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Damp from next door property causing damage to my property...what to do?


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Hi I am posting this on behalf of a friend. The property next door to him in un-occupied and various failures of the guttering and other issues has caused damp to develop and is now causing damage to his property, a large floor to ceiling crack in the wall adjoining being one of them.  He has had an official survey at his expense confirming the neglect has caused damage. The council are slow to act and are saying they dont have clear evidence despite a survey being done. He has contacted the owner by phone who states he does not have the money to correct the issues but obviously they will worsen causing further damage to his and the adjoining property, the property also looks an eyesore in the nice close its located.

 

Any advice how he should proceed with this would be well received.

 

Thanks in advance.  

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The owner of the property is obliged to have third party insurance so one of the first things you should ask – in writing – is details of their insurer. If it turns out they don't have insurance then this is certainly something that you should inform the council about.

Also I would say that you should tell the council that you are beginning a formal complaint to the local authority ombudsman. It may help to put pressure.

Do you know where the owner actually lives?

Also, assuming that the property in question belongs to that person, then it is an asset and you could eventually enforce against that although it would be complicated having to get an order for sale.

Have you must have an estimate of what it will all cost to have the source of the damp repaired and also damage to your property repaired?

Edited by BankFodder
Not obliged to have insurance
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Sorry, I've just checked. In fact property third party liability insurance is not compulsory.

Do you know if the house belongs to the person out right or is it under a mortgage?

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Yes my friend knows the address of the owner, I will check if he has any estimate of the damage, 

 

Thanks for your responses ! 

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You should also doublecheck the ownership of each property by doing a search on the land registry web search website

https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry

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Some more info for this case from the owner of the property affected.....

 

I already have a surveyor's report that clearly states the problems are due to rainwater overflowing from his defective gutters causing the clay sub-base to expand and contract, leading to movement in the foundations.  This has in turn fractured the damp proof course and caused the vertical crack in my dining room wall.
 
The report concludes that the remedy is:
1) replacement of next door's gutters
2) removal of plaster from my wall, injection of a new damp proof course and redecoration to be paid for by the owner of number 2.
 
The  council environmental health officer has sent me a summary of her visit that confirmed the council would not be taking on the case because they need a higher burden of proof.  She has referred the issue to the council's Planning Enforcement Team and contacted the Empty Homes Officer for an update.  I was advised to raise the problem with the council's Building Control Department.
 
The only course of action seems to be a civil case.  My surveyor recommended a solicitor.  
 

 

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