When it comes shared facilities with neighbours, there are usually two key issues: who will foot the bill for repairs which affect more than one property; and who is responsible for the general maintenance and upkeep of shared amenities, such as apartment blocks or flats.
Dealing with Repairs
In most cases where a repair job is needed that affects your own and a neighbour’s property - a shared fence having blown down, for example - the cost of the repair will usually be a simple matter of both parties paying half each. However, if there is a Dispute Over Boundary Lines, it’ll usually boil down to looking at house deeds and other legal documents pertaining to your property to try to establish whose responsibility it is to pay for any repairs.
That said, it’s often not as clear cut as you might wish, so it’s always better to try to share the costs equally or at least to make some kind of compromise about sharing a proportion of the costs, as opposed to Taking Legal Action which can often prove more expensive.
Problems with drains and gutters on a roof can even throw up more problems in that, quite often, it can involve several parties, especially if you live in terraced housing or within a block of flats. In this situation, if you are able to identify that the source of the problem is due to someone’s negligence, you are quite within your rights as an individual, or collectively where it’s appropriate, to make this person foot the bill entirely themselves.
Examples might be where someone has blocked the main drain by putting items down their own drain, or problems where gutters have been affected on more than one property because of one person’s failure to keep their own gutters clean. Of course, they might deny being solely responsible or even accept they’re to blame at all.
In that event, you may need to seek the advice of experts within the appropriate field to inspect the damage and to see if they are able to identify the cause of the problem which has ensued. If they’re not able to do that, you’d obviously have difficulty in proving any case in court, so you might have to end up sharing the cost of repairs anyway.
Maintenance Of Shared Facilities
If you live in student accommodation or an apartment block, you will probably have to bear some responsibility to the maintenance and general upkeep of any shared facilities. This might include cleaning a shared kitchen or bathroom/shower room facility after you have used it.
People living in apartment blocks may have a small garden area to maintain and it might be that you either take turns in making sure the garden is looking tidy and mowed in the summer. Alternatively, you might decide to club together and employ a gardener or odd job man to do this. Or, in some cases, one of you might decide to take full responsibility for the upkeep of shared facilities and be paid by the rest of the residents who will benefit from your efforts.
Even if you own your own property, if it’s semi-detached, you’ll also bear some responsibilities in sharing the maintenance of things like a dividing fence or mowing a lawn where the garden is not divided by a fence.
It’s also important to remember that if you are living in rented accommodation, the onus for certain repairs and maintenance is very likely to be the responsibility of your landlord, local authority/council or housing association. In this situation, it’s important to check your tenancy agreement to see who is responsible for what before shelling out on any repairs or maintenance, as it might not be your responsibility.
I own a drive tgat my neighbour has a right of access over, there is a covernant in both sets of deeds saying that the owner of the property that has the access must pay half of the maintenance costs. The driveway is in a bad way and needs replacing. My neighbour is refusing to pay their share of having the drive relaid. What are my options?
Mitch - 28-Jul-23 @ 2:03 PM
I inherited my fathers semi detached house thats in a four block of semi detached properties. It has a shared freehold but no management company just my father was company director and didn’t charge the other owners anything just filed the accounts every year with Companies House as its registered as a dormant company. Every owner has a £1 share in the freehold thats shared 8 ways. As there are two blocks = 8 semi detached houses. They all independently pay their own building’s insurance. And there is no insurance for the external grounds ( the carpark) The house is on the market and we had a buyer, but they pulled out because they wasn’t happy that the freehold was not set up as a management company where all the freeholders paid into an account for any future potential repairs to the common areas. For instance if the guttering or roof needs repair the homeowner pays for it themselves if its on their property, so on so forth.
Has anyone else come across this before? As the house is back on the market and we don’t want this to be a reoccurring issue. Splitting the properties into variable leases and losing the shared freehold is not an option. As a its lengthy/ B it would run into thousand of pounds to do so/ C some of the homeowners wouldn’t agree as they are happy with the current arrangement. And its ran ok for the past 37 years without issues.
Any advice would be appreciated!
Lee - 30-Apr-22 @ 7:34 PM
We are four freeholders and leaseholders. I live in Flat 1. The owner of Flat 2 is unwilling to pay his share towards maintenance either because he deems the jobs that have been carried out at the property "unnecessary" or because he says that he hasn't got the money.
When I moved in two years ago, the place was a proper tip. We have now decorated the hallway, repaired the broken brick wall, painted the piers, cut down the overgrown weeds, and we have even moved the satellites at the rear of the property.
As a result of his denial to contribute, we have ended up paying his share and now he owes us ca. £1300. We have sent him three emails saying that we would be happy if he could pay us back before he sells his flat but he hasn't agreed to it. Also, we now have a new owner in Flat 3 and we have asked him to agree that from now on, we will be going 4 ways on everything -he hasn't agreed to that either.
The owner of Flat 4 prefers sitting on the fence and he avoids confrontation with him so basically, I am on my own trying to find out what my legal rights are.
Any advice will be very much appreciated.
Thank you in anticipation.
Ira - 17-Mar-22 @ 9:50 AM
I have joint freehold of a property which has been let out by both landlords
I own the upstairs flat and the issue is that the roof needs replacing - the other landlord refuses to take my calls or to pay towards the roof - I have had this roof repaired at least twice but it needs replacing
what are my options - does the downstairs landlord have to pay half towards the roof replacement?
Manjeet - 30-Aug-21 @ 1:41 PM
I own a four in a block flat and the roof and gutters need replacing but my neighbor upstairs says he's not interested . can I get it fixed and make him payhalf from the small courts
Maureen - 15-Aug-21 @ 8:05 PM
We are three of us on block. on ground 1 person leave on flat has his own door and his flat is the size of my flat and next door neighbour and we are right above her, on the roof there is a hatch right above my kitchen and this hatch is broken when it rains I get rain water right through into my kitchen I went to the attic the access is in stairwell I saw the leak coming from the roof hatch, I don’t own the attic or the roof it is not in my deeds. And the neighbours don’t want to share the cost of repairs.
Ni - 16-Jun-21 @ 8:29 PM
We have a shared valley gutter between ours and the neighbours roof. We repaired the gutter on our side when we moved in as the then occupants of the adjacent property were selling and didn't want to share costs. The newocvupantsnow want to replace the whole thing but our side doesn't leak. Do we have to pay for half?
Barb - 5-May-21 @ 3:11 PM
Hello, I live in a semi- detached house.
The day after I put my property up for sale my attached neighbour came round stating that he needs to re-render his side of a shared chimney stack and that I legally need to declare this to the new owners as what he was really asking was for me to pay half. He used the word ‘dispute’ but I have not received anything in writing and there have been no issues as my chimney is in good order. I looked this up and it states that I do not need to do anything to my side of the chimney if I do not wish as I am responsible for my side of the chimney and he is responsible for his. Do I need to declare this in the sales documents?
Siani - 19-Apr-21 @ 6:54 AM
I have a communal gate and it needs repairing,can I ask my neighbours to contribute anything towards the cost
Loobyloo - 2-Apr-21 @ 11:29 AM
Hi, we agreed with our neighbours about ten year ago to split a shared path leading to our properties. We have since had one new set of neighbours who never mentioned it. We now have new neighbours who have stated to us that it is shared land. Not sure what their intentions are but wondered where we stood with this.
Lou - 24-Feb-21 @ 2:59 PM
I allowed my neighbours builder to come onto my land to repair his roof the builder out his foot though my out house which is attached to his garage He has reroofed it & sent me a bill do l have to pay
Boo - 22-Jan-21 @ 10:59 AM
I live in a four in a block house. I need to a new roof badly. My neighbour downstairs from me said he will contribute. But through the wall is a council tenant in one flat and the other house is a private let. The guy who owns the flat doesn't want to know. So my question is. Can my downstairs neighbour and I re new our half of the roof. Is this legal
Linda - 27-Dec-20 @ 11:29 PM
I live in a row of property s (3) we all share a septic tank situated on my neighbours property. She has become tyrannical about this septic tank organising unnecessary works/ obsessive emptying etc.She issues bills for her activities ( we have always gladly paid our share for emptying) one neighbour refuses to pay towards the septic tank stating he only uses it as a holiday cottage (9 months of the year). These bills are quite substantial the last one being £2000. (£6000 total). Several times a year my partner unblocks the drains due to the misuse by the neighbours and it has never occurred to us to charge but I feel with my elderly neighbours bizarre demands a more formal agreement should be in place, please advisex
Nell - 6-Dec-20 @ 7:39 AM
I have a shared drive with 2 neighbours and has not been maintained since it was installed approximately 40 years ago.
The drive is on my neighbours property and from the deeds I identified that the drive was moved when the neighbor bought the land from the council.
The drive was not installed correctly in my opinion as there is a steep drop from the public footpath.
The previous owner also installed a wall restricting the turning circle.
These factors have contributed to the erosion of the surface and the subsurface.
The new owners are asking a 3rd of the cost for sorting out the drive that comes to approximately £3000.
I have been reluctant and have offered £250 towards the resurfacing but only after the issues I have identified are rectified.
They are now talking about setting up a 'shared driveway agreement' and identified this will be more costly in the long run.
Can anyone advise me of my rights.
Phil - 21-Oct-20 @ 3:45 PM
I live in a semi detached house and my neighbour has had their gutters changed, they used to be a continuous gutter, like all the other houses around the area, but they had their half separated from our side. Now both gutteres drip, who’s responsible for putting this right.
Malcj - 5-Oct-20 @ 12:52 PM
I own the ground floor flat of a converted house. The owner to the first floor flat rents out the property and hasn't lived there for several years.The communal entrance hall is in dire need of decorating and a new carpet.She is resisting making any contribution to this upgrade.Is she legally obliged to pay something within reasonable costs?
Buffy - 30-Sep-20 @ 6:18 PM
I own the ground floor flat of a converted house.The landlady upstairs rents out the first floor flat and hasn't lived there for several years.The communal entrance hallway is in dire need of an upgrade, new carpet and decorating. The front door to her flat is splintered and buckled.She is resisting making any financial contribution to improve the area.Is she legally obliged to contribute within reasonable costs?
Buffy - 30-Sep-20 @ 6:16 PM
My terraced cottage has a shared door attached to the property as access to a house behind and our garden. The neighbours behind have painted the door a different colour to our cottage which looks odd. Our deeds say the acces is a joint facility....who therefore chooses the colour?
Gem - 5-Jan-19 @ 4:14 PM
We have a problem with our guttering and downpipe. 3 properties rely on our downpipe and builders that we've got to look at the problem say this is no longer sufficient - with heavy rain patterns - and that at least one of our neighbours should get one installed.
Additionally, the guttering is all connected, so they have advised that if we get our gutting replaced and a new downpipe (with wider head probably) this will mean that our two adjoining neighbours will also need new guttering in order to attach to our downpipe. The existing guttering is an older less efficient style, that we'd like to replace after numerous problems. Advice please!
Sarah - 1-Oct-18 @ 2:50 PM
Is maintenance of a shared roof valley (box gutter connecting two semi-detached houses) between adjoining terraced houses the joint responsibility of both owners, even if water ingress only affects one property. Does maintenance of the roof valley fall under the Party Wall Act. In my circumstances, the valley is in a poor state of repair and requires replacing as there is water ingress affecting my property my neighbour is not really approachable so I don't know if her property is also affected. The gully needs replacing. My question is because it is a shared gully is my neighbour responsible for half of the cost of repair? 2 quotes have come in around £1,200.. how would I go about securing her part of the cost? bearing in mind she is very passive aggressive and does not respond well to any requests? How would i write a letter that approaches this? Thanks in advance
QuestionsQuestions - 21-Aug-18 @ 12:22 PM
Leah3110 - Your Question:
I also have a problem related to the open plan design front of house on a new build. As I look out of my front door, at each side of the drive are strips of land, and whilst I have maintained the left side, the adjoining neighbours to my right have failed to maintain and of the right side, it looks awful and completely ruins the outlook with grass and weeds over a foot high, their rear garden is equally as bad but not visible due to 5ft fencing. Do I report them to housing again or maintain it myself as I’m apparently responsible for half of it?
Is it a housing association or council property? Then yes, report to the relevant landlord - your neighbours are probably contravening their tenancy agreement. If it's a private development, there may be a company that oversees the area still...get in touch with them. If not,there may be not much you can do really. (Private legal action possibly?)
ProblemNeighbours - 23-May-18 @ 3:36 PM
I also have a problem related to the open plan design front of house on a new build.
As I look out of my front door, at each side of the drive are strips of land, and whilst I have maintained the left side, the adjoining neighbours to my right have failed to maintain and of the right side, it looks awful and completely ruins the outlook with grass and weeds over a foot high, their rear garden is equally as bad but not visible due to 5ft fencing.
Do I report them to housing again or maintain it myself as I’m apparently responsible for half of it?
Leah3110 - 23-May-18 @ 9:12 AM
Mira - Your Question:
I live in freehold flat with four other neighbors. There is common secluded forecourt.The neighbour on the first floor has installed CCTV. There has never been incidents of crime. I feel that I have been spied on. Does he have a right to do so?
Check with the building management company if you have one...they should be the ones erecting any CCTV in communal areas and should inform all other residents that it's there. If they can't do anything talk to the neighbour and say you would rather they didn't place CCTV in the communal areas. If the neighbour doesn't agree, refer to them to the right of an individual to have their private life and information protected detailed in the Human Rights Act.
ProblemNeighbours - 15-May-18 @ 10:57 AM
I live in freehold flat with four other neighbors. There is common secluded forecourt.
The neighbour on the first floor has installed CCTV. There has never been incidents of crime.
I feel that I have been spied on. Does he have a right to do so?
Mira - 11-May-18 @ 8:48 AM
We residents have converted a 25 meter long dirty garbage black-spot in Bangalore into a flower garden. This drastically reduced the garbage dumping to just 5-10%.
But the remaining garbage dumping is going to attract a tendency to dump more in future. We residents are planning to put a cctv camera as we cannot guard the area fulltime.
Please inform if there is any legal issues in covering this public area with CCTV. We got permission from an adjacent building owner to install the camera on his 2nd floor wall. Please advice.
Prabhath - 13-Jan-17 @ 6:26 AM
i noted that somebody else called Doreen has same problem as myself ....neighbour filling joint access with bikes and junk...we both own are properties so who do I complain to?he also has on average 7/8 cars filling the street ,,,which he then sells.i,m at my wits end...my garden has been ruined with cat faeces....tom cats pee in my porch...he lets his females have litter after litter.i have 5 of his cats.. unsold feral cats sitting on my shed roof at any time I,m cooking....he told me he can get £30 a kitten....what can I do please help
dee - 16-Oct-16 @ 2:34 PM
My neighbour spread ridiculous untrue gossip about me when I starteda new job. I think this was done on facebook. However, my present problem is that I think she is sometimeswatching me via some type of 'indetectable' surveillance that her ex RAF son in law set up. I started to think this when I walked out and noticed 2 new holes in wooden fence and a voice saying "there she is, she's got no shoes on" and later when I was indoors a comment on what I was doing! My garden is small and leafy and has a 5-6ft fence around it.
Fiore - 13-Jul-16 @ 1:13 PM
my neighbours above me has put 3 cctv cameras up they are over a comuneral area I and my friends are being watched everytime I go out or my friends come to see me , being disabled I need people to come and help me with things . can I ask the police to look at where they are positionedwe live in a ground floor flat , even my grand children come hear , im also 65 yrs old and don't want people spying on me, what could be my next move.
jeanybabe - 28-Mar-16 @ 2:58 PM
I caught my neighbour training their dog to jump at the fence and bark when we are near the garden fence, it a part of the garden we use a lot especially in the summer. On numerous occasion I’ve ask then to stop training the dog to jump at the fence as its fighting my grandchildren. I also report this to the police whom visit them but they continuing to train the dog to jump at the fence. I put up cctv to stop this which it as but they complain that I am taping them. The cctv only pick up a tiny part of a corner, about 10in over the fence The fact that they are training the dogs to be aggressive to us, I am scared for myself and my grandchildren if the dog take our scent of us and attack us while we are outside. I refuse to move until I find out more, the police say we can put up a camera with microphone to record their voices. What is worse? What’s my right?
marymary - 24-Mar-16 @ 5:20 PM
My neighbourhas scratched my car on a number of occasions, I have seen them myself couple of time, when I have informed to the police they said it is my word against them, I have to install CCTV at the front and back of my house this CCTV also cover some of my neighboursback and front garden. area, the reason is purely to protect my property form them and in case of any future incidence we must be able to know where the suspect has gone.
Is their any action I need to take to cover myself legally