Neighbours Guttering flowing into ours following a loft conversion

21 Mar 2021
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United Kingdom
Hi There,

Our neighbours adjoined wall on a semi-detached property, just had their loft conversion done. They ‘didn’t want’ a downpipe on their side as it would ‘ruin the look’ of their half... Now the whole of their new flat roof along the house flows into our gutter and our down pipe and subsequent soak (which could lead to all sorts on our property), they didn’t talk to us about it, they just did it...

When I pointed this out to the party wall consultant to help, they have written him threatening emails back saying they did not want a down pipe on their own property side as it would ‘spoil the look of their wall’...

Apart from ruining our neighbourly relationship and I’m actually quite shocked at this! Is there not any laws to make them direct their own water drainage to their own downpipe and soak? Our house was built in the 1950s and I believe the soaks are not very big to take all the rainwater from both houses, apart from my own anger, is there anything I can do?

Any advice appreciated.
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My house is mid 50's and all the rear roof drainage goes down a pipe on my side. It's a shared pipe.
If it is just a flat roof, not extending the surface area of the original footprint, the amount of water will be minimal
That’s interesting, it’s the whole roof on their side, we each had our own downpipes before to our own soaks, so I would have thought it would be double the rainwater... taking both roofs.

I suppose all we can do is wait it out and see what happens.
Keep doing what you're doing. They have no right to link to your guttering (were gutters linked originally) without your agreement, they have no right to create a shared downpipe where originally they had their own. Hopefully you have pictures and written records of conversations with them and party wall chap.
The aesthetics of their frontage are not your problem, they have to deal with their own rainwater disposal. Keep on it now, if you let it slide all of a sudden it'll 'always been like that'.
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I suppose all we can do is wait it out and see what happens.

No, keep on at them - your gutter, down pipe and soak away is your own property, they have no right to make use of it without your permission. I suspect they will have had to join their gutter onto yours, to get it to drain your way. You could always remove the joint and arrange their gutter to over flow onto their property, if you wanted to be really awkward. You could also send them a reminder that they have now become liable for at least half the cost of the upkeep of your side and particularly the soak away, which will become choked twice as quickly.
Thank you for the reassurance. I’ve felt like I’m going mad as they keep saying what’s the problem, but there will be a problem down the line. The scaffolding came off now, so that proves they have no intention in changing it... I’ll have to take it to a solicitor I think now, or talk to the council about my options which seem limited.
I’ll have to take it to a solicitor I think now, or talk to the council about my options which seem limited.

Unless you take the cheap option, of getting a guy with a ladder, to 'adjust' your gutter so their water cannot flow in your direction.

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