Water damage to chimney stack.


This isn't exactly a diy question, although it might be in the future. I have discovered that the chimney breast in the loft area of my house is totally saturated with water. There's fungus on the bricks and the mortar can be picked out with bare fingers. At the very least the stack itself in the loft will have to be rebuilt.
Now to the real question. The damage is a consequence of the next door neighbour's chimney not having any flashing (the two chimneys are in one stack) so what can I do? I want to get any repairs paid for by the neighbour, but how do I go about this? Has anyone had a similar situation where the neighbour's lack of maintenance to their house has caused damage to your property? If so can you offer any advice please?
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I suggest you have a word with your insurance co
Colin

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In an earlier contribution to this discussion,

I suggest you research the "Party Wall Act". Can't promise, but it may just be relevant.
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Roger
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    clangers snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk writes:

I doubt your diagnosis is correct. I can't see how missing flashing on the other side of the stack could have this effect.
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Andrew Gabriel
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Might be worth asking this on one of the legal newsgroups, or a local solicitor will be able to advise. I don't know whether the small claims court is a possibility in these circumstances. If it is, you will probably need to get an independent building surveyor's report to support your claim. Whose diagnosis is this? Has a roofer or building surveyor been up there to inspect the problem? If you have building insurance then they should be informed although you may not be covered for lack of maintenance/wear and tear on your part, but it may be different if this is neglect on your neighbour's part. Good luck.
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On Oct 11, 4:32 pm, clangers snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

This is more appropriate to uk.legal.moderated than here, but anyway.
IANAL. Your neighbour is only liable if he has been negligent - usually because he knew that damage was occurring. Also note that if you sue your neighbour, when (if) you come to sell your house you will have to disclose this as a dispute with your neighbour - and that will knock a /significant/ chunk off the value of your house.
If your stack is falling to pieces, then his is probably doing the same. This is going to be a major piece of work, and you ought to arrange to fix it together (only one lot of scaffolding for starters).
How long has this been going on?
Fungus doesn't feed on bricks, so if there is any fungus, it must be feeding on something else - probably somebody's rafters. It may be dry (as opposed to wet) rot. The good news is that once the source of moisture is removed, the dry rot will die; the bad news is that it may have already seriously damaged wood a long way from the dampness.
I think you need to start talking to your neighbour - at the very least you need to get this fixed ASAP before any further damage occurs. Do try and get it done by mutual agreement - it will be much less stressful, and probably cheaper than a successful court case (and obviously MUCH cheaper than an unsuccessful one).
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