Issues due to neighbour extension in a semi-detached house

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Issues due to neighbour extension in a semi-detached house

    I live in a semi-detached house rented privately through a letting agent. Our neighbours recently started construction work on their extension. As part of the extension, they removed part of the party wall (I assume) between the two properties and constructed their single story extension which is right on the boundary. It was a solid wall which went half-way through the garden and the new construction replaced a section of the old wall but didn't join the old wall and there is about a foot left between the two walls. They have installed guttering on our side of the wall which joins the downpipe which is in the space between the two walls. I have noticed their side is slightly higher than our side and the opening of the downpipe is right on the edge of our side, lower than their ground.

    I was initially concerned by the location of the downpipe because I thought any excess rainwater will come over to our side in case of any blockages as it is lower than their side. However they recently installed what looks to be the waste pipe of the kitchen, used by the kitchen sink and maybe dishwasher or washing machine as water comes gushing out of it in regular intervals throughout the day. That waste pipe isn't connected to anything, is just placed over the top of the opening for the downpipe but because it is coming there at an angle instead of vertically, half of the water that comes out of it flows over to our side. Once the water recedes, we can see food leftovers in that area.

    We have had a lot of issues during the construction. When the wall was removed, it was left as an empty trench for a couple of weeks. When the wall eventually went up, the area attached to our side wasn't properly cleaned up as we had a hedge in that area. The space between the walls was left uncovered which was regularly used by the builders to cross over to our side and only covered with a temporary piece of wood when they didn't need to cross over. That wood fell down a few times in the wind and I complained about it to the landlord via the letting agency because I have a 4 year old son and I didn't want the piece of wood to fall over him when he was playing around. The piece of wood was moved over to the other side and tied to something which meant it didn't fall easily but the builders still removed it time to time when they wanted access to our area without informing us. One day when the wood was removed, the neighbours dog came through the gap and followed my wife inside the house into the bedroom. My wife suffers from Cynophobia and is afraid of dogs even in park but had a panic attack when it followed her inside the house. I informed the neighbours about it and requested them to cover the area and they said they will do something about it. We then noticed the problem with the downpipe/waste pipe and informed the landlord who eventually told us that he talked to the neighbours and it will be sorted out soon. It has been a week since I informed the landlord about the issue although the waste pipe itself is there since about 3 weeks ago.

    We didn't have much interaction with the neighbours during our time here and although not very close but we did say hi to each other whenever we saw each other so I thought we were at good terms but I am surprised by their behaviour throughout the construction work. We were not informed about their plans and didn't have much advance notice before the work started. We didn't complain about anything during the construction despite the noise and builders music during almost the 4 months of construction work. We didn't receive a single word of thank you during all that time nor a sorry for dog episode.

    I am not sure whether the neighbours are serious about doing the work as how can anyone install the waste pipe in such a way without considering where the water will go? The location of the downpipe is also questionable as I thought it should be on the neighbours side so that they can maintain it in case of blockages etc but it should be more of a concern for the landlord. I am not sure why the landlord is not concerned about it though as I thought he should have been concerned about the location of the downpipe, the overhanging boundaries and the uneven surface left behind after the removal of the hedge. But while the construction on boundary it isn't my concern really, I am disgusted by the fact that neighbours kitchen waste is coming over to our side which my neighbour isn't concerned about and my landlord isn't doing anything about it. I have emailed the letting agent about the situation with pictures but all they say is they have informed the landlord and the landlord has talked to the neighbours and everything will be sorted soon. What options do I have apart from moving out which we don't want to really as the property is otherwise in a good location and acceptable condition?

    #2
    Was sat unapproved for a while
    I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

    Comment


      #3
      I think you need to contact your local council. Can you see the end of the neighbour's pipe? If so, stick an extension on it to divert the waste water into their garden.

      edit: can you confirm that the extension is of a permanent nature? ie not a wooden construction.

      Comment


        #4
        I agree the council is the place to start. Presumably they haven't applied building regs as the water should go into a drain. Environmental health might be worth a try if the council aren't helpful. Or a potato wedged up the pipe 😁 (yes, it's tongue in cheek).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
          I think you need to contact your local council. Can you see the end of the neighbour's pipe? If so, stick an extension on it to divert the waste water into their garden.

          edit: can you confirm that the extension is of a permanent nature? ie not a wooden construction.
          If you can see the end of the pipe I would stick something in to not divert the water flow back over my property to theirs, but I would stick something in to stop the water flow altogether. They would soon notice what they did.

          But to be fair i would speak to them directly first - have you actually done so, or have you gone straight to your landlord with this? Maybe your neighbours have no idea what dodgy job their builders have done?

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for all the responses. There was a twist in the story today when the neighbour came over to inform us that they were planning to erect a fence. We asked them if they were planning to fix the pipes first and they said 'what pipes' so we showed them the issue and the waste and they said they were not aware of it. When we informed the letting agents last week, they said they had informed the landlord and that the landlord has talked to the neighbour and that they would be fixing it soon so we were surprised when the neighbour said they did not know about any of that. I don't know what to make up of that, there is definitely a communication gap somewhere but not sure why the landlord or the letting agents would tell us that they talked to the neighbour when they didn't or the neighbour denying that they knew about it if the landlord did talk to them.

            Anyways, they say they have sorted out the kitchen drainage and have erected a fence on our side to cover the gap and the downpipe so our immediate issue is resolved hopefully. Due to the fence erected on our side, I cannot see clearly what they have done but as they haven't moved the downpipe, I suspect it could be a potential issue in future if there are any blockages but we cannot do much with it now as tenants and the landlord is not interested in any of it for whatever reason.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Effell View Post
              but we cannot do much with it now as tenants
              I think you can still contact the council to say you have concerns that the work does not conform to building regulations and to request that they come and have a look..

              Comment


                #8
                OK, so what I thought might help (actually talking to the neighbours directly) seems to have helped.

                Why would the agents tell you they spoke with the landlord and he resolves it? So you go away. For now. And they can deal with the next thing. Typical ‘customer services’ behaviour. I’d wager a bet the landlord isn’t at all aware about any of this. Or if he is he simply doesn’t care (which is hard to believe, if it was me and someone would encroach onto my property I would be all over it).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MdeB View Post

                  I think you can still contact the council to say you have concerns that the work does not conform to building regulations and to request that they come and have a look..
                  Give this a go for sure, i also agree that as a LL ((if i knew )) i would very interested indeed, this is MY asset and i would not allow any taking of land or for my land to be used as a waste disposal unit, your LL is in real danger of losing a good tenants, a very stupid thing to do in the current climate, I would speak to all parties directly (taking out the letting agent who may not be very good), and as with the neighbours you may get the bottom of this and sort it out, but the building control dept and environmental dept of the council would be top of my list.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I think it's more likely LA has none nothing at all and LL knows nothing about it. Perhaps you could tell him?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you for the suggestions. Although the neighbour did something with the pipe so the water isn't flowing here directly but I am not convinced that's been fixed properly as he was only concerned about the angle of the pipe and not the fact that it wasn't going underground. He seems to have done it himself yesterday evening so it might still start dripping when food leftovers or leaves cover up the drain opening mesh on the ground. As it is now covered with a fence, I cannot see clearly whats been done.

                      In my previous interactions with the neighbours about issues, they seemed to agree with us about the issues initially but nothing much happened afterwards which is why I started informing the landlord instead as I thought our words may not have the desired effect being tenants and also to carry out our obligation of informing the landlord about any potential issues. However the landlord or letting agents don't seem to care which is odd if it is something that affects the property. We don't have any contact details of the landlord as our tenancy agreement specifies the letting agency as our contact as a landlord. I initially thought it was owned by the letting agency or something but then we did see someone turn up later for a couple of minor issues. He seemed like a nice elderly person but absent-minded at times. So I am not sure whether it is due to a medical condition that he doesn't know or care about the issues affecting his property or whether the letting agency isn't informing him clearly about the issues.

                      I did think about informing the council but I am not sure whether they will consider anything we say or even if they do, if the landlord doesn't follow up on that then it will put us on a direct confrontation course with the neighbours which we want to avoid. We received a very rude reply yesterday from the letting agents when we told them that the neighbour wasn't aware of the pipe issues and seemed like suggesting we were complaining too much without any grounds so I am just inclined to sort out any issues with the neighbours directly in future if possible otherwise try to live with it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Effell View Post

                        I did think about informing the council but I am not sure whether they will consider anything we say
                        If you don't tell them then they will certainly not do anything.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You could just invest £3 to find out the owner of your property through the Land Registry. But I think there is also an obligation that the letting agents have to give you the name plus contact address of the landlord if you request them (although I don't know whether the landlord can give his address as c/o the letting agents). Because to me this sounds like your letting agents are the real issue here.

                          Of course whether you as tenants should actually have to deal with all this is a totally separate matter.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by ChrisDennison View Post
                            But I think there is also an obligation that the letting agents have to give you the name plus contact address of the landlord if you request them
                            OP wrote that landlord is identified as the agent on the agreement (#11).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by MdeB View Post

                              OP wrote that landlord is identified as the agent on the agreement (#11).
                              Which is unlikely but not impossible. Hence my suggestion...

                              Comment

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X