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Drain access and solictors fees imposed by neighbour - wwyd?

(7 Posts)
vbus Thu 18-Aug-11 13:49:08

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

said Thu 18-Aug-11 15:56:12

What does your solicitor say about that? If she has no right of access, this may cause problems for future house sale. Has she thought of that? Sounds like she hasn't and couldn't care less, tbh, unfortunately. Why is she so insistent on this since it seems counter-intuitive? Has she an award-winning garden?

belledechocchipcookie Thu 18-Aug-11 15:59:08

Go and see the CAB/a solicitor. If I remember correctly, they can't send you a bill as you are not their client. The only way you are expected to pay the other party's costs is if there is a court order that enforces this. You need specialist advice on this.

nocake Fri 19-Aug-11 10:05:26

The rules on who owns sewers are changing very soon. Check your water company's website but after the rule changes you are only responsible for sewers that are only used by your property and are within your boundary. That means she will only be responsible for the pipe to her boundary and you are only responsible for the pipe from your house to the manhole. The water company will be responsible for the rest - Have a look at this website for details

That means she will have no legal right to access the manhole because the pipe she is responsible for ends at her fence.

lalalonglegs Fri 19-Aug-11 13:03:31

Fuck her - don't pay solicitor's fees and move manhole onto your land. Will cause her almighty stink (ho ho) if her drain is ever blocked or when she wants to sell. Revenge is dish best served cold etc...

SparklePrincess Fri 19-Aug-11 15:19:02

She sounds like a right silly cow with too much time on her hands. I agree with lalalonglegs! smile

vbus Sat 20-Aug-11 09:51:31

Thanks all for your advice.
Sparkle - youa re so right, she really does have too much time on her hands and has a history of stirring it with the neighbours

Lalalonglegs - this is exactly what I wanted to do in my mind grin

No cake - thanks for link, really interesting

As it happens she called round last night, after 4mths of giving us the evils and blanking us she now wants to be bezzie mates shock So now we have amicably agreed to move manhole into our garden and will come up with an agreement for acccess if she should ever need it. She said she'll sort it out with her solictors. Not sure if she meants fees as well but it's a start and much better outcome than I could've hoped for. fingers crossed she keeps to her word

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