Neighbour's shed is inches away from my exterior wall - DAMP

Neighbour's shed is inches away from my exterior wall - DAMP

Postby Jasmine10 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:54 pm

I own a leasehold ground floor flat in a development of 12 flats, comprising a main Victorian building, a large 1950's extension and a link building that joins the two which is where my property is situated.

One of our exterior walls is the boundary that separates my development from a neighbouring freehold Edwardian house which has a long garden. This neighbour has had a wooden shed within a foot or so of this wall for many years which stands at the end of her garden - so a good 70 feet from her house. The pitch of the roof meant rainwater was discharged away from our wall.

We renewed our Damp Proof Course in 2012 on all our exterior walls but damp has started to come through around power sockets on the wall where the shed is situated. As this wall is cold, condensation inside the flat is causing black mould to grow on the wall. Having spoken to this neighbour and visited her garden, it's clear she has replaced the original shed with one which is much larger and now stands only a few inches away from the wall.

To make matters worse, the new shed has a roof which is pitched towards our exterior wall so rainwater is discharged directly onto the brickwork and she has failed to install any flashing or guttering. The shed also prevents air or sunlight reaching the brickwork.

The neighbour has been reasonably good humoured in our dealings but her comments suggest she is trying to deflect responsibility. I have said I will find a couple of roofers to quote for installing lead flashing and a downpipe as she has only offered a quick and cheap fix which a builder has told me will make the problem worse.

Our local council planning dept and building control say this is a civil matter and the environmental health dept has said contact your freeholder but otherwise will not step in. I will be contacting the freeholder with photos and a floorplan to show where the shed is located.

Can anyone tell me if there are any planning regulations that are contravened by this shed? Aside from the small claims court, I could get our solicitor to write to the neighbour to ensure she deals with this matter however I am trying to keep my gunpowder dry in case this is necessary later.

Thank you!
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Re: Neighbour's shed is inches away from my exterior wall -

Postby despair » Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:08 pm

This is not really a planning issue but its definitely a case of negligence etc

She simply cannot allow water to pour down your wall and cause the kind of damage you detail

To come through electrical sockets and cause mould its really serious

She must face the issue very seriously and totally remedy the matter with a proper gutter and water collection /diversion so that water does not run down your wall
And cause damage of any kind to your property

Its amazing the total stupidity of some people

Check all your mortgages / insurances/credit cards / union memberships for legal expenses cover you may not realise you have and let them deal with it
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Re: Neighbour's shed is inches away from my exterior wall -

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:22 am

Hi Jasmine10,

We renewed our Damp Proof Course in 2012 on all our exterior walls...

...damp has started to come through around power sockets


is the latter a result of the former?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour's shed is inches away from my exterior wall -

Postby Jasmine10 » Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:24 pm

Hi Mac
We had a damp surveyor from the company come round to take a look. He thought the damp was coming through around the sockets because a) the shed issue which was replaced since they did the work and b) we'd had the flat re-wired and had used polyfilla rather than plaster to make good around the sockets which cannot repel the damp. I had wondered if they were passing the buck but they wrote up a report saying the shed should ideally be at least a metre away from our exterior wall which is helpful.
Jasmine
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Re: Neighbour's shed is inches away from my exterior wall -

Postby despair » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:47 pm

I am pretty sure its the shed causing the problem ..
A shed without guttering and thus water running down your wall is an obvious cause of trouble
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Re: Neighbour's shed is inches away from my exterior wall -

Postby arborlad » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:30 am

Jasmine10 wrote:We renewed our Damp Proof Course in 2012 on all our exterior walls but damp has started to come through around power sockets on the wall where the shed is situated.




Was the DPC of the injected type, if so, the presence of the shed might have prevented adequate treatment in this area - might be time for an independent surveyor.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Neighbour's shed is inches away from my exterior wall -

Postby Roblewis » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:28 am

Given the ages of these buildings I suspect these are solid walls. A new DPC can thus be injected either internally or externally. Solid walls however are notorious for water penetration (falling and penetrating damp) and no DPC will deal with this. Removal of the shed and/or full tanking of the wall are the only solutions. Even then shed removal may not work totally as the surface of the brick and pointing may already be damaged. If water is coming through the sockets then EH may declare the property unfit for habitation so action is needed. The statement about polyfilla and plaster is actually total balderdash. Only waterproof concrete screed resists damp penetration.
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Re: Neighbour's shed is inches away from my exterior wall -

Postby jonahinoz » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:31 am

Hi,

When I was looking to build my garage, I kept coming across the restriction that "any outbuilding within 1 metre of a boundary must be built, substantially, from non- combustible materials. IE ... NOT wood. You indicate that this offending shed is a lot closer than one metre. I can no longer find any reference to this ... have the rules changed in the last 12 months?

Contravention of Building Regs must be challenged within one year, else it requires a court order. I was surprised to find that the non-combustible requirement was not BR, it's a Planning requirement. So your Planners should be interested. Involve your Local Councillor. (not Parish Councillor). Do it ASAP.

You say this shed is recent. If THIS bigger shed has been there for less than four years, the Planners can tell her to demolish or move it. If it has been there for less than ten years, they can tell her to stop using it. They might not want to be bothered to do this. If that is their attitude, ask them to confirm in writing that you have brought the shed, and the effect it has on your property, to their attention. I'm sure they can be penalised for failing to carry out their duties ... what do you pay Council Tax for?

602
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Re: Neighbour's shed is inches away from my exterior wall -

Postby Jasmine10 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:40 am

Hi Jona
Thanks for your post.
I believe the rule about leaving 1 metre distance from a boundary for combustible construction only applies to outbuildings that are over 15 sq m. The shed is large but unfortunately not that large!
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