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Thread: neighbours - who'd have them

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    neighbours - who'd have them

    With good neighbours you never get any trouble and as in my case when the fencing adjoining two neighbours needed replacing we all agreed a price. Andrea booked the contractor and we all paid our share - no problem.

    On the other hand my mother is in dispute with her neighbour about a roof that covers linked garages so it has to be treated as a single roof.

    There's nothing wrong with my mother's roof garage roof but her neighbour's half of the roof is leaking.

    Basically the joint roof needs replacing. My mother didn't want to part with £2k as her part of the garage roof is sound. As total communication has broken down I've stepped in to resolve the matter.

    The problem lies with my mum's neighbour who is known to agree to things but not contribute any money towards things despite the fact both he and his wife are in fairly well paid jobs.

    He wants my mum to commission the work which in effect means she will be responsible for the whole bill relying on him to pay his half as a goodwill gesture.

    What do you think I should suggest to ensure he pays up .

  2. #2
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    I would point out to him that it is his roof that is leaking, thus making him the more responsible party. If he does not agree to pay, in writing, then put it to him that you will pursue the matter legally. Sometimes the threat of legal action is enough. Another way maybe to contact your Mother's insurance company. They may write to the neighbour pointing out his responsibilities and stating that a claim could be made against him for repairs. I am not sure if they would do this, but it might be worth contacting them. Unfortunately with people like this, there is hardly ever an amicable way to settle things.
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  3. #3
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    Hmmmmmm, rather than your mum commissioning the work and being bound contractually, why not let the neighbour commission the work themselves? After all, as its the neighbours side of the joined roof which is leaking, let the neighbour with the problem roof come to YOUR mum, rather than the other way round. Just sit tight and do now't IMO.

  4. #4
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    I agree with IVB, but also take pictures of your mum's side of the roof to keep as evidence, just in case.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member acheron's Avatar
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    Hi LT I also agree with ivb but if your mum and neighbour do have the work done talk to the builders about having separate bills

    also has there been a survey of the roof it may be that it can be repaired without a full replacement and the neighbour is trying it on

    make sure you get a survey of your own done your mums neighbour sounds like a right piece of work so wouldn't just go on what he says

    good luck

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Thanks for advice folks.

    I know what kind of animal I'm dealing with because I did go around to house to see if we could come up with a sort of compromise agreement. At least he agrees that -

    - both roofs need re-roofing as one

    - as the joint cost of both roofs will exceed £4000 plus VAT eg £4800. The contractor can only give this estimate as he doesn't know what he'll find once the roof felt /coping stones are removed.

    - luckily I got her neighbour's mobile so I don't have to confront him in person now.

    - to try and get my mother to sign up with the roofer he keeps getting on the garage roofs and brushing dirty water over my mum's porch and front drive which is really upsetting her

    - when we got a flat roof specialists to check the roof out he took pictures of both roofs. This is when I discovered that the neighbour had deliberately emptied a bucket of soil on my mum's roof to mix with rain water and brush it over her front door/ porch. He's a nasty piece of works who is intent on making my parents lives a misery.

    Action I've told him
    - I've told him that I have 'power of attorney' over my father's bank and the only person he can deal with is me as I'm the only one who can authorise any payment. At least this has worked as he is no longer trying to bully, harass and intimidate my parents.

    - I've told him that if any more shit is shoved onto my parent's drive from the roof I'll report him to the Police for anti-social behaviour!

    - I've texted him to say we need to draw up a joint contract where both parties will only be responsible for payment of no more than 50% of the total. He's still coming off best as his kitchen roof joins onto his garage roof so my parents shouldn't really have to pay for that too - some hope!

    - He's not responded andd I've not even asked the contractor if he will accept this sort of contract. The way I see it if he refuses to pay then the contractor can take him to the small claims court.

    I feel like it's a game of poker and I'm hoping he will come around to the joint contract. It might be worth getting a solicitor to draft a contract out but then again I doubt he'll sign anything being a slippery character!

  7. #7
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    Light this is so simple, he isnt allowed on the roof even to check it out without your permission. As DW said party wall regs cover this. Speak to a party wall surveyor, he will tell you to sit tight, your neighbour cannot work on the roof or get it inspected by climbing on it even without your written permission, let alone have any work done, if he wants to repair his side he has to get a party wall surveyor who then approaches you and asks can they go up and do the work, you can then say yes, but only if you refelt my side of the roof, or yes but only if you replace the wooden joists etc., you are in the powerful position here, get what you can as he's such a pig teach him a lesson!

    Edited to add, contact your local community support officers, explain that you'd like to have a meeting etc., then at the meeting explain that you are worried about the bullying and the affect this is having on your ageing parents, get in there first but also get the professional advice so police dont feel you're messing them around, you need this twat to stop!
    Last edited by Boo-dicca; 27-07-13 at 18:45.

  8. #8
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    I have posted and it may appear later but just in case it doesnt get a party wall surveyor, the whole cost of this is his problem not yours, you're laughing!

  9. #9
    Senior Member firebird's Avatar
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    I know you can't do it but shoot him! I would love to have noooooooooo neighbours!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    I know a little bit about the history of the said garages. Before my parents moved in the house originally had a purpose built garage.nAt a later stage the previous neighbour must have been pally with each other as they used the single brick garage wall to add their own garage roof plus extended kitchen. It must have been a bit of a DIY job as there is no drainage outlets on their side - it relies on water escaping through outlets front and back of my parents garage so they've inherited a problem waiting to happen.

    I'm actually not going to actively do anything until next month as I want the neighbour to 'man up' and start to take ownership and responsibility.

    Two years ago my mother spent £200 on a survey that was sent to the neighbour! She didn't get a copy. I've been in touch with the secretary of the surveyor and she can't find the file - typical!
    So as you can see this has been an on off dispute for a few years so it seems. It all came to a head when the neighbour was sweeping soil off my mum's garage down her porch at the same time she was having a nervous breakdown with the pressure of looking after dad who has Alzeimers dissease.

    I got my dad into respite for a week and told mum to get away for a week and visit her sister in London. That's when I got involved.

    Can you believe it's throwing it down outside just after I'd sprinkled the water pots early evening/

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