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Noticed neighbour's roofer damaged my roof.... am trying to sell the house atm.

I dont know what's best to do. The house is empty, but I noticed a leak at the boundary wall in the attic. I find out that the neighbour had a new roof at the start of 2023 I think around March, have spoken to other roofers, I dont know whether they are exageratting, but they say because we have 2 different roof types that her roofer had a legal obligation to use a bonding gutter to attach our roofs.

Her roofer came back and did a bodge job, but it only covers the lower part of the boundary. Im selling the house, the buyer is about to have a survey done in a couple of days and I did alert them to a potential problem with it already. I dont want to be in a legal dispute as I've been told it can lower the price. She is ignoring me, also not sure I want the buyers to know that she refuses to fix it.

I checked with multiple roofers already and she should have done a party wall agreement and has a legal obligation to fix it. I can't rectify any part of the roof on the neighbour's side of the boundary, unless  she explicitly gives permission, I will need scaffolding on both courtyards. To insert the gutter the edges of both roofs have to be modified.

What option will cost me the least in time and money and stress please? Should I:

1.try to negotiate with her for how much is paid and get a rooofer myself.
2.apply to the county court for an injunction forcing her to rectify it
3.carry out works myself and sue the neighbour in the county court for my losses
4.get the council to take action under their powers 

She has caused me huge problems before and I DO NOT want to pay anything, I would bitterly be forced to if I thought its best due to selling. Does anyone know how long I could potentially be in
a legal dispute with her? Will take another 3 months at least to sell. Does going to the council count as me being in legal conflict btw? Not sure if that only applies to when sueing.

Thankyou.
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  • Doozergirl
    Doozergirl Posts: 33,716
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    edited 7 January at 11:27PM
    You're not in a dispute until you start one, so options 2 and 3 are for you to start the dispute, although I don't know where you've got the idea of an injunction.  You'd just make a small
    claim for cost of the repair you make. 

    Option 4 - the council has no powers.  These are private properties that they have zero interest in.  

    I can see improvements needed to your roof already, so maybe option 5 - just see what your buyers survey comes back with and you either just do the work or accept a price reduction for them to do it.  They may want a new roof like your neighbours.  

    It's not nice but I'd swallow it for an
    easy life and keep my buyers happy.  
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • Slumbershade
    Slumbershade Posts: 667
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    You're not in a dispute until you start one, so options 2 and 3 are for you to start the dispute, although I don't know where you've got the idea of an injunction.  You'd just make a small
    claim for cost of the repair you make. 

    Option 4 - the council has no powers.  These are private properties that they have zero interest in.  

    I can see improvements needed to your roof already, so maybe option 5 - just see what your buyers survey comes back with and you either just do the work or accept a price reduction for them to do it.  They may want a new roof like your neighbours.  

    It's not nice but I'd swallow it for an
    easy life and keep my buyers happy.  
    Thanks for the reply. One of the roofers said something about the council, maybe he was confused about the situation, ill check again on that. 

    Yes, I have had 2 different roofers say that it's the wrong roof type fitted on mine. However it has been fine for decades, with maybe 3 minor repairs over 20 years. 

    I have considered they may want to replace it entirely, however the sale could easily fall through, so it may still be a bad idea to put off any work.

    Any idea how long a legal dispute can last though? Would still love to sue her, she REALLLLY deserves it.
  • Slumbershade
    Slumbershade Posts: 667
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    edited 8 January at 9:19AM
    Also there is option 6:

    I'm in a serious dispute with social services, it is not at all connected to that address, but I could change that if she refuses to pay out. What I mean is, as part of the negotiation with SS, I can rent that property out to them, and they will cover repairs. I know realistically that's hard to enforce as SS in most cities are utter !!!!!! to landlords. If the sale fails and I cant get another buyer within 10 days for the same price, I will 100% rent it out though. See if she likes that idea! 
  • TheJP
    TheJP Posts: 1,641
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    You're not in a dispute until you start one, so options 2 and 3 are for you to start the dispute, although I don't know where you've got the idea of an injunction.  You'd just make a small
    claim for cost of the repair you make. 

    Option 4 - the council has no powers.  These are private properties that they have zero interest in.  

    I can see improvements needed to your roof already, so maybe option 5 - just see what your buyers survey comes back with and you either just do the work or accept a price reduction for them to do it.  They may want a new roof like your neighbours.  

    It's not nice but I'd swallow it for an
    easy life and keep my buyers happy.  
    Thanks for the reply. One of the roofers said something about the council, maybe he was confused about the situation, ill check again on that. 

    Yes, I have had 2 different roofers say that it's the wrong roof type fitted on mine. However it has been fine for decades, with maybe 3 minor repairs over 20 years. 

    I have considered they may want to replace it entirely, however the sale could easily fall through, so it may still be a bad idea to put off any work.

    Any idea how long a legal dispute can last though? Would still love to sue her, she REALLLLY deserves it.
    Sue her for what exactly? First you need to prove that the works in 2023 were caused by the work she had done which would need to be an independent expert to investigate, in the unlikely event that you win she would only cover the cost of a repair which could be minor.

    I honestly think you have shot yourself in the foot by telling the buyers that there is an issue with the roof, most surveyors don't go into the loft they typically stand at the top of a ladder a shine a torch around so it may not be picked up anyway.

    At this point its your problem not your neighbours.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,393
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    Any idea how long a legal dispute can last though? Would still love to sue her, she REALLLLY deserves it.
    Take the emotion out of it.  You don't like the neighbour and, an easy move will be your way to forget about the neighbour.

    Where the two roof types join there should be a gutter / valley (I am not sure of the correct term) between the two tiles for each roof.  That is exactly what we have between our roof (same as your tiles) and our neighbour (same as your neighbour's tiles).

    What is the cost to simply fix?

    Whatever you feel, a simple fix may be the way to proceed.  Legal action or a dispute with the neighbour will only cause you more stress and gain you little.
  • Slumbershade
    Slumbershade Posts: 667
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    TheJP said:
    You're not in a dispute until you start one, so options 2 and 3 are for you to start the dispute, although I don't know where you've got the idea of an injunction.  You'd just make a small
    claim for cost of the repair you make. 

    Option 4 - the council has no powers.  These are private properties that they have zero interest in.  

    I can see improvements needed to your roof already, so maybe option 5 - just see what your buyers survey comes back with and you either just do the work or accept a price reduction for them to do it.  They may want a new roof like your neighbours.  

    It's not nice but I'd swallow it for an
    easy life and keep my buyers happy.  
    Thanks for the reply. One of the roofers said something about the council, maybe he was confused about the situation, ill check again on that. 

    Yes, I have had 2 different roofers say that it's the wrong roof type fitted on mine. However it has been fine for decades, with maybe 3 minor repairs over 20 years. 

    I have considered they may want to replace it entirely, however the sale could easily fall through, so it may still be a bad idea to put off any work.

    Any idea how long a legal dispute can last though? Would still love to sue her, she REALLLLY deserves it.
    Sue her for what exactly? First you need to prove that the works in 2023 were caused by the work she had done which would need to be an independent expert to investigate, in the unlikely event that you win she would only cover the cost of a repair which could be minor.

    I honestly think you have shot yourself in the foot by telling the buyers that there is an issue with the roof, most surveyors don't go into the loft they typically stand at the top of a ladder a shine a torch around so it may not be picked up anyway.

    At this point its your problem not your neighbours.
    I asked the estate agent, and they said to declare it. Fantastic. So I would also have to pay out for a full roofing survey then, I was hoping the buyer's survey could act as proof if anything shows up.
  • Slumbershade
    Slumbershade Posts: 667
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    Any idea how long a legal dispute can last though? Would still love to sue her, she REALLLLY deserves it.
    Take the emotion out of it.  You don't like the neighbour and, an easy move will be your way to forget about the neighbour.

    Where the two roof types join there should be a gutter / valley (I am not sure of the correct term) between the two tiles for each roof.  That is exactly what we have between our roof (same as your tiles) and our neighbour (same as your neighbour's tiles).

    What is the cost to simply fix?

    Whatever you feel, a simple fix may be the way to proceed.  Legal action or a dispute with the neighbour will only cause you more stress and gain you little.
    It's £1600. However that's just for the rear.. The front LOOKS better, but I think there is likely a problem there too.
  • TheJP
    TheJP Posts: 1,641
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    TheJP said:
    You're not in a dispute until you start one, so options 2 and 3 are for you to start the dispute, although I don't know where you've got the idea of an injunction.  You'd just make a small
    claim for cost of the repair you make. 

    Option 4 - the council has no powers.  These are private properties that they have zero interest in.  

    I can see improvements needed to your roof already, so maybe option 5 - just see what your buyers survey comes back with and you either just do the work or accept a price reduction for them to do it.  They may want a new roof like your neighbours.  

    It's not nice but I'd swallow it for an
    easy life and keep my buyers happy.  
    Thanks for the reply. One of the roofers said something about the council, maybe he was confused about the situation, ill check again on that. 

    Yes, I have had 2 different roofers say that it's the wrong roof type fitted on mine. However it has been fine for decades, with maybe 3 minor repairs over 20 years. 

    I have considered they may want to replace it entirely, however the sale could easily fall through, so it may still be a bad idea to put off any work.

    Any idea how long a legal dispute can last though? Would still love to sue her, she REALLLLY deserves it.
    Sue her for what exactly? First you need to prove that the works in 2023 were caused by the work she had done which would need to be an independent expert to investigate, in the unlikely event that you win she would only cover the cost of a repair which could be minor.

    I honestly think you have shot yourself in the foot by telling the buyers that there is an issue with the roof, most surveyors don't go into the loft they typically stand at the top of a ladder a shine a torch around so it may not be picked up anyway.

    At this point its your problem not your neighbours.
    I asked the estate agent, and they said to declare it. Fantastic. So I would also have to pay out for a full roofing survey then, I was hoping the buyer's survey could act as proof if anything shows up.
    You didn't have to declare anything. If I'm honest i think you are trying to pin something on the neighbour that wont stick and now you have got a rod up your back. If its £1600 just take the hit and move on. It will be cheaper than trying to sue the neighbour.
  • Slumbershade
    Slumbershade Posts: 667
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    My local old roofer said that his ****ty bodge job is potentially dangerous, ie. tiles flying off, so I could try dangerous buildings reporting.

  • Slumbershade
    Slumbershade Posts: 667
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    TheJP said:
    TheJP said:
    You're not in a dispute until you start one, so options 2 and 3 are for you to start the dispute, although I don't know where you've got the idea of an injunction.  You'd just make a small
    claim for cost of the repair you make. 

    Option 4 - the council has no powers.  These are private properties that they have zero interest in.  

    I can see improvements needed to your roof already, so maybe option 5 - just see what your buyers survey comes back with and you either just do the work or accept a price reduction for them to do it.  They may want a new roof like your neighbours.  

    It's not nice but I'd swallow it for an
    easy life and keep my buyers happy.  
    Thanks for the reply. One of the roofers said something about the council, maybe he was confused about the situation, ill check again on that. 

    Yes, I have had 2 different roofers say that it's the wrong roof type fitted on mine. However it has been fine for decades, with maybe 3 minor repairs over 20 years. 

    I have considered they may want to replace it entirely, however the sale could easily fall through, so it may still be a bad idea to put off any work.

    Any idea how long a legal dispute can last though? Would still love to sue her, she REALLLLY deserves it.
    Sue her for what exactly? First you need to prove that the works in 2023 were caused by the work she had done which would need to be an independent expert to investigate, in the unlikely event that you win she would only cover the cost of a repair which could be minor.

    I honestly think you have shot yourself in the foot by telling the buyers that there is an issue with the roof, most surveyors don't go into the loft they typically stand at the top of a ladder a shine a torch around so it may not be picked up anyway.

    At this point its your problem not your neighbours.
    I asked the estate agent, and they said to declare it. Fantastic. So I would also have to pay out for a full roofing survey then, I was hoping the buyer's survey could act as proof if anything shows up.
    You didn't have to declare anything. If I'm honest i think you are trying to pin something on the neighbour that wont stick and now you have got a rod up your back. If its £1600 just take the hit and move on. It will be cheaper than trying to sue the neighbour.
    300ish in small claims court. and 4 seperate roofers say its a travesty.. they cant allbe full of **** surely? Was hoping one would chime in if this is not so!

    But yeah could take over a year in court anyway.. so I wont do it unless she has the audacity to try and prevent me fixing and paying for her problem... which is actually quite possible.
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