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To not want to split these costs?

(26 Posts)
alabasterangel Thu 30-Aug-12 10:34:46

I'm a bit confused. First time I've posted in AIBU but just want others opinions.

Have a good-ish neighbour, she got her house super cheap 3 years ago and admits its a money pit that she didn't foresee. She still has loads to do, but has openly told me she has run out of money to do it. Our houses are joined together, with one guttering down pipe, which is on her property. We had our guttering replaced about 4 years ago and we have no issues with it at all. She needed hers doing, but she got a total bodger to do it cheap, and now water is pouring out of her end of the gutter (I.e. the end furthest away from our house). She got a quote for someone to do it properly, and that would involve lowering the downpipe slightly, and raising her end of the guttering. No work needed to ours at all.

She's asked me this morning if we will split the costs with her, as the downpipe although on her side, is the only one we share between us and she basically can't afford to do the job alone and 'can't cope' with the water pouring down her wall. When I 'hmmm-ed' a bit in the conversation, she said 'my downpipe is having to cope with water from both houses, which is why there is a problem' - this isnt true at all. I spoke to the man when he was there giving her the quote, and he confirmed it was down to the appalling way her work had been done in the first place.

I feel for her, and I get on with her fine, but I know what my DH will say - there is no problem on our side, and if there was and we needed to do work on the downpipe to get it sorted, we wouldn't be asking her to split the costs as it would be 'our problem'. I also know he is going away today with work and it'll fall down to me to explain this to her, and am dreading this. Money is tight for her, but it's tight for us too, and I do essentially feel like we are paying for something that is nothing to do with us.

Is that wrong?

noddyholder Thu 30-Aug-12 10:37:26

No do not get involved with this as she will ask again for something else.If your house was getting wet then I would consider it but as yours is new and functioning I would just say no

squeakytoy Thu 30-Aug-12 10:41:16

Not sure really, if it is a shared downpipe, even on her property, it would be neighbourly I think to help towards it.

Is it not something that your husband could do if she paid for the materials perhaps?

PfftTheMagicDraco Thu 30-Aug-12 10:48:46

Just say no.

alabasterangel Thu 30-Aug-12 10:49:46


It's not the first cost share she has asked for, and the previous instance was categorically nothing possibly to do with us.... Laughably so in that case, and DH was around to explain why and refuse in that case. Also last week we paid for a wasps nest to be removed in a shared loft space. She was happy to leave it be, but we have kids and wanted it done, so we paid for it.

Even if we agree to share, I am confused as to how much we should be offering to share by. Replacing her whole guttering is nowhere possibly a 50/50 scenario with us, is it? If we contributed towards the lowering of the downpipe part of things, then I can sort of understand that, but we are lowering it because she has an issues, not because we do - therefore DH will argue she should be meeting the costs herself.

No DH couldn't do it, unfortunately. Would need specialist ladders, etc. As extremely high up (very tall Victorian houses).

civilfawlty Thu 30-Aug-12 10:50:21

You are absolutely not and she needs to take responsibility for her home and her decisions.

Thymeout Thu 30-Aug-12 10:50:25

I've had this problem. The downpipe goes down my wall but serves three other houses as well as mine. Technically, all four are liable to share the costs on work to the downpipe, wherever it is situated. However, owing to problems with absentee landlords, I was only able to get the money from one of the houses and we shared the costs between us. Annoying, but not worth pursuing.

So she's right about the downpipe being half your responsibility because it carries rainwater from your gutters. But wrong in saying that the downpipe is the cause of her problem with water overflowing down her wall. From what you say, it's because her gutter is sloping in the wrong direction, nothing the matter with the downpipe, so it's up to her to pay for the work.

Good luck!

ProudNeathGirl Thu 30-Aug-12 10:58:30

Think of it this way - if the work she had done had been done badly so that you had the problem, not her - would you expect to pay for the shared downpipe to be corrected/moved or would you expect her to pay half?
I think you could offer a contribution, as then you will be justified in overseeing the work to make sure it's done properly this time (and doesn't cause problems for you while correcting her problems). It would also ensure you maintain reasonable neighbourly relations. But 50/50 seems unreasonable in the circumstances.

fedupofnamechanging Thu 30-Aug-12 11:04:22

I wouldn't pay for it.

I have had similar problems with a neighbour getting work done and then sending me a bill. You have to be brave and stand up for yourself. She caused the problem, so it's up to her to put it right.

Remind her that you paid to have the wasp's nest removed, even though it is in a shared space.

If you don't say no now, she will walk all over you.

EldonAve Thu 30-Aug-12 11:04:38

just say no

Hopeforever Thu 30-Aug-12 11:09:19

If she did not clean the gutters on her side so that the water frm your roof went into your gutter then, having no where else to go, overflowed down your walls, you would consider the down pipe and guttering on her side to be of vital importance to you.

Yes she was silly to have it done badly, but as its the shared down pipe I do think you have a responsibility towards some of the cost in making sure it works to protect both your properties

SoleSource Thu 30-Aug-12 11:19:22

Thymeouts posts seems sensible to me. Why lie about this type of thing when most lies are easily found out. Mind boggles.
No is a complete sentence.

Collaborate Thu 30-Aug-12 11:41:51

Responsibility for guttering rests principally with the person whose property the guttering is fixed to. Deeds will often provide for rights of water flow over shared gutters, but unless they say also that costs of repair should be shared (highly unlikely) it's her responsibility. Don't pay.

janey68 Thu 30-Aug-12 11:47:18

Sounds like she's over stretched herself and has bought a property she can't afford to maintain . Don't let it become your problem. If she had paid for proper maintenance in the first place then there wouldn't be an issue

advisemewisely Thu 30-Aug-12 11:47:48

i would possibly pay half the cost for the downpipe part.
ask the guy fitting it to bread the costs down, so you know that you are being told the price for that section only.

Viviennemary Thu 30-Aug-12 11:49:40

No you shouldn't pay for it if it's not your responsibility. You could even find yourself in more difficulties if the work went wrong or other problems showed up. Years ago we once economised on a guttering job and wish we hadn't but we did. It's replaced now. So people do make mistakes but shouldn't expect others to pay for them.

GhostShip Thu 30-Aug-12 11:54:14

Don't pay a penny. All this 'neighbourly' shite doesn't mean you should pay for someone else's fuck ups.

alabasterangel Thu 30-Aug-12 12:47:22

Thanks all.

My gut instinct says 'no', although I am not looking forward to telling her that.

Out if interest, for those who do think a contribution is fair, how much would you offer? Total cost of job is £220.

sparkle12mar08 Thu 30-Aug-12 12:54:45

If you absolutely want to offer her something (I certainly wouldn't!) then I'd say £70 is ample, leaves her £150 to pay and says it's not a meaningless contribution but that you are in no way, shape or form, 50% responsible for HER issues.

UKSky Thu 30-Aug-12 12:58:01

Sounds like all they need to do is raise the end of her guttering. I assume it used to flow correctly at some point. So unless the downpipe has had a growth spurt or your houses have shrunk, they should not need to touch the pipe at all.

I'd say no.

Nagoo Thu 30-Aug-12 13:03:36

I wouldn't pay, it's her fault for having had a bad job done in the first place.

If you are nicer than me, then you could think: how much was your guttering job?

Say it was £100, then you 'saved' £120' not having a downpipe.

So I'd give her £60 so that you have paid your 'share' of her downpipe.

You already paid for your own guttering, so why should you pay for hers?

comelywench Thu 30-Aug-12 13:04:05

I would ask for an itemised quote from the tradesman and pay 50% of the cost of altering the downpipe ONLY.

I feel you'd be well within your rights to decline to pay at all, but if the total quote is £220, then the work to the downpipe should be less than £50 (50% £25), so I'd pay it for a quiet life. Unfortunately, it seems like you'll just have to keep evaluating/declining, where appropriate, her requests to split bills, as saying no to her in the past doesn't seem to work.

I feel for you though, what a PITA! Could your DH phone her to tell her?

Shelby2010 Thu 30-Aug-12 13:05:49

How much did it cost to get the shared wasp nest removed? I would offer around £50 minus her half of the wasp nest!

alabasterangel Thu 30-Aug-12 15:29:29

Thanks again.

Uksky - you've got it spot on. All that SHOULD be needed is to raise her end, but because the houses are old and a bit wonky there is no room on her end to raise it any further, hence needing to lower the downpipe.

Even more fodder for it not to be down to us, I feel. Had there been enough room to raise it, we wouldn't have been asked to assist in the first place.

I should also point out that trying to negate previous attempts to cost share have been very hard work, as she seems to struggle with the concepts of WHY we shouldn't be expected to assist and just repeats herself.

Am such a wuss about telling her. DH is under immense stress at work at the mo and I feel it's really unfair to wait for him to come home then send him round, but I really don't want to do it!!!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 30-Aug-12 15:33:10

As others have said I would offer to pay 50% of the costs of alterations to the downpipe only

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