Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Problem That Goes over Our Head

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Problem That Goes over Our Head

Article excerpt

Byline: Fiona McNulty OUR LAWYER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

QI HAVE a problem with the roof of my semi-detached cottage. It needs renewing but half of it belongs to my neighbour because the whole roof goes right across both properties.

Can you tell me how I can approach this neighbour about him contributing half of the cost of a new roof? He is an old man of 83 and does not appear to have the money. He does have a very wealthy family, however, although I cannot see them wanting to pay half towards repairing my roof When I bought my cottage in October 2011, should my solicitor have warned me about the roof from the deeds or would it come under the survey of the house? ATHE roof over your cottage belongs to you, and the roof over the adjacent cottage belongs to your neighbour. You are responsible for your roof, and your neighbour is responsible for his roof.

Just because your roof requires repairing or renewing does not mean that your neighbour has to do the same to his roof. However, if your neighbour's roof needs repairing as well you could obtain a quote from your roofing contractor for works to the whole roof so that your neighbour can consider whether he wishes to have the work done at the same time, which may be a better and less expensive option.

The deeds to your property are unlikely to refer to the roof, which just forms part of the dwelling house, but I would have expected your survey report to have mentioned the state of the roof, especially if a new one is now required some 18 months later.

QOUR neighbour's fence is in a dangerous state of repair. He lets his house and the tenants don't care one way or the other.

He claims it's our fence (the deeds don't help) but the fence posts are on his side. He has not answered my calls for five months. I got a quote and was thinking of going 50/50 but it's more than [pounds sterling]1,100 to repair and make safe and as the issue has dragged on, I am loath to contribute. …

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