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Blamed For Neighbors Damp

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Rob Turbo

Posted 19 October 2013 - 01:18 PM

Rob Turbo

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I bought my house around 3 years ago, in need of some work, and have been slowly sorting it out. One of my neigbours, whom seemed nice enough at first, but there was always something about him I didn't quite like, caught me one day asking if I had any damp, because his bedroom and kitchen were "soaked", I did have a bit of damp that I'd never found the source of. We came to the conclusion that water was getting in behind the rendering, and I agreed to let him remove some of the render.


A few days later, after work I see him again and he's removed my guttering, folded part of the facia up into the roof slates and removed a small section of render, he tells me the wall behind the render was soaked and it looked like water had been getting between my slates and dripping onto the top of the wall. I promptly went into my loft (converted into a room long before I bought the house), removed the plasterboard and insulation all along the bottom of the roof and I did find a section of the wall plate was rotten where it was clear that water had been getting in for many years.


I cleaned the area, slid a slate sized piece of laminate flooring under where the water was getting in as a temporary fix and checked the rest for any signs of leaks, everything else was bone dry. About a week later he tells me his damp has dried up and that must have been the problem all along. I expect this to be the end of the problems, but a few days later I come home to find he's started removing the bricks from his house, a few at a time, then replacing them, he told me that some seemed loose so he removed them to check and found that the wall was soaking inside, so decided to do the same to the whole of ther rear of his house, I left him to it, it's his house afterall, he can do what he wants to it!


Next he asks if he can remove another strip of render from the edge of my house, I can't remember the reason he came up with but I agreed, I didn't tell him at the time, but I was planning on removing all of the render anyway, so infact he was doing me a favour. Another few days pass and I find he's removed a large section of render, almost 1/4 of the rear of my house now has no render, and he's removed some of my bricks, he never gave me any explanation, but he carried on removing and replacing his own bricks. He's never at the house for a full week, sometimes he's only there for a day or two then dissappears again, sometimes it can be a few weeks before I actually see him to talk to.


The weather was stering to get wet so I bought new guttering and put it up myself, the next time I see him he commented on the guttering but didn't seem too happy that I'd done it, and told me he was going to replace my bricks, which he did a few days later. But he's still complaining about damp, neighbours on the other side have told me he's been asking them if they have damp because of my house, saying his house is soaked because of my roof and my guttering, they told him they don't have damp. He's asked me a few times if my damp has returned, which it hasn't.


He seems to have stopped speaking to me now, which I'm fine with, but I recieved a letter from the council the other day, saying they'd been informed of the poor state of my roof, been out to have a look and noticed I had slipped slates on the front and rear and an apparent defect with the slates above the gutter at the rear (caused by my neighbour wedging the fascia into them), giving me a week to make arrangements with a suitably qualified and time served roofer to sort the problems and give the council a timescale for the work to be carried out, or I may face litigating action from my neighbours.


Yes I have a couple of slipped slates, but it's still water tight, there is NO damp getting through my roof, there hasn't been for around 6 months, and even before then it wasn't enough to cause the problems he claims to have, I've had 2 seperate buidlers that are friends of the family come to have a look for me to makie sure I'm not missing something and they both said there's no problem, it's not a tidy roof but it's sound.


I'm saving for a new roof anyway, my neighbour knows this, I've told him more than once, but it's taking quite a while, I'm on a fairly low wage and have bills to pay and a car to keep on the road, a new roof isn't at the top of my priority list, the one I have at the minute just looks tatty and I want a nice neat looking modern flat slate roof, I'd rather not have to dip into my savings to have this roof repaired when it's not actually a problem.


Sorry for the essay! What are my options? Am I going to have to get the slipped slates put right or can I get someone official to come and have a look to see that there's no problem?


Thanks in advance.


Posted 26 June 2014 - 02:31 PM


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Have you had a RICS surveyor come round to look at the problem, and to recommend a course of action to solve it? Surely your NFH can't argue with a professional surveyor?