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Rainwater run off to neighbour's property

(22 Posts)
Thistledew Thu 23-Jun-16 07:59:13

We have just finished an extension project, which has included building our kitchen out to the boundary with our neighbour (we are end of terrace, she is middle). All relevant planning permission and party wall notices have been complied with.

The new party wall is single story. It has a pitched roof, which runs down to the top of the wall (so not overhanging into the neighbour's land). Rainwater is collected by guttering that sits on top of the wall.

The wall itself is finished by a strip of lead flashing, which hangs slightly clear of the wall so that run off water falls clear and doesn't run down the wall.

There is probably about a half a brick to a brick's width at the top of the wall that is not covered by the guttering, but is covered by the lead flashing.

Our neighbour has complained about water dripping off the flashing onto her gravel path.

Bearing in mind that she is the sort of person who recently complained about petals from my climbing rose that is trained against the fence between our gardens falling onto her garden, is there anything that we could or should do to stop water from dripping from our wall onto her property?

Firstly, it is only a very small amount of run off that is occurring when other water (i.e. rain) is falling onto her path. These things happen when it rains. It is not causing any damage or pooling water. Secondly, if we were to put up additional guttering, we would be trespassing onto her land, and even if she is happy with this it might cause us problems if she were ever to sell.

On the other hand, we don't want to fall out with her, so are happy to make minor reasonable adjustments.

Does anyone know what we should do in this situation?

OohMavis Thu 23-Jun-16 08:03:03

So wait... when it's RAINING, and the water is falling EVERYWHERE, the little drips from that half a brick of wall falling onto her already-wet property (because... it's raining!) is unacceptable?

I really don't know what to suggest. But that's the most ridiculous neighbour complaint I've ever read on here.

Catzpyjamas Thu 23-Jun-16 08:06:36

Buy her a plant to put under the drip? not that DH has done this rather than replace our leaking gutter

LIZS Thu 23-Jun-16 08:11:28

I disagree. The flashing overhangs her property and drips, which given the amount of rain we are currently having could easily pool and be noisy . Why doesn't your gutter drain it to the rear of your extension? Perhaps you could get your builder back to see if it could be adjusted.

Thistledew Thu 23-Jun-16 08:17:37

Our gutter drains the runoff from our roof. If we put up guttering to catch this small amount of runoff, we would be trespassing over the boundary line. She is of course welcome to put up any additional guttering she wishes.

The water falls onto her gravel path (which incidentally we paid for a proper hardcore base as part of our agreement to make good the boundary line).

Thistledew Thu 23-Jun-16 08:19:14

First pic looking down from above. Second looking up at it.

DetestableHerytike Thu 23-Jun-16 08:19:38

Can you pay for her to put up a bit more guttering then?

ClaudiaWankleman Thu 23-Jun-16 08:20:55

If it's a gravel path it won't be noise that is annoying her - the gravel would dissipate most of the noise that you would get on a flat brick surface.

She is probably annoyed because she has walked along the path in the rain and it has dripped straight onto her head.

I think she is being too sensitive about it. I wouldn't worry beyond apologising half heartedly when she brings it up.

Seeline Thu 23-Jun-16 08:21:27

Can the edge of the flash be bent upwards to create a mini gutter, and then channeled into your main guttering somehow?
Whilst it may only be a little bit of rain, technically I think all your run off should be channelled onto your own property unless it is a shared gutter.

Thistledew Thu 23-Jun-16 08:27:06

It doesn't over hang sufficiently to drip onto her head. She would have to stand with her face pressed against the brickwork to achieve that.

Turning the flashing up would leave the top of the wall exposed to rain and moisture.

LIZS Thu 23-Jun-16 08:30:29

So the guttering isn't at the edge of the roof line? Tbh it would annoy me, should the upper section not run into the gutter on the lower. Is the gutter draining away all the roof water in heavy rain or does it overflow? You could ask her if she would prefer the gutter to intrude in her air space. It should be high enough not to cause a head clearance issue.

Mycraneisfixed Thu 23-Jun-16 08:36:04

It would annoy me too. Can't you just deal with it and fix the problem without getting all huffy and self -righteous?

DetestableHerytike Thu 23-Jun-16 09:09:28

Petty or not, it is an issue she has now that she didn't before. I think it's fair for you to address it.

wowfudge Thu 23-Jun-16 09:53:49

Huffy and self-righteous? Where the hell did you get that from Mycrane? We have something similar along the side of our orangery roof. The lead-lined valley drains into a hopper and downpipe on our side of the boundary.

Thistledew Thu 23-Jun-16 10:00:48

I have just checked the part wall award, and it specifically says that "No part of the building owner's loft or ground floor extension shall trespass over the Adjoining owner's land". So if we were to put up guttering we would be in breach of this. My concern is the potential impact if she were to sell and the new neighbours were to object.

Also, I think it is the dripping that is bothering her and that she would not complain if the water were just running down the wall, which is obviously not the best solution for the wall and is more likely to result in streaking/staining of the finish, about which she would no doubt complain in the future.

Thistledew Thu 23-Jun-16 10:34:17

I have to say as well that my feelings of good neighbourliness are running very low.

During our project, she got quite a few 'freebies' at our expense. When we came to remove our side of the chimney breast it was discovered that her side was pretty unstable. We took on the expense of having it dismantled and rebuilt. We benefitted in that there was no delay to our works, but we would have been within our rights to ask her to pay. We also paid for some of her broken roof slates to be repaired (pre-existing damage, not caused by us), just because it was quick and easy for our roofers to do. Likewise having her redundant TV arial removed. Rather than simply making good her concrete path once we had finished the party wall, we paid for her whole path to be taken up and disposed of, and a proper hardcore base to be laid so that she could change to the gravel path that she wanted. We also re-routed a right of way she has across our garden by putting in a new gate, as it was impossible for her to use the one originally provided for due to what are now mature trees. This enabled her to get some landscaping work done in her garden without having workmen traipsing barrows through her house.

In return, she has complained about my roses dropping petals onto her garden, and then without our permission has leaned over our fence and hacked them back- I know she is entitled to cut back to her boundary, but she has gone beyond this and cut down some lovely blooms.

So right now, I am interested in knowing what is the minimum we have to do, and not going beyond that at all.

wowfudge Thu 23-Jun-16 10:38:39

How about stating the planning permission and party wall agreement have been complied with in full and it is up to her to put guttering up on her side if she feels the dripping is an issue?

Thistledew Thu 23-Jun-16 10:48:39

That's what I am feeling inclined to do fudge, but I just wanted to check that we are not actually at fault anywhere.

Thistledew Thu 23-Jun-16 10:51:44

She had the chance to object to the design of the wall at planning permission stage, but didn't do so. It really looks like she is looking for reasons to complain at the moment.

Another complaint she has had is that the new gate that we had put in for her convenience has the slats running horizontally, whereas the fence has vertical slats (it is the same height, colour, type of construction etc as the fence).

mistlethrush Thu 23-Jun-16 11:09:01

As I understand it the only water that's dripping would be from a very narrow width of the wall as all of the rest (eg from the roof) is taken by the gutter. Does she realise that there is a gutter? Does she think that she's getting all the rain off the roof? I would explain that the amount of water is so slight that it's really only the water that's 'sheltered' by the slight extension of the lead flashing that is 'extra' to what would be falling at that point only and see what she says to that.

origamiwarrior Thu 23-Jun-16 11:11:07

Do you know what she wants you to do about it? I think that would be my starting point.

If she says she wants you to put up guttering, I would do it. I wouldn't worry about the reselling issue. Worse case, someone queries it when you are selling you house. You tell the buyer that the woman asked you to do it, so were happy to do so, but it's your guttering and property so if the buyers want, they can remove it at any time. Owning the extension, and the guttering, means you are in control at all times; I can't see how doing your neighbour a favour in this way could ever be a problem.

In contrast, your neighbour should prob think long and hard before allowing you to put guttering up there, since after x number of years, you'd have an easement to continue to have it there, so that could cause her issues when she comes to sell her house. But having looked at her stepping stones, I doubt that is something that would occur to her.

Toottoot22 Fri 24-Jun-16 21:56:21

I would ask the opinion of the surveyor who did your party wall agreement. I think she is taking the p. We have an excellent party wall surveyor who was very straight with our neighbour in telling her what was acceptable as part of the party wall and what she would have to pay for if she wanted something different. Our neighbour on the other side is like this unfortunately, they're not pleasant to live next to. Everything is a battle.

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