Our house was built in 1750 as a terrace of 3 houses. At some stage in the past It was converted into one large house and then later into the 2 house configuration it is in today. We have a flying freehold set up.
Our kitchen goes into the neighbours kitchen and on the party wall on their side, they have a chimney breast which they say is our kitchen fire. We have no evidence of any fireplace on our side and believe it has only recently been appointed as a kitchen. In any case this was not the original arrangement of the houses when they were first built. We do not know where the original fireplace was located (their house or ours)
Half of the chimney stack is only sitting on the top and needs to be removed. The chimney stack is on the neighbours side of the house but he is saying it is our liability to pay for it, although he has graciously offered to pay half!
We had a full structural survey when we bought the house which clearly showed just 2 chimneys that we have. They have 3 chimneys (one of which is being disputed) but they had no survey carried out when they bought their house recently. I mentioned the damaged stack to the previous owners who acknowledged it but did nothing about it - not really much help as nothing in writing and they have long gone now.
They refuse to acknowledge our surveyors report and are threatening to sue us for surveyors costs if they get one out to confirm our ownership of it. (I know they cannot do this). They are claiming as a party wall we are partly liable for the cost of the removal of the stack. No chimney breasts have been removed on their side as far as I am concerned. The damage is just wear to the mortar.
Does anyone have any advice or experience as to who is liable for the cost of the removal of the stack?
Would be grateful for any information. Rather urgent as we have scaffolding up this week and can save money by getting this done this week and the stress isnt good for me or bubs! xx
I'd wait for the solicitor to send you a letter and then write very calmly back asking them to explain exactly why you are liable (enclosing LR documents etc which show the boundaries of your property). If the situation is as you describe, you aren't going to get any sense out of these people who seem to have (willfully) misunderstood the Party Wall Act - don't engage with them any more.