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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Our neighbours roof is lower than ours and so butts up against

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Our neighbour's roof is lower than ours and so butts up against our gable wall. He has water coming in and is claiming it is our responsibility as our gable end needs rerendering (which it does). However, having had a roofer look at it he says the flashing is inadequate as it sits against the wall and doesn't cut into it. Our neighbour says the flashing was never a problem until water got in behind our render. So, given that we will get the gable rerendered, is it our responsibility or our neighbour's to pay for the new flashing that will be done at the same time?
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Will the neighbour be happy to pay? 
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No - the neighbour is saying it's all the fault of our wall and therefore it's all our responsibility. Our roofer has said that the flashing is of poor standard, but the neighbour believes his roofer and says it did the job for years until our render degraded. Part of the problem is that our builder is no longer able to do it due to illness so we have to find somebody else, all builders have waiting lists and the neighbour is threatening legal action if we don't get it done straight away.

What kind of costs is the flashing likely to be?
Were both properties built at same time?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't know specifically about the flashing cost, as our plasterer was going to include it in the rerender job which would be roughly £1000. Our property is 260 years old. The flats next door were built in the 1970s to replace old cottages.


So was this flashing put in a long time ago or was it put in in the 1970s?

Is the neighbour's property one of the flats that was built to replace the old cottages ?

I need to know the general layout etc please.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We are in a terrace on a hill. Against our gable is a block property which has 4 flats, 2 above and 2 below. The flats are down the hill and smaller so their roofline is lower than ours. The landlord of the lower one next to our property is the one we're talking about, but apparently the upper flat (which I think is privately owned) has leakage as well.

I don't know when the flashing was done, but the landlord is saying that he's spent hundreds of pounds trying to solve the problem to no avail.

The owner of the upper flat came to us some months ago to ask permission to cut into our wall for the flashing to be redone to try and solve the leak. I think work was done on it then but they never cut into our wall.

PS The cottages next to here were demolished and then the flats built on their footprint in the 1970s

Obviously, the cost of the rendering comes down to you.

If the broken
rendering is caused problem with their property you would be responsible for
that damage but that doesn't seem to be an issue that they are pursuing.

It is then
necessary to look back in time (which may not be possible) to when the cottages
were there to establish whether the cottages had any benefit of any flashing or
whether there was a gap.

If there was a
gap and the flashing was only put in when the flats were built, I think it
becomes completely the neighbour's responsibility because you get no benefit
from it.

If however
there was flashing of some description, albeit of a different form or shape
when the cottages were there on the cottages had been there since time prior to
living memory, I think you are jointly responsible.

Compared to
the cost of the rendering, the cost of the flashing is probably going to be
less than the cost of arguing the toss in court.

I'm inclined
to think, imagining the construction and from a practical point of view that it
would be prudent to suggest that the cost of the flashing, but not the render,
is split equally between you.

It will
certainly be cheaper and less risky than arguing the toss in court which to be
honest, could go either way and would certainly need the involvement of the
surveyor which on its own, for a report would cost between £600 and £800
although the winner would get that cost back

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for this info. He is the sort of person who shouts you down with blanket statements so we wanted to be able to reply with some sound knowledge. We've just been looking at photos and realise the roof of the flats is higher against our wall than the cottages were (we can't see any flashing on the cottages but the picture isn't clear) - does that make a difference?

Thank you. In fact, the fact that the original flashing was lower
by virtue of the original cottage rooms being lower would lead anyone to
believe that the flashing had been there for a long time I think the fact that
it is now in a slightly different (higher up) position makes no difference.

In the absence of anything to the contrary therefore it would be

Why not show this thread print off to your neighbour?

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