Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Who owns the guttering?

    I own a terraced house with guttering along the front and back. My neighbours house is a semi but the house is rotated 90deg to mine so looking from the front you see the side of his house (if that makes sense). He only needs one gutter on the detached side.

    --/\
    /__ \________
    |___|_______|
    | ----|--------- |
    |___|_______|

    The image above shows his on left, mine on right looking from the front of the house. *ok image didnt turn out right

    Our guttering runs along the bottom of the roof (as normal) but then extends onto his property by less than a foot and the vertical section runs down onto his property and his drains. Problem is there's a leak on his side on the vertical section and it's clearly damaging/saturating the brick work. If he owns the vertical guttering then clearly it's his problem but I don't want to get a a couple thousand pound bill 6 months down the line if it's my problem.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    Normally I would suggest guttering is resp of property to which it is affixed, even if it extends over the property line. In this case the single horiz roof guttering benefits both properties. Any repair 'downstream' would be a joint liability, irresp of location. Consider the rules applying to repair of shared boundary fences or sewage pipes. The Deeds may better inform


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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    I'd go with Mariner51. Unless access is difficult, guttering repairs are not expensive - and it is possible to buy temporary repair tape from most DY chains. For the sake of a 5 B&Q bill I'd be inclined to patch it and the argue about liability.


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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    Consult a Solicitor, because the legal rights of adjoining property owners are determined by the title deeds of the properties, and a lawyer will need to look through the title to your property to try to work it out.

    You can NOT own guttering that crosses the property boundary, so the Solicitor will try to determine exactly where the boundary of your land runs. You may have an easement, i.e. a right allowing you to use a gutter on the neighbour's land, either an express right or one implied by many years use.

    But you will need professional assistance to find out, if the legal position was not explained to you when you bought the property.

    Shared cost of upkeep is a frequent, but not invariable, consequence of this type of shared useage. Again, the title deeds may cast light.

    Anomolous rights in party structures can exist within Greater London; so the situation may be affected by whether the property is in London.

    [B]Note[/B]

    This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

    This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.


    Further information:

    [URL=http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/pdf/138289.pdf]Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants[/URL]

    [URL=http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/renting_and_leasehold]Renting and Leasehold - Advice from [i]Shelter[/i][/URL]


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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    The downpipe attached to your neighbours property is defo not your responsability and it is up to him to repair.
    In fact if any damage is caused to your property because of any leak he will be responsable.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    Quote Originally Posted by raydetinu View Post
    The downpipe attached to your neighbours property is defo not your responsability and it is up to him to repair.
    In fact if any damage is caused to your property because of any leak he will be responsable.

    What statutory, or case law, authority are you relying on in making such a sweeping statement?

    The standard form of easement clause which is typically used by solicitors in the case of a terraced or semi-detached property, when the property is built, because of the inevitable presence of party walls and shared drains and gutters in such a case, provides for sharing of the cost of upkeep.

    You cannot tell what the legal rights are without consulting the title deeds. There may be legal covenants in the deeds, requiring a contributionicon. There might be a legal rent charge. Or other legal mechanisms. Or certain statutory provisions peculiar to London may apply.

    [B]Note[/B]

    This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

    This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.


    Further information:

    [URL=http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/pdf/138289.pdf]Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants[/URL]

    [URL=http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/renting_and_leasehold]Renting and Leasehold - Advice from [i]Shelter[/i][/URL]


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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    done loads I am a surveyor/structural engineer/cdm co-ordinator and and carry out defect surveys, reports, party wall awards/contracts all the time.
    examined all sorts of deeds, never found anything about roof drainage, other than the right to discharge onto adjacent property/land.
    The general rule is if its nailed to your property its your responsability.
    examined plenty of wayleaves/covenants but never seen one that covered that.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    Whilst I defer to raydtinu's expertise, I would suggest only the property deeds can define liability if shared guttering is mentioned.
    OP indicates some of his roof offrun is carried by the shared gutter before entering the defective downspout, so some water causing damage to his property has fallen on his roof. A sensible solution would be to share downspout repair costs & avoid expensive litigation.The neighbour can equally refer to his Deeds, if favouarable. Deed provisions could be available from Land Registry online for a nominal sum.
    Both my adjacent neighbour's foul water feed in to foul weater/sewage pipes under my land. My Deeds indicate each is resp for repair/rodding costs before junction, even if pipes are on my land, costs for repair/removal of obstructions post junction are shared pro rata. I suggest the OP applies a similar solution.


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder Dragons Dennis Informative Dragons Dennis Informative Dragons Dennis Informative

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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    Guttering is the property of the building it is attached to. In this case, your neighbour. Have you even spoken to them about it? If so and they gave the usual British 'not my problem' response, contact your council environmental health department. They will visit, assess and write to him!


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    Always best to negotiate a solution, and share costs if necessary, to mitigate future more expensive problems.


  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder Dragons Dennis Informative Dragons Dennis Informative Dragons Dennis Informative

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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    Share costs? Why would I ever want to pay for your guttering?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    well sometimes the sections of guttering do span both properties!
    but agree first stance if a problem is with the downpipe attached to adjaent house then they should fix, but if leak is causing damage to yours;
    rather than wait for it to escalate just get on with it. Also access is sometimes easier from one side or the other.
    Anyway sounds pretty minor and no great cost involved.
    Perhaps they should just talk to each other.
    mountain and molehill spring to mind.


  13. #13
    Basic Account Holder Dragons Dennis Informative Dragons Dennis Informative Dragons Dennis Informative

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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    Talk to each other? This is the UK we are talking about here. You know where people like to 'keep themselves to themselves' or as we would say in ever other country, are antisocial and self centred.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    you can try!
    I trust that is not your own personnel attitude!


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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed999 View Post
    You can NOT own guttering that crosses the property boundary, so the Solicitor will try to determine exactly where the boundary of your land runs. You may have an easement, i.e. a right allowing you to use a gutter on the neighbour's land, either an express right or one implied by many years use.
    Not quite.

    First we can look at S. 62 LPA which, omitting all words not relevant to this thread, says:

    A conveyance of land, having houses or other buildings thereon, shall be deemed to include and shall by virtue of this Act operate to convey, with the land, houses, or other buildings, all [...] gutters [...] whatsoever, appertaining or reputed to appertain to the land, houses, or other buildings conveyed, or any of them, or any part thereof, or, at the time of conveyance, demised, occupied, or enjoyed with, or reputed or known as part or parcel of or appurtenant to, the land, houses, or other buildings conveyed, or any of them, or any part thereof.

    Accordingly, if a house is sold where a gutter overhangs land retained by the seller, the gutter must go with the house and belong to its owner. An easement to keep the gutter in place will be implied if not expressly granted.

    In a case where there are two neighbouring plots in separate ownership and a building is constructed on or near the line of junction so that the gutter extends into the neighbour's airspace, then there will, absent any arrangement to the contrary, be a trespass. The ownership of the gutter remains with the owners of the house to which it is attached. If the gutter is there long enough an easement will eventually be acquired by prescription.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Who owns the guttering?

    If the owner does need to rely on prescription, IIRC the minimum period is twenty years. After the property has been standing for that long, an easement exists by virtue of prescription, if the adjoining owner has not objected by then, e.g. by issuing a writ.

    [B]Note[/B]

    This is a self-help forum in which users share their experiences. Assistance is offered informally, without any assumption of liability. Use your own judgement; obtain advice from a qualified and insured professional if you have any doubts.

    This posting gives general guidance only. It is not an authoritative statement of the law. Consult a Solicitor for specific advice before deciding on any course of action.


    Further information:

    [URL=http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/pdf/138289.pdf]Assured and Shorthold tenancies - A guide for tenants[/URL]

    [URL=http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/renting_and_leasehold]Renting and Leasehold - Advice from [i]Shelter[/i][/URL]


    [i]All posts are [b]opinion[/b] only[/i]


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