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  1. #1
    horleyox's Avatar

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    Default Discharging rainwater

    My neighbour has been discharging all rainwater from their property via an open drainpipe on a flat roof aimed roughly to spill into one of my gutters and down pipes, but generally it just runs down my wall, especially if there is a downpour. This causes damage to my kitchen wall internally and externally. My neighbours say it is 'customary' to share drains/rainwater goods in mid-terraced properties like ours and refuse to make their own arrangements or spend money on sorting out a fixed connection to my down pipe. They also refuse to pay for damage caused. What can I do?

    Horleyox

  2. #2
    seduraed's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    Have you tried talking to your insurer. If there is damage you may well be able to claim I think otherwise check whether you have legal cover with your insurance and speak to a solicitor. There are firms on this site who offer fixed fee advice . I haven't used them but I haven't seen any major compLaunton either.

  3. #3
    Crazy council's Avatar




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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    check with council planning to see if it complies . . Then your insurance. It creates much more of a seroius problem than most people reaslise. Always act when waters going onto a building
    crazy council ( as in local council,NELC ) as a member of the public, i don't get mad, i get even

  4. #4
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    Legally a landowner must ensure that water collected on his property does not cause damage when released.

    If the water has damaged your property you may be entitled to claim for the cost.
    To prevent further damage you could apply for an injunction against your
    neighbour although it may be cheaper to install drainage and claim for this cost.
    However it is better to try
    to work out a solution in the first instance rather than go down the legal route, or if that is not feasible try via insurance as already suggested.

  5. #5
    horleyox's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    My neighbour's have now decided to engage the services of a chartered surveyor "to assess and make recommendations". They are insisting he will need access to both the inside and outside of my property.

    horleyox

  6. #6
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    well if you are claiming for the damage done to your property by the discharged rainwater it is only right that they are allowed to have their own assessor examine it.
    This does not prevent you obtaining your own estimates to make good any damage.

  7. #7
    horleyox's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    I have already made an insurance claim for the damage caused and they are aware of that. Do you think they are worried the insurer will come after them for reimbursement and they wish to dispute this? Not willing to give me any details of who their chartered surveyor is - no idea therefore if he is a building surveyor, party wall specialist or an estate agent!

    Horleyox

  8. #8
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    You have every right to ask him about his qualifications before deciding whether or not to allow access.
    However if you have made a claim through your insurers they may instruct a loss assessor.
    Contact your insurers and discover if they will be sending an assessor, and if they intend to attempt to recover their costs from your neighbour.
    I doubt they will do either, but you never know.

    As you are not actually claiming against your neighbour, question the neighbour's surveyor when he calls regarding his qualifications, and the reason for wanting access to your property.
    You will then be in a possession of the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.

  9. #9
    horleyox's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    Cancelled surveyor (cheapskates). Relying on (yet another) contractor who says my gutter under their flat roof is 1/4" short and that's why there is £1200 of damage to my kitchen. Denying they received a quote to route round the other side of their house and don't want to take up building control officer's suggestion of discharging via foul drain (Severn Trent say they must arrange to pump discharge into their garden). Insurer says escape of water is from neighbour, so they are liable and I can't claim on my household policy. Neighbour still insisting they have no option but to discharge On to my property and down my kitchen wall. I despair of this and my ghastly inconsiderate freeloading neighbours!

    Horleyox

  10. #10
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    Quote Originally Posted by horleyox View Post
    . Insurer says escape of water is from neighbour, so they are liable and I can't claim on my household policy.

    Horleyox
    That sounds most odd!!!!
    Your property is water damaged.
    Presumably your policy covers water damage.
    Your insurers put it right (indemnify you)
    If your neighbours are liable your insurers recover from them.
    Simple!1
    Who are your insurers, and what policy do you hold?
    I'll check the wording for you.


    And your gutter is 1/4" short????
    If it collects all water from your roof, how come it's short.
    Does he not mean their roof overshoots your gutter and they have not provided means of disposing of their rainwater?

    I can see this going legal, which one should try and avoid.

  11. #11
    Crazy council's Avatar




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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    hi

    Insurer says escape of water is from neighbour, so they are liable and I can't claim on my household policy. Neighbour still insisting they have no option but to discharge On to my property and down my kitchen wall. I despair of this and my ghastly inconsiderate freeloading neighbours!
    Whos the insurance co, make sure thats not just phone talk from a claims advisor. Your insurance claims of there incurance, not you claim from them , and its your building insurance usualy if its water.

    Does it comply with planning regs ( it cant do as you describe )

    They also should not have been advised to discharge into sewer rather than surface drains. I presume what the water company mean is a soakaway. Water ingression in a property is very serioius, the problems you can visbly see, arnt the real problems, if it goes on for more than a year, watch out for subcidence starting ayear or so later.
    crazy council ( as in local council,NELC ) as a member of the public, i don't get mad, i get even

  12. #12
    horleyox's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    Hello,
    My insurer is LV. They say I should get back in touch once neighbours have sorted out their drainage problems and if they will not accept liability. Not worth repairing if going to continue. My neighbours have since sought legal advice (after 16 months of discharging) and now say they will put a temporary solution in place (no doubt as a consequence of this advice, but no admission of liability). Building control officer said could do nothing as not new build and no enforcement action taken after 2 years.

    horleyox

  13. #13
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    So your insurers did not say you can't claim on your household policy, but that they could not see the point of carrying out repairs until the cause of the water ingress was removed.
    That cause is your neighbour's responsibility, but they at last seem to be remedying the matter, at least temporarily.

    Will your insurers now settle your claim and see to the repairs?
    Do you have legal expenses insurance with your household policy?
    If you do, you could possibly obtain assistance in having your neighbour put things right permanently, if necessary.

  14. #14
    horleyox's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    Hello again, no I do not have legal expenses insurance. And my neighbour's tactic is now apparently to have something on record to the effect they are taking action but not accepting liability, when actually they're still doing nothing, while their solicitor has contacted the previous owner of their property to determine if they can claim prescribed rights on the basis he might have done the same thing when he lived there.

    horleyox

  15. #15
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    The law of nuisance says that a person cannot use his land in an unreasonable fashion so as to cause damage to his neighbour. The courts decided in 1344 that it is an actionable nuisance for a person to allow water from his eaves and gutters to fall on his neighbour's land or house.
    You , therefore, have the right to bring court proceedings against your neighbour, seeking an injunction requiring him to put in proper drains so that the water does not come on your land. If this problem has gone on for many years, the courts may be reluctant to grant you an injunction and you will be limited to a claim for money damages. In principle,
    If the position has been the same for the past 20 years, however, your neighbour may well have acquired a legal right to discharge water on your land by what is known as prescription.

    can you not take steps (eg, connecting his drainpipe to your guttering via a hopper) to minimise the problem,and then take action to attempt to recover the cost from your neighbour.?
    That may work out a lot cheaper (and certainly a lot less stressful!) than fighting a court action if your neighbour is preparing to be litigious

  16. #16
    Crazy council's Avatar




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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    Theres a bit more to consider in relation to were the water ( whos plot and dains ) it discharges to. so get confirmation before you agree to anything

    Stop listening to your niegbour about liability, it is there responcability. My advice is ask you insurance company to send a survoyor to check the damage ( do that by letter not phone |) , may be more serious than you think, What you see with water damage ( marks and bulging plaster ) is not the real problem, especialy if its an outside wall, or a corner.
    crazy council ( as in local council,NELC ) as a member of the public, i don't get mad, i get even

  17. #17
    horleyox's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    My neighbours have now put a temporary, incomplete and illegal solution in place (re-directing their rainwater into the foul drainpipe, despite Severn Trent saying if they did this, they would need to pump it out in their garden). They also choose to do nothing about the standing rainwater on their flat roof that eventually flows down my wall, nor coughing up for the damage already caused to my kitchen. The one upside is that after engaging a specialist surveyor, there is no evidence of subsidence to my property, but he does still advise excavating around my drain in case of potential below ground long-term damage. The neighbours have left the old drainage system in place, presumably on the basis they will resort back to discharging rainwater onto my property if and when I sell. My insurer will still not entertain a claim because only a temporary solution has been put in place and the neighbour refuses to make a claim on their own policy or pay. What should I do now?

    Horleyox

  18. #18
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    So rainwater collecting on their flat roof still drains down your wall, and they are refusing to repair the damage to your house.
    In that case refer to post 15, and perhaps have a consultation with a solicitor.
    Some will give a free short consultation which will help you decide the best way forward.

    JustBeagle, (https://justbeagle.com) our sister site has a list of solicitors

    If you want to go it alone a letter (get proof of posting) to your neighbour telling them you require they put their house in order and pay for the damage already caused.
    Give them a time limit in which to respond & tell them that if they don't you will initiate court action.
    Then a CC action or visit solicitor

  19. #19
    horleyox's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    Today my neighbour accused me of extortion. She said I did not get a survey when I bought the property, so the damage to my kitchen may be longstanding. They are such freeloaders. They have most recently reported me to Planning Enforcement for not screening their property for them from my balcony. Relations are at a low ebb. Should I continue to pursue or just give up and move?

    horleyox

  20. #20
    des8's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    If you give up and move you are going to have to declare to any purchaser about the problems your are having with your neighbour.
    Won't do the asking price any favours!

    Unless you want your water damage problems to continue, I don't see you have any choice but to continue to pursue the matter.
    But your choice!

  21. #21
    warwick65's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    How do they know there was no survey done?

    I don't quite get the balcony bit, I assume it overlooks their property. Did you have it added

    I would think a surveyor would be able to tell how longstanding any damage is.
    Any advice or opinions I offer are based on my experience dealing with personal debt as well as other life events.
    I have no formal legal training
    Any advice is offered without liability
    If in doubt take professional legal advice or contact the CAB

  22. #22
    horleyox's Avatar

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    Default Re: Discharging rainwater

    I don't know how they would know this. Local gossip I would guess.

    My balcony dates from the 1960s and is set back because of neighbour's' extensions on both sides; their's is much larger and from the mid-70s. It protrudes so far out they overlook virtually every neighbour's garden on my side of the street. Their attitude to screening it and providing for their neighbour's' privacy is 'why should we?'

    Thanks for the suggestion of getting a surveyor involved. I recently sought advice from a structural surveyor I trust who has informed me there is no evidence of subsidence but it would provide peace of mind and avoid future problems to excavate, check the drain joints and foundations. My neighbours are not happy about this - or the associated costs.

    horleyox

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