Shelter’s Income and expenditure figures highlighted13:57 PM, 4th February 2019
About 2 weeks ago 35
I have rented out a property for nearly 2 years after relocating abroad for work. My property is an upstairs maisonette that I lived in with my wife for 3 years. Prior to moving we had problems with the downstairs neighbour who complained many times about leaks into their property, each time we had plumbers and the local water company out to investigate, however each time no leak was identified.
It reached the point where the neighbour would switch off our water supply in the street on a regular basis because they ‘thought a leak was about to happen’, but could never back their claim with any evidence.
In the weeks before moving out, we had the water company and our plumber formally write to us and the neighbour to confirm no leak was found between the properties and our estate agent confirmed the property was ready to let. We then let the property out to a tenant.
2 years later, our tenant is now moving out because during that time the neighbour continued to harass her and her daughter, switching off the water and consistently complaining to her and our estate agent. During that time many more plumbers have visited the property and on no occasion was a leak found.
Having seen the state of downstairs property which has been poorly maintained over more than 20 years I suspect the neighbour is trying to claim that a leak has caused damage and therefore someone else (us) should be liable to pay for repairs. The neighbour has sent many letters to us with false claims over the years in which they have asked for money for damages that we did not cause.
The neighbour has been making ours, our tenants and the agents lives hell for a long time and I now fear the property will be unlettable while the neighbours continue to cause problems. It seems for now my only options are
1. Try and pay off the neighbour in the hope that they leave us and our tenants alone. This is really not a preferred option and would feel like I’m giving into blackmail but may be the cheapest option (if we were to truly believe they would stop harassing us/our tenants).
2. Let the agent deal with it, find new tenants and hope the neighbours stop harassing them. This seems hopeful and maybe unrealistic, I also don’t know if the agent will want to continue letting the property after all the issues.
3. Take a legal route against the neighbour perhaps by filing an injunction. This I imagine would be costly.
If anyone has any advice on how to deal with this situation it would be greatly appreciated!
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