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Solicitors fees imposed - do we have to pay?

(6 Posts)
vbus Thu 18-Aug-11 13:50:54

Despite sharing our kitchen extension plans upfront with neighbour, she has been obstructive throughout the whole process. We did succeed in getting planning permission and we are pretty much done with party wall slog.

The final niggle relates to a shared manhole cover which straddles both our gardens, one outlet pipe from neighbour's property and one pipe from our house goes into this drain. Our architect has advised we split this cover and each have a small cover on either side of proposed extension wall so we can each have access to our drain. Neighbour is not in the least bit interested in having a new cover in her garden.

She instructed her solictor a few weeks back to say she wants the whole cover to be placed in our extension. We checked with Building control who said this was ok as drain could be accessed but that did mean she has no right of access and that we were not responsible for maintaining her outlet pipe. We conveyed this info to her solictor. The reply is that she has a legal right to access the cover - is this so?

Also her solictor says we need to foot the bill for solictor's fees £600 as this drain is for our benefit shock We got stung on party wall fees because of her, but I see no reason why we should pay for this as it was her idea to get solicitor involved.

Not sure how to respond, any suggesstions? TIA

Collaborate Thu 18-Aug-11 15:13:56

Haven't you got a solicitor acting for you, and can't they answer this for you?

Generally, the drain isn't in need of repair. You are asking her to alter the property, so she is entitled that you foot the reasonable fees of her solicitor. But your own solicitor can advise you far better than anyone on herre can. They will know your case better.

vbus Thu 18-Aug-11 18:37:12

Thanks for reply. No solicitor as yet as we only got 1st letter few weeks back prior to going on holiday. I would've been more inclined to split costs or pay fees had we been consulted by neighbour prior to her appointing a solicitor in the first place. It seems wrong to be just lumped with a bill

Collaborate Thu 18-Aug-11 23:42:48

Well, the neighbour doesn't need the work doing, and can withhold her consent. That's why you'll have to pay her solicitors fees otherwise she'll just refuse her consent. You'll need your deeds changing too, which is why you'll need your own solicitor.

A1980 Sun 21-Aug-11 00:41:49

You are causing this work to be carried out. Why the hell should she pay for any of the work or her legal fees for something that was entirely your doing. She is entitled to seek legal advice if you were prosposing alterations to her property and she doesn't have to ask your permission. You can afford a new kitchen extension but think she should pay legal fees regarding it? Now I'm shock

If I were her I would withold consent and the hell with it all.

vbus Sun 21-Aug-11 13:44:21

I would totally agree apart from fact that drain is hers as well and removal of it will be mass impovement to neighbours garden and it is what she wishes. Obviously we will do all this at our expense and she will benefit.

She did not need to contact solictor to agree this, nor did she consult us prior to doing so which is what has caused this predicament. As it happens she seems to have come to her senses and approached us to a have a long chat about situation. Now it has all been settled amicably.
thanks for the advice though

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