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Neighbour won't agree to repair dangerous boundary wall, what can we do?

(7 Posts)
Chocolateporridge Tue 02-Apr-13 19:50:27

I'm at my wit's end, and am so stressed!

To cut a (very) long story short, we have a boundary wall between our house and next door neighbour which is almost 100 years old, in very bad disrepair and, since we bought, 7 years ago, bricks have slid out and it is badly tipping over our patio and veg bed, rendering them too dangerous to use.

Several times over the last few years we have approached our neighbors, asking them to agree to have it repaired but they have refused, even when we offered to pay the full amount ourselves. They say that they bought their house (many years ago) because they liked the wall and they don't want it replaced with a fence (which is all we could afford as it is a very big and high stretch of wall). They would not be able to afford to pay their share of a brick wall so a fence is the only compromise we can think of. However we've just found out that they're about to have a new roof put on so they must have enough for that!

Their house is detached but ours is a flat, and the flat beneath us belongs to the local council so we approached the Council last year for help even though the wall doesn't touch their land. They checked out the titles and apparently the wall is owned equally between ourselves, the council and the neighbours. The council wrote twice to the neighbours asking them to agree to works being done & costs split 3 ways but the letters were ignored and the Council gave up.

We then approached Building Control who were very nice, agreed that it was highly dangerous but said they could do nothing until the wall actually fell!

The neighbours have a HUGE garden but ours is only small and unusable for the last few years which makes me very sad as our 2yo dd can't even go ride her bike there.

I don't think we could afford to go down the legal route although I've no idea how much it would cost and I feel like we're trapped by our selfish neighbours. I've even emailed the whole sad story to our local Councillor who didn't even reply! Ultimately I don't want to be on bad terms with them as we have to live next door and at the moment we're friendly and chatty to them even though they are pretty antisocial in a few other areas too.

Please tell me if you have any suggestions of what to do next. We're in Scotland so laws might be slightly different.

chickensaladagain Tue 02-Apr-13 19:53:55

do you have legal cover with your house insurance?

it may be worth involving them -I pressume next door have insurance? are they aware that they are invalidating their insurance by not maintaining the wall?

quietlysuggests Tue 02-Apr-13 19:57:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AgentProvocateur Tue 02-Apr-13 20:01:32

If it's dangerous and the council are 1/3 responsible, I think they can order the works to be done, then they'll bill you ad neighbour for your shares. I'd suggest you get back in touch and exaggerate emphasise how dangerous it is.

I'm in Scotland and this method of repair happened in a tenement I owned, when the chimney was dangerous and two householders refused to pay.

Chocolateporridge Wed 03-Apr-13 18:07:21

Tee hee quietly that's what we'd like to do but knowing our luck we'd get squashed in the process!

Thanks agent, the Council have been and inspected several times, so they know how bad it is. I really think they can just go ahead with the works and charge us all retrospectively, even though they don't factor us, but they don't agree angry

Chicken I think that's a great suggestion, why did we not think of it before?! We have legal cover so I'll give them a ring, although I'm slightly worried that they have concerns about our insurance too though!

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Wed 03-Apr-13 18:10:16

Take a large hammer to it in the dead of night and watch them try and prove it was you? Seriously You have tried to be reasonable do fuck um.

Isityouorme Wed 03-Apr-13 19:26:13

It woud be awful if the lawn mower/bike (no child) accidentally kncked the wall ......

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