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A little irritated with neighbours. Haven't even moved in yet

(55 Posts)
dilapidated Sat 08-Apr-17 12:12:53

We got the keys to our house in Jan.
We are doing it up as quickly as we can as baby arriving imminently and we are currently staying with parents.
House not habitable at all due to asbestos, condemned electrics and gas and burst pipes.

We have been sent a quote through from one of the neighbours saying we need to pay a 1/4 towards the replacement water main feed to our row of 4 houses that share the water main.

We have already dealt with insurers regarding leaks and water issues and our house is now dry.

They are still running off old pipes that run underground and are leaky.

We said that we wanted to meet with them to discuss the work with the company that will be carrying it out which we arranged for Monday.

We have been away since Thursday in another country for a wedding and yesterday morning received messages saying that they needed our go ahead on this urgently as the company came round and said so.

They are not giving us the chance to meet the company carrying out the work or further discussion. They realise that the work is not going to benefit us at all but say as it's a shared water main we are liable to pay towards it none the less.

We have explained that we have major issues we are trying to sort on the house and ran out of money and have already had to borrow to finish the last bit.

Would this irritate you or is it just my pregnancy hormones giving me a short fuse?

DoItTooJulia Sat 08-Apr-17 12:24:55

I'm not suggesting you do this, but what would happen if you just didn't pay? If it's statutorily required work and you couldn't pay my (limited) understanding is that you would have a charge put against the property so that when you sold it would be paid from the proceeds of the sale-but usually that only happens when a legal notice has been served and the works carried out in default.

I think you need to understand the legal situation here.

Have you got insurance/homeserve or similar?

LIZS Sat 08-Apr-17 12:29:53

If it needs replacing it is normal , and usually in your legal paperwork, that the cost is split between those the pipe supplies. Why are you so sure it relates to work you are doing or have done?

Coughingchildren5 Sat 08-Apr-17 12:33:10

Our water board pays for repairs to shared water mains pipes. I'm not sure why you are being pressured into paying for it. Have they decided to pay for it rather than allowing the water board to carry the repair?

LIZS Sat 08-Apr-17 12:35:58

The responsibility of water companies for pipes on private land changed a few years ago.

dilapidated Sat 08-Apr-17 12:37:09

We have insurance, but our insurance only covers us for our pipes on our land and not other people's pipes.

We have had our leaks sorted by our insurance.

The water board have been out and will fix issues up to the boundary.

But the issues with the other houses that have leaks are on the boundary so not being sorted by the water board

LIZS Sat 08-Apr-17 12:41:21

Are you first of the four nearest the main supply or further down the line?

dilapidated Sat 08-Apr-17 12:41:25

The amount isn't huge.
The total bill is around £2500 and we are being asked to pay £600 approx.

So dp is just not wanting to cause any rifts between neighbours we will be living next door to for the foreseeable future and wants to just agree to it

dilapidated Sat 08-Apr-17 12:42:02

We are the last on the line of 4.
Which is why our bits have been able to be fixed without affecting neighbours

LIZS Sat 08-Apr-17 12:42:56

So your supply is dependent on the integrity of the pipework over their properties.

Tannyfastic Sat 08-Apr-17 12:44:17

I think you should do what you are doing, say that you are not refusing but want all the information and to liaise with the company who are doing the work.

You will pay, but want to understand the situation?

Not unreasonable imo.

dilapidated Sat 08-Apr-17 12:44:23

It is.
Which is why despite us having no issues, they have said that they are getting a new feed and don't want to just feed into us but replace all pipework up to our stop tap

ExplodedCloud Sat 08-Apr-17 12:46:44

Your water travels through those pipes then. For the sake of £600 I'd pay up and not piss off the people I'd be living next door to for years.

dilapidated Sat 08-Apr-17 12:50:46

tanny will do that.
We don't mind paying but it just seems unreasonable to be rushed into it when we haven't even been able to meet the contractor

user1471545174 Sat 08-Apr-17 12:54:19

I'd just pay my share. You own the house, the fact that you haven't moved into it yet isn't your neighbours' fault.

CaptainBraandPants Sat 08-Apr-17 12:56:58

You should pay.

LadyLapsang Sat 08-Apr-17 12:59:01

I would pay.

GrassWillBeGreener Sat 08-Apr-17 12:59:06

My interpretation of the changed rules would suggest that the water company should now be responsible for all the shared length of pipe. Anyone fighting that side of the argument?

PovertyPain Sat 08-Apr-17 13:00:16

I actually think you're being a bit short sighted here and a little selfish. It's a shared feed but because you're at the end, you say it doesn't affect you so you shouldn't have to pay. How would you feel if the person in the first house was getting water, but the force was impinged in some way so the water was a trickle by the time it got to you? Would you expect them to help you get it sorted? What if they say, "tough, it doesn't affect me so you have to pay all the costs". Wouldn't you think that's unfair as you have a shared feed/road so should share costs.

At some time the road will need recovered and I assume you will like to be included in that, if your part is worn. If you have to pay for a separate road repair it will cost you extra. They will be paying less as its one big job, rather than four separate jobs. You don't want to piss off your neighbors before you've moved in. I imagine living at the end, means you have to pass them every day? Would you not rather have good relationships with them, rather than seen as the 'bad' neighbor?

Rattata Sat 08-Apr-17 13:03:32

Does your neighbour know that the water company usually pays for the cost of shared pipes? Not everyone is aware of this and the companies you get out to fix things don't say.

NotMyPenguin Sat 08-Apr-17 13:06:12

I think you probably do need to pay this, but I'd be upset too because you've just spent the money on getting your pipes sorted out. However unfair it seems, though, I think I can understand the logic if you are at the end of a line of shared pipes.

It sounds like you need to have a better understanding of the arrangement before you contribute, though.

Can you ask them if that means they would also need to contribute to work done on your property? How about a requirement for all property owners to have insurance that covers work in future? (Like you had this time)

Squeakymoo Sat 08-Apr-17 13:06:19

in our area (Thames water) they will pay for our shared drainage but only because our houses were built before 1910 - A friend who house was built post WW2 has to pay her part of any shared pipework/drains. It might be worth giving the water board a call to see what the criteria is

Finola1step Sat 08-Apr-17 13:08:59

Let's look at this from another angle. Your neighbours have put up with your building work for the past few months. There is an issue with the pipes and the suggestion is that all 4 houses chip in. You are the ones dragging your heels. For the sake of £600, you are risking the long term relationship with your neighbours. When you are due a new baby (think night time crying) who will grow into a toddler (think noisy tantrums).

If I was in your position, I would be paying the £600. And buying a nice bottle of wine and box of chocolates with a card that thanks them for their patience during your building works.

PovertyPain Sat 08-Apr-17 13:13:32

Cross posted with you, OP. If it's due mire to not knowing what's going on, then fair enough. I can understand you would like to know what's involved. In these shared roads you usually find there's one person who ends up suggesting improvements and implements them. They've probably did this for years and can't understand your reluctance. I think you need to speak to the works people yourself. What don't you ask them for contact details.

dilapidated Sat 08-Apr-17 13:16:31

We're not the only house having building works.
So are the other 3, and no one has caused any disruption.
Work done between 8-5pm weekdays only

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