Overhanging asbestos eaves

Overhanging asbestos eaves

Postby DSRgreen » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:00 pm

Hello, guidance sought please...
My neighbour has an old stone-built garage, one wall of which sits on our common boundary. The garage has a corrugated asbestos-cement roof, at least 30 years old, and the eaves overhang our garden by 28cms at 1.75 metres height. The roof has no guttering as the overhang is enough to shed water away from the wall. Formerly, our house and the neighbours garage were in the same ownership. We bought our house in 2007.
The overhang has not been any problem as the roof is inaccessible behind a timber shed and shrubs in our garden. However, we now plan to remove our shed and extend our house to 1.5 metres from the garage, and our access to the rear of our house will be between the two buildings. The protruding roof will be a significant hazard, at head height, constricting our access path.
The overhang roof cannot be cut, being asbestos.
My neighbour and I enjoy a good, friendly relationship. He is quite happy for me to reroof the garage(!) and also to add guttering to direct the roof's water on to his land. But he is unwilling to take on any of the expense of reroofing.
Does my neighbour have any responsibility for the hazard posed by his overhanging roof?
Does the overhang constitute a 'trespass', (which I guess would have become a trespass at the point when my neighbour ceased to own my property)?
But as it was there when we bought our house, did we effectively accept the situation so that now there's nothing we can do about it?

Any thoughts on this much appreciated, thanks.
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Re: Overhanging asbestos eaves

Postby stufe35 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:10 pm

I think perhaps it could be argued that the roof represents the boundary line and that the 28 cm of garden which you consider to be yours is actually his ?

I'm no expert, but I think you accepted the situation on purchase.

You could consider adding a gutter without cutting the roof ?
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Re: Overhanging asbestos eaves

Postby Roblewis » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:55 pm

It is actually possible to cut ACMs but only by hand and when it is wet. All waste has however to be placed in a suitable waste container. Your local tip will have one for the use of householders. A contractor will be expensive, even to remove it for a re roof
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Re: Overhanging asbestos eaves

Postby mr sheen » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:20 am

The roof has been there in excess of 30years as is and therefore has a right to be there. If you want it removed, your neighbour is being reasonable in saying that can happen if you pay...so your choice is to pay or leave it as it is and work round it.
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Re: Overhanging asbestos eaves

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:03 am

Hi DSRgreen,

Does my neighbour have any responsibility for the hazard posed by his overhanging roof?

he MIGHT be found liable if his overhanging roof causes damage/harm, but I suspect that wasn't what you meant - no he doesn't have to remove his roof because you think it poses a hazard.

Does the overhang constitute a 'trespass', (which I guess would have become a trespass at the point when my neighbour ceased to own my property)?

certainly not - you can't trespass on your own property.

did we effectively accept the situation so that now there's nothing we can do about it?

there's something you can do about it - negotiate.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Overhanging asbestos eaves

Postby Collaborate » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:38 am

When properties are separated in title there is usually a standard clause saying about all quasi easements - these are rights that one part of the property would enjoy over the other part (such as for drainage, or to overhang) were they to have been on separate ownership. Such a clause will serve to convert a quasi easement in to an actual easement, so it's unlikely that the overhang will ever have constituted a trespass. Even if it had been a trespass, after 20 years it will cease to be so.

I agree with the PPs. Your neighbour is being very fair minded.
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Re: Overhanging asbestos eaves

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:50 am

Hi Collaborate,

I think you may unintentionally mislead the reader into thinking the absence of such a clause means quasi-easements don't convert to 'actual' easements - this is not the case.

the only way quasi-easements don't convert to 'actual' easements is if there is a clause stating that all quasi-easements are not to convert to 'actual' easements.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Overhanging asbestos eaves

Postby span » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:52 am

As our American cousins are apt to say, you are "S.O.O.L".
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Re: Overhanging asbestos eaves

Postby Collaborate » Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:14 am

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Collaborate,

I think you may unintentionally mislead the reader into thinking the absence of such a clause means quasi-easements don't convert to 'actual' easements - this is not the case.

the only way quasi-easements don't convert to 'actual' easements is if there is a clause stating that all quasi-easements are not to convert to 'actual' easements.

Kind regards, Mac


My apologies Mac, You are of course quite right.
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Re: Overhanging asbestos eaves

Postby DSRgreen » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:54 pm

Thank you to all for considered contributions - I appreciate your time and help.
Not sure I want to start cutting the stuff - ideally we want rid if it altogether.
I had thought such an overhang might now be a trespass of our airspace by our neighbour, having turned up references to other situations which sound similar.
Not come across SOOL before, but I can guess at its meaning...
I'll check our deeds for that standard clause re easements, quasi or otherwise.
Cheers
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Re: Overhanging asbestos eaves

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:00 pm

Hi DSRgreen,

to be clear, the clause you need to find is one stating all quasi-easements are NOT included in the conveyance.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Overhanging asbestos eaves

Postby DSRgreen » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:05 pm

Hello Mac,
many thanks for that.
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