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Neighbours "Property Trespassing on my Property" Court Action ?

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  • Neighbours "Property Trespassing on my Property" Court Action ?

    Hi my neighbour (we live in a terrace of old cottages) has installed her new "ensuite drainage pipework" my side of the Boundary Wall and "Cut into my private bathroom downpipe" to connect into shared "Sewer Drains system" ! Moreover, she has installed a Gas Boiler Flue in same "Boundary Wall my side and ... changed the Gas Supply from by the meter into her home to a gas pipe running MY SIDE of the Boundary wall (20 ft plus and around 2 corners) to below gas flue at heights varying from 6 inch above ground/entrance pathway to 20 inches above ground/entrance pathway - already one plastic "clip" securing to my side of the Boundary Wall has broken off ... this "entrance of mine has Private Rights of Access from main road for my neighbour" over my "garden/land".

    However my NEIGHBOUR OWNS NO LAND OUTSIDE his property - they are Terraced - I own the rooms above my Gated entrance.

    Question ? In which Court ? (Crown ; Small Claims or ?) do I file and for what under which Act/Law - I cannot afford the Legal Costs for Solicitors and Barristers to do this.
    Front of my property Ground and 1st floor (left  rooms and above my Gated Entrance and front room Room above) Shows Neighbour "Criminal Damage" cutting into my PRIVATE Bathroom Downpipe AND Neighbour Gas Boiler Flue Shows my side of Boundary Wall and Neighbours black pipe work to new Bathroom/Ensuite & Gas Meter
    Last edited by MouseF1; 29th May 2018, 15:54:PM. Reason: just added a few more photos - also in the "under croft" I have my electric sockets for my Wood Carving /Pyrography (wood burning art
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Problems include 1) RICS have confirmed that Ground floor is Boundary Wall and Upstairs "shared walls are Party Walls" No probs upstairs however 2) ALL neighbours "Property is Trespassing" 3) Gas Fumes from their Flue get trapped in the under-croft and being wood beams come up in the rooms above and if our Kitchen door/windows or upstairs back room windows are open - these gases come "in" 3) Checked with Planning Neighbour has No Building Regulations for converting the front "Dressing Room" to a Bathroom/En Suite - Building Control came back to me on telephone last week to say "neighbour want to "REGULARISE" their "works" ... it turns out that means "they apply for Retrospective Planning IF I agree NOT to object" so I said NO 1) Gas Boiler Flue and Gas Pipe Must go (Gas Boiler fitted 14/7/2016) by GasSafe Engineer BUT does not CONFORM to Section J (on a few counts as 1) Trespass and 2) other parts of Section J) so Gas Safe Investigating (usually this means the Engineer who fitted gets struck off - sad a married chap, wife and 3 young kids mortgage etc., BUT IT IS ON MY PRIVATE OWNED PROPERTY and now Gas Safe referring to Health & Safety Executive as this "path has access use from 11 bedrooms/occupants and is significant DANGER and 2) Bathroom/en suite pipes Must have "Easement in her and my Deeds and pay Consideration if to stay". What is a decent amount of "Consideration" ?

    Neither Gas Flue and Gas Pipe and Bathroom pipework are on Neighbours Insurance NOR MINE so they are 1) in default of their Mortgage and 2) invalidated their Buildings & Contents Insurance by this Trespassing Property of theirs on/over my property

    We were "removing all our Bathroom pipes as making front bedroom into Bathroom and flying freehold bathroom into a Guest Bedroom (as our using the loo at night disturbs our neighbour sleep when we flush and wash our hands - I dont understand this as walls are 2 ft+7 inches thick ! and we never hear a thing )

    We cannot do our remove and new bathroom because we CANNOT TAKE out our downpipe she has Criminally Damaged/ cut into


    • #3
      Have you sent a letter to your neighbour requesting they stop the trespass and claiming damages.?

      I would suggest at least an initial consultation with a solicitor to check on the ways forward, and to see how any action could be funded (CFA possibly)


      • #4
        Hi DES8 thanks for your reply. We have sent letters and Jan 2018 by Royal Mail Recorded/Signature Delivery NO Reply then "Letter Before Action" April 2018. It appears that they do not care and want it all to remain. Hence my post here What is CFA ?


        • #5
          CFA = conditional Fee Arrangement, commonly known as No win no fee agreement


          • #6
            Thank You Des8 - Duh! never thought of that - how we I go about finding a solicitor on a CFA ?

            an Update I have now received Gas Safe Reports on the Boiler Flue Failing to Comply with Section J of Building Regulations and on the "DiY altered Gas Pipe extended along and around my side of the boundary wall and forwarded these to Local Building Control and filed an Enforcement Complaint with Local Council.

            This is so very stressful and with my 74 yrs young partner in very poor health (astbestosis) we do not need this


            • #7
              Re finding a solicitor.... arrange appointment with local firms and ask or search our sister site: https://justbeagle.com/

              Might not need to do any more tho' if planning enforcement do their job properly.
              In view of the risk to your and your partner's health a call to Environmental Health dept might put added pressure on your neighbours.

              (And 1944 was a good year to be born in)


              • #8
                Funny you should mention Environmental Health as I lodged a Complaint with Health & Safety Executive this morning and the Gas Safe Reports dated 31 May and 4 June 2018 and then did an on line Complaint re Gases, fumes, odors on the Council Environmental Health bit of their website also details the H & S E Reference no and the Gas Safe reports (previously emailed to Building Control and Environmental Health acknowledged receipt recd date 4th June 2018 just to "cover all angles" I could think of this morning BUT I must ADD Partners health Thanks for this post

                and YES !!!! to below except for being a little less agile etc., just now

                (And 1944 was a good year to be born in)


                • #9
                  I have had no success with a CFA no solicitors in our area do this except for medical negligence.

                  I have found that I need to bring "An Action in Trespass" in the County Court. I phoned Citizens Advice who told me to phone the Court/
                  The Court say staff are not permitted to offer advice

                  Does anyone know which Form ?

                  I have written up a chronology and have all the independent evidence (council emails stating bathroom without Building Regulations so cannot be signed off as trespass on our property ; the Gas Safe Complaint I lodged ; Gas Safe Engineer Inspection of the installation Reports on the Boiler Flue and the Gas Pipe ; and copy of both our Title Deeds and Title Plans ; and my letters Royal Mail Signature on delivery Jan and Apr 2018 (if the Court needs it the previous letters)

                  The Council are "dragging their heels" no surprise there ... they "are talking to neighbour about the gas boiler flue" I have Reports from Gas Safe that it fails to comply with Section J in a number of specified areas ..." apart from trespassing on my side of the boundary wall ... and asked about "it being modified" No I replied it must be removed. the Council Building Control seem to be "negotiating on Trespassing Neighbours side"


                  • #10
                    Dealing with trespass through the courts is very stressful, and can have huge costs implications.
                    As you haven't been able to arrange a CFA deal, I wonder if your house insurance has a legal expenses section which you can call on.
                    You will need to complete an Injunction Application (Form N16A) and a Statement of Claim (this is a written statement of exactly what you are complaining about with specific details of what has happened and who was responsible).
                    And in case you qualify form EX160 is the one you need for Fee Remission
                    Last edited by des8; 17th June 2018, 21:55:PM. Reason: added info requested


                    • #11
                      I have to say that being a gassafe engineer myself this case highlights some of the concerns I have had dealing with jobs. On this job the gas pipe has been extended so the meter and some of the pipe were already in existence in this situation. I would imagine the patch of render that has repaired a square hole beneath the new boiler was probably the flue from the original boiler, hence there was a boiler already there.

                      The older boiler would have emitted far more bad substances than the new boiler but because of the temperature would have been much less noticeable. I say this not to go against the verdict of gassafe but to highlight some issues. As engineers we can install boilers as per building regs and all relevant codes but if environmental health show concerns they can still make the installation be altered to alleviate these concerns.

                      Before anyone reads my post and thinks I am going against the OP please fully read and understand my post. The rules state that a flue terminal must be at least 30cm from a boundary, at least 1metre from a facing wall and to cause no nuisance. The extra bit of flue that has been added to take the flue up to the roof is to alleviate the nuisance but the manufacturer would state that it is not to overcome the rules and regulations in place hence the installation is contrary to relevant regulations.

                      But I have also been in customers houses to price jobs like this and told them of the rules but they will always come back with "there is already a boiler there" and you can't argue with them because the boiler might have been there far the past 30 years. I usually walk away but I know somebody will still do it and 9 times out of ten nobody complains.

                      As for the addition of a bathroom again if you are in the know and inform a prospective client that they require planning permission they think you are making the most of the job and because somebody will come along and do it without permission you look like the person who is taking the customer for a mug.

                      I do feel sorry for the plumber/engineer on this job but he should have known better and in a competitive world probably needed the work to feed his family. If it gets to court he would probably be the one who takes the brunt of the action because he is the qualified person who should have known better, the neighbour (his client), only has to plead ignorance and the engineer would have to rectify things at his cost.


                      • #12
                        meellis Thank You for your post - the "hole" by the meter is through a 2 ft thick stone wall and as "installed nearest into home by meter nearest road/public supply" it took the gas supply into the neighbours cottage for a gas fire and later a boiler non condensing the "new plaster square" shows as you suspect where the square grill for intake of air was. This owner took out internal gas pipes alone inside of this wall ...

                        We looked at the neighbours property as ours and theirs were up for sale for some time - we were put off the property they bought for many reasons - it was soo outdated with gas pipes along walls and popping out of the floor here and there "capped off" and the boiler was so old only 2 radiators could run off it more a water heater

                        We have major problems with this flue here, because of the wood beams over the walkway and our windows above which "suck the fumes, gases and odours in and up ... the Gas Safe Certificate is only for "connecting the boiler" and yes that Licensed Engineer is being Inspected by Gas Safe

                        This Gas pipe was connected up 3 days before the Gas Safe Engineer came to connect up the boiler and certified the boiler & gas cooker Rangemaster

                        When we purchased our solicitors informed us "you may have to move your Gas Boiler if the Flue/installation does not conform to ... new standards ... Section J even if it had been installed prior to ... as trespass ... nuisance ,,, environmental pollution etc., ... if it does and your neighbour sues to have it moved ... we can assist please ask us for fee details .."

                        I am 1 in 10 who cannot have this ... where the gas pipe rises from 6 inches by the meter to 17 inches ABOVE the ground where it enters their property ... is a Walkway for neighbours access to and from their homes and in use daily by public delivery services, visitors, some with shopping trolleys, wheelchairs, pallet deliveries ... the risk of a GAS LEAK and Explosion is very high given this traffic the Liability for this Gas Pipe of theirs on our property is not insured


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by des8 View Post
                          Dealing with trespass through the courts is very stressful, and can have huge costs implications.
                          As you haven't been able to arrange a CFA deal, I wonder if your house insurance has a legal expenses section which you can call on.
                          You will need to complete an Injunction Application (Form N16A) and a Statement of Claim (this is a written statement of exactly what you are complaining about with specific details of what has happened and who was responsible).
                          And in case you qualify form EX160 is the one you need for Fee Remission
                          des8 Huge Thanks we do indeed have Legal Expenses Insurance with Direct Line who "declined our claim as they believe it occurred before our Insurance started" so we are in the deep and smelly stuff up to our Credit Card limit of very little as aged old folks and very little savings having shelled out for solicitors advice so far

                          des where can I find past cases ? - there must have been thousands for Gas Flue etc Trespass ... this is not an argument of 6 inches of garden land there is a clean cut Boundary on the Deeds they own no land outside their wall and we do own land outside our walls clearly marked on Title Plan

                          I feel so very stressed - this has been going on since Feb 2017 when I complained to Council Environmental and they did NOT even check for a Gas Safe Certificate (which was not filed until May 2018 AFTER my Complaints again and getting Gas Safe to Inspect and Report Non Compliant

                          knowing that 1) the Courts do not want petty actions BUT ours is not it is Trespass and neighbours never asked us "just took advantage of our side of this boundary wall"

                          The Building Control (Building Regulations Enforcement should take Enforcement Action for removal - I am pushing for this but they said "we are talking to neighbour to get it modified" I said NO MODIFIED it fails to Comply section J on a number of sub sections and no matter it is Trespassing I want it removed.

                          We shall have to go to Court for the Ensuite drainage pipes but just hope not gas as well
                          Last edited by MouseF1; 18th June 2018, 12:37:PM.


                          • #14
                            Here's a case for you:
                            Laiqat v Majid

                            [2005] EWHC 1305

                            The trial judge held that an overhanging extractor fan was not causing a trespass because it did not cause a substantial interference with the claimants land. On appeal this was held to be wrong.
                            • ".. if a defendant interferes with a claimants airspace, this amounts to trespass except that this conduct would not constitute trespass if the interference were at such great height - such as by high flying aircraft - that it does not interfere with the claimants airspace. As Scott J explained if somebody erects on his own land a structure, part of which invades the air space above the land of another, the invasion is trespass." (para 34).
                            (The argument in the citation is a bit circular: An interference is not an interference if it does not interfere because it is too high! But we know what the court means).

                            The real question for the trial judge to determine was whether or not an injunction should be granted or damages awarded in lieu. The case was referred back to the judge to carry out that exercise.


                            • #15
                              As far as I am aware even if the flue complies with Doc j environmental health can still have it moved so even if the boiler was correctly installed it could still be made to be moved ( correctly as in per regulations). As for the powers that the relevant authorities have then I think they only become official experts in a trial brought by others. The only powers gassafe have is to present a case to a body like the HSE for legal action or, as you have stated, limiting the activities of the registered engineer involved. I am even unsure if it is actually illegal to work on your own gas pipe unless it can be proven that what you have done has caused a danger to life or other properties, I know your insurance would take a dim view of it all. I might be wrong but I think building regulations come under civil law hence there are always cost considerations whenever action is taken by anyone so these would have to be considered by anyone before proceeding be it yourselves or the relevant authorities. This is probably why they try to frighten people into action firstly or try to find a compromise before considering action.
                              By the way, am I imaging it or did you say on post 15 that you had installed electric points into your walkway so you could carry out woodcarving and wood burning (forgot the technical name you called it) and then edit it back out? I am getting a bit confused because the pictures show your walkway with tables and chairs in and all your stuff (as you would expect being yours) yet it is now a walkway for neighbours access , for deliveries and for access for the disabled. Is this another walkway or the same one?


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