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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Property Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 9816
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 20 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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Iam the owner of a property and share the downpipes (guttering)

Customer Question

Iam the owner of a property and share the downpipes (guttering) with the adjoining property which is also privately owned. The downpipe enters a drain on my land. The drain has been blocked for some time and floods my basement when it overflows. I have asked my neighbour to pay half costs for repairs but she has refused. If we share the drain which is on my land who is responsible for repairs and maintenance?

I asked her if she could separate her guttering from entering the downpipe and drain on my land. She has refused. It seems she wants it both ways - to use the central downpipe emptying into the drain on my side but does not want to pay for maintenance and repairs. Can I force her from refraining from using the drain on my land if she refuses to share costs for maintenance and repair?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 6 years ago.


Thanks for your question.

You will need to check your Title Deeds to see if it mentions anything about joint drains/ gutters/ easements.

Usually there will be a clause allowing your neighbour to use the drain/joint guttering and if so, it would also state that any jointly owned guttering/pipes/drains are the joint responsibility of both parties, and that both parties are jointly responsible for any maintenance costs.

Alternatively, it may state specifically that your neighbour has a right to use the drain provided she pays her due proportion of any maintenance costs. If this is the case, you could try and stop her using it, until she pays.

If there is such a clause allowing your neighbour to use the drain, but there is no specific mention of her being responsible for paying towards any maintenance coste, you will not be permitted to stop her from using the same.

It may be best for you to speak to a local Solicitor who can check your Deeds, and if need be, I would hope that a letter from him to your neighbour would do the trick!

I hope this answers your question, and if so, I would be grateful if you could press the Accept button.

Kind Regards

Andy M
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have already checked my Deeds and there is no clause as mentioned above.

1. surface water drains into public sewer.
2. no agreement under s.22 of Building Act 1984 for combined private sewage
3. no adoption agreement under s.18 Public health Act

This is an old victorian property and was built with shared sewage and drainage for guttering
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 6 years ago.

Hi again,

Thanks for the info.

As they are Victorian houses, her property benefits from an "implied easement" as the drains have been used by her property for more than 20 years. This means that she has a right to use them.
However, she is also legally responsible for contributing to any maintenance costs.

There is however no simple solution for you if she refuses to pay- a Solicitors letter may do the trick and if she still doesn't pay, your only alternantive would be to take Court action against her, which may not be economically make sense for you.

Sorry I can not give you a simple solution, but hopes it assists.

Kind Regards

Andy M

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