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Old 19 August 2009, 13:55   #1
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Any solicitors here? Neighbour problems...

I could do wih a bit of advice from someone who knows...

We share a chimney stack with our neighbour. His half was rebuilt a good few years ago before we moved in, but for some reason ours wasn't.
Our half is in a right state and ready to fall down if we get a good dose of gales this winter-which will take his with it.His needs repointing anyway.
I've finally got some builders I trust to do it.

We offered to get his half of the shared chimney rebuilt at the same time as ours so it was a complete new unit-all for a cost of 30 quid to him(the balance of the difference as it's easier to rebuild the whole thing than half of it).
He ummed and arred, messed us about and now he says he doesn't want the noise on his roof-but they'll have to be on his roof just to do ours so he's now stopping us getting ours rebuilt too.
The builder is quite rightly worried-saying he won't start the job in case he gets sued by our neighbour...
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Old 19 August 2009, 14:07   #2
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You have certain easement* rights to access your property - so he can't stop you. Why can't you access your chimney from your roof?

"An *easement is a right benefiting one piece of land (known as the dominant tenement) that permits the rightful users of that land to perform specified actions over an adjacent piece of land (known as the servient tenement). Probably the most commonly used easement is one that allows the underground services (water, drainage, gas, electricity, telephone and TV cables, etc) of one property to pass beneath the land of one or more neighbouring properties. Perhaps the most widely known easement is the private right of way.

Usually the "rightful user" I have referred to in the preceding paragraph is the owner of the dominant tenement. In the case of a private right of way it is anyone with a legitimate purpose for visiting the land (which could be the rightful owner, his immediate family who live there, any servants or staff who work there, anyone visiting the land for social or business or duty reasons). This explains why the postman (for example) may make use of the private right of way even though he does not own the dominant tenement.

An easement may be created "of necessity". Thus a piece of land will have a right of way of necessity over a road, track or path leading to it if that route is the only means of access between the public highway and the land."
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Old 19 August 2009, 14:12   #3
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What exactly is he going to sue you for?
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Old 19 August 2009, 14:33   #4
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What exactly is he going to sue you for?
Sounds a right nutter,maybe he'd prefer the type of noise and inconvieniance of the whole friggin chimney FALLING THROUGH HIS ROOF!! You do come across these people,they usualy lead dull mundane existances,thier only joy being TRYING to exersise [thier no doubt imagined authority in this case] over people going about thier own buisness!
Like Chewy said ,WHAT IS HE GOING TO SUE YOU FOR!
In my experiance the more you pander to this type of A-hole the worse he'll be!sounds like he needs 'educateing'.As far as legality,can't see how he can stop you!
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Old 19 August 2009, 14:46   #5
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It says in my Covernent that I have access to my neighbours properties for maintenace reasons irispective of what they think.

Perhaps you have a clause in yours too?
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Old 19 August 2009, 14:48   #6
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You have certain easement* rights to access your property - so he can't stop you. Why can't you access your chimney from your roof?
The problem is the whole chimney needs scaffolding to support his half if we only get our side fixed.
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Old 19 August 2009, 14:52   #7
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It says in my Covernent that I have access to my neighbours properties for maintenace reasons irispective of what they think.

Perhaps you have a clause in you're too?
We do. I really don't want this to escalate though-for other reasons like there may be a border dispute if he decides to get nasty.
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Old 19 August 2009, 15:06   #8
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We do. I really don't want this to escalate though-for other reasons like there may be a border dispute if he decides to get nasty.
Whats the problem then Nos,did'nt relise you were such a shrinking violet!ha!..just send Liz round she'll get it sorted!
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Old 19 August 2009, 15:16   #9
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Nos, The following applies in Scotland - I assume it (or something similar) applies in England too. I'm not a lawyer - so some of this is my interpretation.

Where properties share parts of a building for which they would be mutually responsible for repairs (including chimney stacks - as you can't fix 1/2 a chimney!) then the council can place a statutory notice on the owners requiring them to do the work, and the council will apportion the cost. If the work remains uncompleted within the required timescale the council can arrange for the work to be done and charged to the owners.

I assume the builder is saying he doesn't want to get involved as the other owner is obviously a tit and so will claim he broke tiles/caused damage even if he didn't - and he's got jobs he can do elsewhere without that sort of grief.
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Old 19 August 2009, 15:34   #10
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We do. I really don't want this to escalate though-for other reasons like there may be a border dispute if he decides to get nasty.
My take would then be as £30 niether here nor there,the border dispute may be the way he wants it to go, and now he got a reason..
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Old 19 August 2009, 16:48   #11
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I don't have a foggiest about the legalities of it.

But my advice is make up your mind about the other "boundary" issues and then take absolutely no crap from him. Load up with 00 and tell the prick if your chimney falls in on you, he'll be in the poorhouse, if he lives long enough. Most boundary issues are compounded by the victim being more civilised than the "causal" party.

I'm a loverly neighbour (having had heavy plant incursions from both sides). All quiet now.....
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Old 19 August 2009, 16:58   #12
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Stack

How big is this stack above the lead tray
bricks high times bricks per corse
and number of pots
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Old 19 August 2009, 17:23   #13
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How big is this stack above the lead tray
bricks high times bricks per corse
and number of pots
About 10-12 rows high, 4 pots. It's dark so can't count the rest!


The possible border dispute (which hasn't been mentioned yet) is an awkward one. Many years ago-about 15 at least from memory as it was before the previous owners to us bought the place-HE put a fence up for the old lady who lived here-but did it inside his borders by about 18".



Polwart-ta for that. Looks useful! Incidentally, it's 2 chimneys (4 pots) in one casement so unfortunately it IS possible to rebuild half the chimney-though the aforementioned total rebuild would be far preferrable.
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Old 19 August 2009, 17:25   #14
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What exactly is he going to sue you for?
I'd love to know-but the 'no win no fee' chasers will have a go at anything with blood in it.
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Old 19 August 2009, 17:26   #15
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I don't think he'd have a leg to stand on as he put the fence up and I know it might not be right in this case but I believe adverse posession comes into play after 12 years if you have maintained the land?
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Old 19 August 2009, 17:32   #16
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The possible border dispute (which hasn't been mentioned yet) is an awkward one. Many years ago-about 15 at least from memory as it was before the previous owners to us bought the place-HE put a fence up for the old lady who lived here-but did it inside his borders by about 18".
Interesting. You have 18" x whatever of his garden. You have a decision to make. Make peace over the chimney or give him the 18" back and tell him to fcuk off. Your call, really
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Old 19 August 2009, 17:35   #17
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Polwart-ta for that. Looks useful! Incidentally, it's 2 chimneys (4 pots) in one casement so unfortunately it IS possible to rebuild half the chimney-though the aforementioned total rebuild would be far preferrable.
ah but as I see it what the council would be most worried about is the whole lot falling down and hitting someone. I assume even if it were only your chimney that needed rebuilding then they would be able to serve statutory notice on him to allow that to happen - i.e. access to his roof etc. Not sure which dept actually deals with it but am sure building control would be able to point you in the right direction.
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Old 19 August 2009, 17:45   #18
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I don't think he'd have a leg to stand on as he put the fence up and I know it might not be right in this case but I believe adverse posession comes into play after 12 years if you have maintained the land?
I hope it's the case-but I really don't want to put it to the test!

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Interesting. You have 18" x whatever of his garden. You have a decision to make. Make peace over the chimney or give him the 18" back and tell him to fcuk off. Your call, really
This is my thinking too-the problem will be if he decides to be awkward as part of the 18" is concreted with footings and there's a dirty great tree on the original dividing line. I can't easily just give it back.

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ah but as I see it what the council would be most worried about is the whole lot falling down and hitting someone. I assume even if it were only your chimney that needed rebuilding then they would be able to serve statutory notice on him to allow that to happen - i.e. access to his roof etc. Not sure which dept actually deals with it but am sure building control would be able to point you in the right direction.
That's a good point. Besides, I can't see his house insurance paying out if both chimneys fall if he refuses access to fix them...
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Old 19 August 2009, 17:49   #19
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probably waiting for you to offer to pay the full cost, it might be worth offering if its only £30 sometimes a bottle of lubricant helps things along as well
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Old 19 August 2009, 17:50   #20
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Get on the roof one night and take a dump down his side of the stack.... I would.
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