My situation is this. A neighbours property adjoins a courtyard belonging to my property. His ground floor level is 5'0" below my courtyard level. His abutting wall permits penetrating and rising damp to his interior and has done so since C1600 when the house was built. The dampness is therefore an inherent defect. He wishes to open up a trench 5'0" deep on my land against his wall and install some form of damp-proofing. The upheaval will be considerable. Do I have to accommodate him please. I would be grateful for some indication as to where I stand. Thank you. Antony Harding
Is there going to be any cost in this for you?
Assuming that reinstatement is undertaken properly, inconvenience and disturbance will be the main bugbear although my experience suggests that there will be a squabble about it. However the works will be approx. 20' from my main wall and the house on the other side of me has been the subject of settlement which raised issues with my own insurance.
Under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act he is allowed access onto your land to do this work. He must cause as little damage as possible and must reinstate it to the condition it was before he started. If you do not allow him access, he can apply to court for an injunction to make you give him access and he can ask the court to award costs against you.
Please note that access under the Act is only allowed for maintenance and not for new buildings. This is obviously maintenance.
If he is only going down 5 feet and it is 20 feet from your house, when your house is unlikely to be affected. However I would want to see a copy of his buildings insurance and his contractors liability insurance to make sure that if something does go wrong, he is insured for all the costs. It would not be unreasonable of you to ask him to provide a letter from the insurance companies confirming that this risk is covered.
This is not a matter for your insurance.
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The thread remains open. Thanks
PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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