a strong view - but it sounds as if this guy doesn't know who they are.

I think you're very wise to consider another survey. Tell whoever does it the story (verbally) so that they know they may have to dig and poke.

Best of luck.

Pawprint Sun 04-Aug-13 18:02:00

Spot on, Punk - he is v rich indeed but tight fisted. He lives in a house that was, once, absolutely beautiful. However, he is a compulsive hoarder and the place is crammed with junk. He has filled in the timber window frames too the extent that there they are now more filler than wood. Not much of a concern to anyone except that the windows are listed.

Pawprint Sun 04-Aug-13 18:04:08

Hi Cozie - he did indeed replace them - with wonky modern timbers that look ridiculous. Still, all that happened long before we moved in, but it is a shame.

McNewPants2013 Sun 04-Aug-13 18:18:21

My father is a qualified person who haves all the licences to be able to carry out work like this. He has worked a million pound jobs and he even wouldn't have done this.

What a loon and I am glad you have phoned the police.

Pawprint Mon 05-Aug-13 12:39:23

"McNewPants" - thanks; I still can't believe the guy has dug up the road! It would be funny if it weren't so dangerous.

kinkyfuckery Mon 05-Aug-13 12:43:50

OMG. I'm actually sitting with my mouth agape reading this. He dug up a hole in the road and no one has dealt with it yet??!!!!

cozietoesie Mon 05-Aug-13 12:51:14

I suspect it comes under the category of 'someone else must be dealing with it' . Myself, I'd be constantly on the phone to the High Ups in the local water board, council (including my conuncillor) - in fact everyone. Just on general principle.

cozietoesie Mon 05-Aug-13 12:53:49

PS - part of the problem may be that this is high annual leave season and there may be a pivotal person who isn't around. I can't imagine that this guy doesn't have history.

I hope he gets a whopping bill from the local highways department of the Council. BTW, it might not be a bad idea to ring them and tell them.

GobbySadcase Mon 05-Aug-13 17:20:22

It's not just the water issue, what if there are leccy or gas pipes/cables in there?!?!?

cocolepew Mon 05-Aug-13 17:24:31

shock he's ridiculous. Hopefully it will be sorted soon.

My neighbour tried to cut down trees that line our cul de sac. He is under the impression that anything he can see from his window belongs to him confused. He had also dug away banks and walls into land that still belonged to the builders. He won't be able to sell his house because if this, it's still in dispute.

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