How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

This forum is for Garden Law problems that don't fit into the other categories. Please treat it with respect.

Moderator: Angelisle

Holst2
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:40 pm

How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by Holst2 »

Sorry this isn't exactly Garden related but I see that you sometimes deal with other property matters so I hope you can advise me.

I have a flat roof which spans mine and part of my semi-detached neighbours properties. The part on my side is 14 foot wide and the strip on his side is 3 feet wide. Both are the same depth (22 feet).

At the sides opposite the boundary line: there is a parapet wall on my side (i.e. 14 ' from the boundary) and on my neighbours side (3 ' from the boundary) the flat roof adjoins his sloping tiled roof. Its an odd arrangement but the houses were built like that over 60 years ago. There is nothing in my deeds which apportions responsibility for the roof.

The problem is that my part of the roof is starting to leak. It has been patched many times but it keeps leaking again and I now want to have it re-felted while I have some money. Three different roofers say that, to do the job properly, the part on my neighbours side should be re-felted as well, with the felt running up and under my neighbours tiles. They say they can't guarantee that they could make an effective join to neighbours old felt along the boundary line.

My neighbour says he has no leak on his side. However he says that if I want I can replace the felt on his side, taking it up and under his tiles, but:

a) I must restore his tiled roof to its current state - i.e. without using tingles/hooks and
b) I must do so at my own expense - He won't contribute to the costs!

He is making it unnecessarily difficult. How can I make him pay? Will a court make him pay his fair share?

PS I also thought of having it done in EPDM rubber but then I would undoubtedly have to continue it over my neighbours side and under his tiles; and my neighbour even refuses to pay for his share of that even though it would be much better than what he has now.
span
Posts: 1723
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:34 am

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by span »

Neighbour's being reasonable enough given the circumstances.

You could wait till his part springs a leak and talk again to him then.

Or cough up now.
Holst2
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:40 pm

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by Holst2 »

Suppose I could make it spring a leak. It might be years otherwise. Its raining in on me now!!

I don't see why I should have to fork out for his new roof!!
Collaborate
Posts: 2191
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 am
Number of Posts per Page: 20
Number of topics per page: 20

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by Collaborate »

Holst2 wrote: Sat Feb 15, 2020 11:41 pm Suppose I could make it spring a leak. It might be years otherwise. Its raining in on me now!!

I don't see why I should have to fork out for his new roof!!
Because there is nothing wring with his roof. You have a responsibility to fix your side. Try and find a solution that doesn't interfere with next door.
mr sheen
Posts: 2663
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:33 pm

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by mr sheen »

The neighbour is being very reasonable. His side is only 3ft and he has offered to allow all the roof to be repaired to suit your, and only your, current issues. His side is fine and so why should he be forced to replace something that is ok?

It’s very nice of him to allow you to replace the whole roof for your benefit to get the warranty and I would be accepting his offer.

No one can ‘make/force’ someone else to pay for anything if they don’t want to.....that would be extortion....which is a criminal offence.
Clifford Pope
Posts: 476
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:18 pm

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by Clifford Pope »

It's hard to picture exactly what the layout is here.
The issue really is how does it drain? Are you dependent on his side for draining water from your side, or vice versa?
If each drains independently then I'd be tempted to repair my side but install a raised batten along the dividing line so that you don't need his side and then when one day his roof starts leaking he won't be able to claim it's water running off from your side.
Holst2
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:40 pm

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by Holst2 »

Collaborate --

In fact I don't have a responsibility to fix my side. I could leave it leaking if I want. I won't but if I did theres nothing he could do about it if the rain water got under the felt and ran to his side. It would be his problem. See how he likes having rain dripping into his bedromm and ruining his carpet.


Mr sheen --

I don't think he is being reasonable at all. It is a shared roof 3ft to 14ft and it can't be repaired in sections which means he has a responsibility to pay his share which is 3/(3+14) of the total - in fact more really because most of the cost comes from having to re-roof his tiled roof. Thre is no way we can run the felt or rubber under his tiles without removing the whole side of his tiled roof (i.e. to get at the bottom layer we have to take the next row off, then to get at that we have to take the next row off ...etc. ... repeat until we get to the top! That is going to be very expensive!! His tiles are his responsibility not mine!!


Clifford Pope --

The flat roof drains along the line of the boundary.

We can't fit a batten along the middle because his chmineys are in the way. If we did that the water couldn't run around them and it would pool up behind the chimneys. He would soon be complaining about that!! And then how would I stand?


Looks like hes got me over a barrel and he knows it!! What can you do about neighbours like that.
mr sheen
Posts: 2663
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:33 pm

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by mr sheen »

You haven’t taken in the comments that have been made but have responded defensively to all reasonable responses in the belief that you are right in your belief that your neighbour should comply with what you want....the neighbour does not have to do anything, his roof is fine.

He does not have you over a barrel. you need to make repairs and he doesn’t. So go ahead and make your repairs to your property and leave the neighbour alone, or leave the leak as it is....your problem, your choice.

You asked how you could make him pay - you cannot.
Just as you have the right to leave your roof with the leak, he can also exercise his right to leave his roof as it is without any leaks.
The neighbour choosing to leave his roof as it is with no leaks is entirely reasonable.
Holst2
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:40 pm

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by Holst2 »

Sorry if I seem defensive but nobody seems to understand that it is technically impossible to fix my part of the shared roof without going over the boundary. I can't just butt join the felt on the flat roof as water will get in there.

I have to take the felt right across and under neighbours tiles. My roofer tells me that he would have to remove the bottom row of tiles to do this. He would then have to re-fix the tiles with hooks (tingles?) because the tiles can't be re-nailed without removing the overlying rows as well. But my neighbour will not allow this. He says he wants them re-nailed which means stripping the whole of the side of his tiled roof up to the ridge and re-nailing his tiles from the bottom up. That is going to cost £1600 extra!! That's the problem!! Surely there is something I can do??
mugwump
Posts: 585
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 6:34 pm

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by mugwump »

I see the neighbours point. He wants to be put back into the same position as before any work was done. Using tingles instead of nailing is not being put back in the same position.
FilthWizzard
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:00 pm

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by FilthWizzard »

This is the problem with shared structures. Think about the more common shared structure, the fence. If a shared fence is in need of fixing you can ask the neighbour to help but they don't have to. You can then choose to fix it yourself if the neighbour agrees, leave it or put a new fence owned just by you bang up to it.

With the roof you are in a tricky spot. The neighbour could refuse to let you fix it at all if it is a shared structure.

Personally, I'd try hard to find some way to divide it and replace your side of the roof with something separate and better, perhaps something pitched. It will cost more I guess but it would put an end to these issues for good.

If the neighbour is being very difficult and won't let you divide it, there will probably be a way. Without looking at it I can't visualise (diagram?) but could you build a pitched roof over the top of it? It'll give the neighbour a heck of a job when he needs to fix his side, but if he is being difficult then it probably won't be much of a concern for you. I wish you could just detach it from your side and fold it over to his side before putting a proper roof on yours. That is not likely to be feasible, but it's nice to dream.

There is one other option, being to take the neighbour to small claims court for half the bill. Some have reported managing this for i.e. fence repair but it would not usually be the accepted legal position and I suggest the odds would not be in your favour. Just goes to show that courts can be mercurial, so this is not going to be the advised approach from anyone here I suspect.
mr sheen
Posts: 2663
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:33 pm

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by mr sheen »

Holst2 wrote: Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:22 am Sorry if I seem defensive but nobody seems to understand that it is technically impossible to fix my part of the shared roof without going over the boundary. I can't just butt join the felt on the flat roof as water will get in there.

I have to take the felt right across and under neighbours tiles. My roofer tells me that he would have to remove the bottom row of tiles to do this. He would then have to re-fix the tiles with hooks (tingles?) because the tiles can't be re-nailed without removing the overlying rows as well. But my neighbour will not allow this. He says he wants them re-nailed which means stripping the whole of the side of his tiled roof up to the ridge and re-nailing his tiles from the bottom up. That is going to cost £1600 extra!! That's the problem!! Surely there is something I can do??
You cannot touch a neighbour’s property without his consent. He has offered his consent subject to making good his property and this is entirely reasonable.
If you can’t repair your roof without doing his then you have no choice but to get his agreement to replace it all or leave/patch the leak.

That is the situation.

Not sure what grounds the previous poster is suggesting that this could go to small claims court since no one can forcefully carry out works on a neighbouring property and then claim back the cost. In fact if you touch his roof without coming to an agreement he could call the police for criminal damage and you may be arrested. There is no scenario that I can think of that would enable you to replace the whole roof and claim back money that the neighbour hasn’t agreed to....but happy to hear how the previous poster thinks this could play out in small claims that would lead to the neighbour being forced to pay a penny he hasn’t agreed to.
Holst2
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:40 pm

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by Holst2 »

FilthWizzard --

Can't do a plan, but here is a sketch. Boundary line is red. My house is on the left (closer to viewer). (Sorry its on its side I don't know how to turn it over.)

Pitched roof not viable because of chimneys.

My roof is leaking just about where the E is in 'Drainage' but other places are worn / damaged as well so it all needs stripping.
Holst2 Roof.jpeg

My guttering and roof takes all the rainwater from his tiled roof as well as his flat roof so at least half of the water leaking in to my bedroom comes from his side!!

Any ideas how I can repair my roof without touching neighbours roof?

Discussed all this with neighbour 18 months ago and we both agreed flat roof should be done first so we could take felt up under his tiles. Then without warning he just had all his tiles replaced and no says if I touch them I must replace them to 'as new' state. He has done it on purpose just to be awkward. Yes they are his tiles so why should I pay to have them renewed??


Mr Sheen --

But what if I just just got the re-felting done and replaced his bottom tiles before he knew anything about it (hes away for half term this week). My roofer says reattaching the tiles with hooks is perfectly normal practice and would cost me £1600 less!! Even if neighbour gets up there to look after the jobs done, which he might not, what could he do about it!!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
mr sheen
Posts: 2663
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:33 pm

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by mr sheen »

If you interfere with the neighbours property without his express consent and agreement, then On return from holiday, the neighbour can contact the police and it is highly likely that you will be arrested and interviewed under caution.

It’s difficult to predict the outcome but you may be offered a deal where you may be allowed to pay for the roof to be redone as the neighbour wants which could result in you paying twice.....but then again you may get community service or prison....who knows??? The criminal justice system is unpredictable and the courts will seriously frown upon underhand criminal acts carried out deliberately whilst the neighbour is on holiday.

Committing a criminal offence is highly Inadvisable. put yourself in his shoes....
You return from holiday and a neighbour has taken off your roof and changed it without your consent....no one would take this lightly!
Supposing it rains....you will be liable for all damage inside and outside his property as well as putting back the roof how he wants it and all running alongside being treated by the police and criminal justice system as the criminal you had become.

The neighbour can make whatever demands he wants in terms of the way he wants the works done if he is to give you consent to carry out works on his property. If you don’t want to carry out the works as he demands then you can try to renegotiate with him but other than getting his express consent, your options are limited to leaving the leak as is or repairing your own roof as you wish and leaving his part alone.
Holst2
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 3:40 pm

Re: How can I make neighbour pay his fair share?

Post by Holst2 »

mr sheen wrote:your options are limited to leaving the leak as is or repairing your own roof as you wish and leaving his part alone.
If I re-felt just my part, water will get in along the boundary line. Some of that will probably soak over to his side and then what? I am trying to find a solution that causes nobody to have a leak.

I doubt the police will get involved --- its just a civil matter etc. He would have to take me to court and the court wouldn't award him anything as he has not suffered a loss.
Post Reply