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Tricky situation re neighbour, her extension/blocked drainpipe/legalities....

(22 Posts)
trickyex Sat 27-Aug-16 11:18:29

My neighbour had a slightly odd extension running at a right angle to her house, which has a pitched roof. The roof drains to a gutter and downpipes which empty onto my garden.
She has just told me that the extension is suffering from damp and has asked me to clear back all the greenery on my side of the walls. She wants to do it herself but I do not want to agree to this.
I have a feeling that she is not legally allowed to run drainpipes into my land, does anyone know if this is correct?
I would rather not have to speak to a lawyer but would be good to be able to point this out to her with some back up.
Thanks in advance.

dotdotdotmustdash Sat 27-Aug-16 12:19:14

When you say 'your side of the walls' do you mean the wall of her extension that faces you? If so then it's her wall and she's perfectly entitled to ask that you clear vegetation off it as you're not legally permitted to grow it there. I imagine that her drainpipes may have gained an easement to run down and onto your land.

Ultimately what do you want to happen? If her extension is damp she needs to sort it and if it's just being caused by your plants surely it's fixable and you wouldn't expect her to have to spend lots of money to find another solution. Would you want her to have to reroute the drainage pipes? That would also mean work and lots of money for her when it's not such a huge deal for you.

I wonder, if you both came in front of a judge in a court, what would the judge say? I suspect they would ask you to be more reasonable.

wowfudge Sat 27-Aug-16 14:26:18

If the neighbour asked for a court order to access the wall for maintenance purposes. she'd get, so why put her through it? You could end up with court costs awarded against you. It sounds as though the wall may need re-pointing, in which case access will be needed to do the work and it can be messy. Why not co-operate?

PigletJohn Sat 27-Aug-16 14:46:28

"empty onto my garden" is not satisfactory. She has no right to dump water onto your land.

Have a look at the plans lodged with the council to see what drainage was approved.

PigletJohn Sat 27-Aug-16 15:00:14

Gardenlaw is supposed to be a good source.

trickyex Sat 27-Aug-16 18:58:01

She has asked me to clear greenery from my garden wall which is at a right angle to her extension, there is no greenery on the extension wall, both walls face into my garden.
There is a gutter and drain pipe right under a very old apple tree in my garden, so it will always be an issue.
I have already cleared more than I would like and she has clipped climbers on our boundary wall but over my side.
She is very difficult hence I do not want to agree to her coming into my garden and cutting back my plants, trees and climbers.
Difficult to know how best to deal as I dont really want to be responsible for clearing her gutters but neither do I want her to have regular access to do it, partly as she is very unpleasant and has yelled at me on previous occasions....

trickyex Sat 27-Aug-16 18:59:29

I agree by law her drainage shouldnt come onto my land but it was set up like that before she and I moved in.
Tricky to re-route too.
Have looked at Gardenlaw but not sure there is a simple answer.

wowfudge Sun 28-Aug-16 05:48:25

Ah - your second post means this is a rather different situation. Is the extension built right up to your garden wall or is there a gap between the two? Was planning permission sought for the extension and can you find the application details on the council website?

trickyex Sun 28-Aug-16 12:21:16

The extension wall is the boundary wall, no fence or anything else, so rather unusual, with gutters and drainpipes on my side (and hers too).
I haven't looked a the council website as I think its quite an old extension, but I will do that.
It would never get approved now but its a hard one to deal with, especially as the wall is rendered and painted and the render stops well short of the ground so this could be causing the damp, but I really don't want her regularly having access to my garden to maintain her property!

superram Sun 28-Aug-16 12:35:57

She has a right to maintain her property and you have to allow her access to do this. However, I think that she has no right to cut anything back, unless they are growing up her property. You need to speak to her.

trickyex Sun 28-Aug-16 13:03:26

Yes I realise that but she keeps asking to come and cut things back which I wont agree to, she has already damaged trees and shrubs in my garden by hacking from her side.
We did speak and I told her I would cut back as she asked and have already done this, its just hard to know how to manage it best.

wowfudge Sun 28-Aug-16 13:20:58

I would say to her that you will allow access with reasonable notice at a time when you are in and it's convenient to you for someone to look at her extension wall from your side as a gesture of goodwill so that she can get to the bottom of what is causing the damp and clear her gutters. I would also make it clear that if she persists in hacking at your garden your goodwill will expire. She can perfectly lawfully cut back anything growing in your garden overhanging the border. If you don't like the way she does this you could offer to prune it from her side.

trickyex Sun 28-Aug-16 13:42:04

Thanks wow, that is well worded.
I will drop her a polite email to that effect.

wowfudge Mon 29-Aug-16 11:54:32

I'd have a conversation first and follow up with email.confirmation, but it's your choice.

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Mon 29-Aug-16 11:56:17

I would be concerned with her gutter draining into your land.

trickyex Mon 29-Aug-16 15:47:04

Yes I have to agree its not right her roof drains in part into my garden.
But I cant really see there is much I can do about it, its a pitched roof on a a one storey building so would be hard to re-route the gutters and downpipes.

RandomMess Mon 29-Aug-16 15:55:06

It sounds like there is a fundamental issue with the way it was built and drained etc. Perhaps reword the above email to say you would like her to engage an appropriate professional to find a long term solution to HER problem wink

I cannot imagine that there isn't a way for her to sort out the guttering and draining into a new soakaway on her own land - it may be costly but you can get roofs and guttering done in such a way that it won't be on your side of the boundary. Definitely find out the legalities of the current situation and options for getting a remedy.

PigletJohn Mon 29-Aug-16 16:46:40

"the extension is suffering from damp"

but we don't know why.

There are several common causes, such as condensation, leaks, dripping gutters, and faulty building fabric.

Untrimmed vegetation is pretty well off the radar.

It would be interesting to know if you can see damp patches on the wall, and if they are near ground level, or elsewhere. Post a pic if you can do it safely.

trickyex Mon 29-Aug-16 22:38:29

I cant see any signs of damp at all but the render does start some way above the ground which may be a cause.
Will see if I can get a decent photo.
The gutters are below various tree branches and greenery on my side so do get blocked, I have cleared them out but it is a bit irritating to have to do this, I have plenty of my own house maintenance to deal with.
I have looked on the council website but would have to pay to find out about planning. I cant afford to use a solicitor to look into it so feel a bit stuck.

wowfudge Mon 29-Aug-16 22:41:27

You don't have to unblock her gutters - you can let her or her work person round to do it. There's more chance of damp if the render goes all the way down to the ground as it is then likely to bridge the damp proof course.

trickyex Mon 29-Aug-16 22:44:20

I know I don't have to but she is so difficult to deal with I am trying my best to avoid having interaction with her.
She has got it into her head that it is my greenery and trees which are causing all the problems and she cant be reasoned with, hence my reluctance to have her round here - she would be unwilling to pay someone to clear the gutters I think. But I will suggest it to her.

TikTakTok Tue 30-Aug-16 09:37:52

A photo or sketch would be interesting. Are her gutters easy for you to reach? If so then I'd be tempted to clear them for her even if she is a cow. The render probably doesn't go to the ground because, hopfully, there is a damp proof course, so in theory it's a good sign.

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