Q.Approximately 18 months ago my roof was re-tiled. Today, my neighbour knocked on my door to state that he has a leaking roof and this is because he has some broken tiles, and is blaming my builder for doing this.
My builder stated he didn't go on the neighbours' roof at all. The neighbour is saying that we must pay for the damage. I feel we have done nothing wrong. What should be our course of action?
(K N, 11 September 2008)
Given that your builder denies even going onto your neighbour’s roof in the first place, the onus here is on your neighbour. He must be able to able to prove that your builder was the cause of his current roofing problems.
Broken tiles are often caused by bad weather - in particular, strong winds, hail or even heavy rain - or it might simply be a case that your neighbour’s tiles are quite old and that they’ve cracked under the strain caused by inclement weather over the years. On the other hand, your builder’s denials may just be a cover up. You are unfortunately stuck in the middle when deciding who to believe.
Who is to Blame?
However, the only way to have the matter resolved would be for you to suggest to your neighbour that they hire a buildings or roof surveyor to come out and inspect the damage. A professional eye would be able to tell whether or not the broken tiles could possibly have come about as the result of your builder’s activities, if it was more likely to be down to weather damage, or the fact that the tiles were old and needing replacing anyway.
Paying for these Checks
Your neighbour would be able to claim on his household insurance for the costs of this survey to be carried out. Should the surveyor’s findings prove that your builder was negligent then you have a couple of options. You can then either agree to pay for the damage to your neighbour's roof, or you can hire your own surveyor for a second opinion.
In cases where two surveyors may have different opinions, then you could either agree to split the costs of repairing the damage with your neighbour, or make a decision to jointly agree to appoint a third and final surveyor and to stand by their findings.
However, it should be re-emphasised that from the information you’ve supplied here, there is no evidence that you or your builder have been guilty of any wrong doing, so it really is up to your neighbour to prove otherwise.
Going to Court
Your neighbour could decide to take you to court, which should always be a last resort as it can be a very costly affair for both parties. Basically, it all very much depends on how you feel towards your neighbour. If the damage is relatively minimal, you might think it’s easier to suggest splitting the costs of the repairs, as a small financial outlay might mean less hassle all round and will help you to maintain good relations with your neighbour. However, until your neighbour proves any differently, you are under no obligation to pay for anything.
I'm desperately seeking some advice and help
I've recently bought my first home, and have since had a new kitchen fitted. The builder noticed damp in my kitchen coming in from my neighbours ajoining internal wall. I have spoke with my neighbour and he said that he does not have the money to fix this and has since been quite difficult to speak with about the matter. He did say he's more than happy for me to fix the problem but at my own cost.
So i have had a few builders come out and have a look at what is causing the damage to my internal walls and they have all said that my neighbours lack of maintenance on his outside wall has meant that over the years, water is getting in through the brickwork and thus causing damp in my kitchen. The mortar on his bricks have seen better days and you can clearly see where the water is getting in. He quite clearly has an issue with his house, you can see through his windows that his house is in complete disrepair which i sympathise with but knowing it is now causing damage to my property, it really is concerning me. He has damp all up his walls and it is that bad that now my walls are becoming damaged from the strain
What can i do? I have been quoted £1350 to fix the main issue but this issue is my neighbours ajoining external wall not mine that is allowing the water in? Therefore i feel so very upset that i have to pay for such work knowing it shouldnt be my problem. HELP
Els - 29-Dec-16 @ 3:03 PM
Hi, my neighbours have recently been getting an extension built which has caused no end of issues by the builders involved. Issues have been:-
* Removed our fence panels/supports without consent as part of agreement which resulted in me having to accept the new proposal.
* Damaged sewage pipe, but built over and didn't tell anyone. This resulted in my toilets blocking and got Thames Water involved. More on this to follow.
* Thames Water gave time frame for matter to be fixed with the consent of all parties. I was not part of this meeting, but builder claimed what was stated was work needed to be done my side to avoid ripping down the work they had done. I said I would agree if I had a written contract and time to review as involved my patio being lifted. That was a Saturday. By Sunday evening I had not received any paperwork so chased and got an email late saying they'll be round first thing to do work and gave price of slabs I didn't know was acceptable. I replied advising if I could go to an outlet to inspect what I could get with the price quoted then I'd confirm back straight away, but in meantime no work to commence. I get an email early doors on the Monday asking for work to start so I replied back stating once I had been to outlet as stated (actually planned to go that morning) then I would confirm, but again no work to start. Unfortunately this was not respected and the builders decided to rip my patio up anyway. This resulted in the police being called. I made the builders aware I would be calling. The builders came round and said as it's started now they might as well carry on to get the problem fix and acknowledged they acted without consent. I felt like I had to agree as was put in a no win situation.
* The work was completed with the pipe and advised by Thames Water was fixed.
* 2 weeks later and getting no responses from builders they finally call and I get verbal abuse down the phone stating they had a letter from the police and how dare I do this. I advised that call was made after patio was found ripped up and before they decided to come round. I also stated they knew I would be calling. I asked for written confirmation as a contract that my patio will be replaced and price would be no object within reason and got an email kind of to this effect. Was also agreed they would come over to discuss fully.
* Currently they have gone quiet again. A few days ago I received a letter from Thames Water saying the repair work was needed to be carried out so ran as stated I thought was completed. They advised not, so being a good neighbour I informed mine of what Thames Water told me and got a message back accusing me of putting delays in. Luckily I misread and thought they accused Thames Water so gave them references etc... I was on the phone all day whilst at work to sort out and came to light no-one had updated Thames Water records and they sent someone out to start work though the letter I received said no work would start unt
DH - 15-Oct-16 @ 10:24 AM
Hi can someone I advise me I live in a downstairs flat I came home from work one day to find aninvoice for work done to the shared roof.I knocked on my upstairs neighbour door and asked if they knew anything about it they said yes they noticed that the guttering and roof needed repaired so they instructed the company to do the work and that was my share of the bill I said I should of been informed or at least have a say in which company did the work or even get my own independent quote first they said no as it affected them more than me and I had 14 days to pay the invoice I phoned the company and explained I hadn't agreed to the work and they said they would extend my payment share to 21 days- help where do I go from here now
chelle - 1-Sep-16 @ 7:48 AM
I live in a block of flats and both myself and the leaseholder in the flat above are currently having renovation work done. On the first day that my renovation started, my builders accidentally turned on the water to the flat above (which had no one in it, and the pipes for the two flats run parallel to each other). By doing so, they caused a substantial leak from the flat above, through our flat and into the flat below causing damage to both properties.
In this situation, who is likely to be liable? The leaseholder above or his contractors, who had not capped their plumbing work, or myself/my contractors who had no idea that there was plumbing work being done in the above flat and were not sure which pipe was associated with which flat?
Further, how would we go about trying to remedy the situation - buildings insurance is provided by the freeholder, contents insurance is the responsibility of the leaseholder.
Mike - 25-Aug-16 @ 2:02 PM
In March 2015 our neighbour had a fence put up between our properties at the front of the house. There had never been a fence there before it consisted of two panels of fencing. June 3rd 2016 we came home to find a workman employed by this neighbour who is a builder had taken the fence out and had taken our block paving up.Husband said what are you doing the worker said your paving is over the boundary line. And the house owner wants a gate in the side way and in order to fit a gate I need to fit another fence panel then put the original two fencing panels back.He went on I am a professional and when I have finished you will not know I have been here. Beside the point on this day my husband was very unwell since diagnosed with food poisoning and in no state to do anything. I went out to look when this worker had gone home and our paving had been left in a terrible state and a holly bush that went between our two properties had been hacked to death. The worker never came back to do anymore. Then next this neighbour was spraying his back garden fence and we ended up with fence stain all over our plants patio table chairs. We have trees not the over hanging type that project 3ft in height above the 6ft 6in fence between us he had even sprayed these trees right to the very top so we know this was done on purpose. When approached by husband he said get off my property.We have had a Solicitors letter sent and when going out yesterday he saw us and called out see you in court. We have all photos of before and after this damage was done. What does one sue on in a case like this?We have told our Solicitor we will sue him our self if he does not make good the damage as being pensioners their costs would be too high to take this to court for us being on a fixed income.Any further advice welcome.
doglover - 10-Jul-16 @ 7:56 PM
Hello!I am reaching out for some advise on a neighbor situation I have been experiencing.I live in a coop I purchased 11 years ago.I had great neighbors for the last 8 years and they have sold their coop.Now I inherited an individual who has some type of mental issues.He slams things around the apartment and I feel and hear everything in my apartment.I don't know when to expect it so I walk around on egg shells and edgy all the time.It is affecting my quality of life and most of the time I don't want to go home.This person does not work so I can't even take a day off because I prefer to go to work than to be home knowing he is there.I have spoken to the Property Manager and to the Board and I have been informed that it is hard to proof noise problems when your neighbor is right next door.I have spoken to his aunt and uncle who actually purchased the apartment and they placed rugs in the entire apartment but it is more complicated than just installing rugs.They are not revealing any information on his actual condition so I am afraid to confront him.I am at my wits end and I don't really want to sell my place as I have a good ten years before retirement.What are my resources? What are my actual rights? Any advise is much appreciated.
Ivy - 13-Apr-16 @ 7:09 PM
Roofer came to dismantle our chimney while we were a short break.Offered him a key, he declined.Plan was to replace chimney with a flue and seal up neighbours chimney, (which we are paying for as she has no money).Came home to find the flue snapped off the log burner, log burner has major mishapen hole and is now rendered useless.Roofer will return to fit the new flue, shouldn't he offer to repair or replace the log burner ? Feeling this may become an issue :(
snowy - 24-Mar-16 @ 1:14 PM
Boobuloo - Your Question:
Hello, we live in a ground floor maisonette and our neighbour is having building work done on their upstairs maisonette. This has involved attaching new gas pipes and water pipes to the outside of our property (in order to reach theirs.) in doing this they have drilled holes to attach brackets into "our" walls. They did not inform us that this work was going to be happening and I was just wondering if this was alright for them to do this? I wasn't sure whether we should have been issued with a party wall agreement or at least be notified, as it changes the appearance of the front of our property and could affect the rendering on the outside of the house. Thank you
A party wall notice should usually be given ifthe work might have any possible structural consequences (e.g strength & support) for the party wall. If you're happy with the brackets being there and the neighbours agree to repair any additional damage, then you can usually resolve this between you.
ProblemNeighbours - 1-Sep-15 @ 11:19 AM
Hello, we live in a ground floor maisonette and our neighbour is having building work done on their upstairs maisonette. This has involved attaching new gas pipes and water pipes to the outside of our property (in order to reach theirs.) in doing this they have drilled holes to attach brackets into "our" walls. They did not inform us that this work was going to be happening and I was just wondering if this was alright for them to do this?I wasn't sure whether we should have been issued with a party wall agreement or at least be notified, as it changes the appearance of the front of our property and could affect the rendering on the outside of the house.
Boobuloo - 31-Aug-15 @ 3:23 PM
I have a new build property which was built by a contractor, in building they have dug out some virgin ground on my neighbours side who i purchased my land from, the adjoining land owner neighbour says i am liable for my builders actions even though i told the builder not to do anything without the land owners permission in writing,the builder has acknowledged to the land owner his error and has agreed to put the material back correctly.
Am i liable for this or is the builder - Please advise?
The adjoining neigbour is also saying the house has been built in the wrong place by the builder and he says i am liable for this aswell, he is trying to bully me into buying the plot that the builder has encroached onto, even though he agreed to a boundary line in writing and the house is within this. He is trying to get me to build a wall to hold the foundations for the next plot and says i have to do this even though i dont have anything in legal writing to say i need to do this - can you please help and advise?
myhouse - 29-Jun-15 @ 9:10 PM
Please help. I live in a terrace house on the end, my next two neighbourrs have had work done on their gutters. Prior to this I had the gutter repaird as there was a leak. The leak was rectified and was not leaking before the work was done. Since the work has been done, the window is leaking. I have had this checked by the people who did the original repair and they have advised me that the gutter has droppedpossibly due to the vibrations from work being done on the neighbouring houses.
I have contacted the company who did the work and they have not replied to my question- asking them to come and look and rectify the problem. I have gone back and told them this - but still no reply. I now want to take this a step further as I have been in contact for 3 weeks and still not had a suitable answer.
How do I take it further?
leaking window - 24-Jun-15 @ 8:46 PM
I've just noticed a hole in my garage roof.. My nieghbour has had a tree cut down between our garages, two weeks ago.. I've just asked him if he knew about the hole. He said he knew about a bit on the side, and has some glue to restore it!! I've told him the hole is in the middle.. He is out side at the moment trying to repair it.. But I know it won't work.. I said the tree surgeon would be insured, but he said the guy was doing him a favour!!! Is my nieghbour liable for the cost of repair??
Harvey - 5-Oct-14 @ 1:16 PM
The tenant of one of the flats next door to me blames my roofer for damage to his new car. It has a scratch on bonnet and tenant says my roofer has thrown something down and it has scratched his car. My roofer flatly denies this allegation. The tenant texted his landlord who then came round to ask what we were going to about it as he believes that roofer did do damage. We said that he must talk to the roofer. The tenant spoke to roofer who still says it has nothing to do with him. The landlords wife then came round and said that she is going to tell her tenant to claim on roofers indemnity insurance or failing that will claim on my buildings insurance. I am retired and don't want any trouble but will I be taken to court? I am really worried.
Worried pensioner - 10-Sep-14 @ 6:42 PM
Our neighbour is getting there roof retiled and walls roughcasted now roofers have gone to far and came into our roof we told them and they took it back a bit but not far enough the edge up wall should be dead in line with edge of roof as we can see by other houses recently done we have told them this but they dont listen what can we do
mary - 24-May-14 @ 2:15 PM
recently my mam had to have her conservatory roof repaired by her workman they were doing new guttering and broke some panels after a few irrated phone calls they patched it up but now neighbours had some scaffolding put up and dropped a plank of heavy wood on my mams roof and broke it in a couple of places she saw this and asked them what they are going to do about it they said accidents happen and the roof is brittle if they don't take responsibility to mend it are the home owners responsible who never came to see my mam I had to go and talk to them thanks
scooby - 25-Jan-14 @ 5:17 PM
I had my roof retiled two and a half years ago by a local registered roofer , my neighbour has just sent me a letter claiming that there is a hole near the adjoining chimney that is allowing water to penetrate his internal walls , he claimed he had experts to verify this even though I was not given any of his experts written findings , his roof tiles are old and uneven in places .
I have told him to contact the roofer who carried out the work on my roof
who is liable?
longun1966 - 2-Oct-13 @ 8:16 PM
Our neighbour employed a contractor to replace his tiled roof.We have a one storey extension with a flat, felted roof.The neighbours contractor came onto our flat roof and broke some of our tiles on a lower roof and then concreted a hip, completely on our side of the boundary, directly onto the felted roof.When we realised what he had done, we asked the contractor to remove the hip from our roof and replace the tiles he had broken.The contractor refused to do either.He said it would cost him money to do what we requested.We have been in touch with the Guild of Master Craftsmen but who is responsible for the damage?Is it our neighbour or the contractor? We asked an independent roofer for a survery and he said that what the neighbours contractor had done was wrong and would cause us problems in the future when we tried to maintain our flat roof or even when we replaced the tiles that the neighbours contractors had broken.
Kitkat - 19-Jun-13 @ 12:20 PM
My neighbour who has caused us a lot of problems in the past (late night parties ,reversing van up grassed area of the walk etc,issuing threats to us when we reported him for this) has built a monstrosity in his back garden right up against the fence that seperates our garden and his, its on a angle that when it rains it will flood into our back garden as he has a corrugated iron roof , i am really worried about this as there doesn't appear to be any drainage,guttering etc , (he could of built it the other way and affected noone ) what can i do its about 20ft x 7ft . I know if i mention this he will yet again either go for me or attack me again but our property foundations might get affected ....
saviour1263 - 26-May-13 @ 7:57 PM
A couple of months ago we had a new glass room fitted to our sun room, the glass has a self cleaning coating. Our neighbour's employed a company that put a weather proof coating on their roof, the process involved pressure washing their roof which coated our glass roof with debris including grit and cement particles. This debris is ingrained on the glass and even with the heavy rain recently has not come off. Our roof came with a 10 year warranty which the company who installed it would not guarantee if the coating is damaged by trying to clean the grit off it. We have been in dialogue with the company who were employed to put the coating on (they sub-contracted the work to another company)the roof and currently they are not prepared to replace the roof. They have had a number of cleaning companies visit and meet with the glass installation company rep and they all refuse to give a guarantee ifthe cleaning does not work. We are now at an impasse and are getting very frustrated, legally do we continue to deal with company who our neighbour employed, the sub-contractor or our neighbour direct - who is liable for the damage?