Construction Law/Roofing work


Hi John

I have previously asked a question, but this one is possibly not so straight forward.

This is my own semi detached home.

My neighbour has had  his roof recovered but the workmanship at party wall line is very poor. My neighbour contacted the roofer but they do not want to know.

I employed my own roofer to inspect and the roof tiles have been incorrectly gauged resulting in gaps and incorrect head lap with tile nail holes exposed. As a result water is getting through their tiles at the party wall and tracking across to mine and into my property.  My neighbour does not care as rainwater is not leaking into his property. I sent him photographs etc and information about water damage, but all I have received is a letter from his insurers telling e to take up the issue directly with roofer. I explained that all I want is their roof repairing, but righty so they said poor workmanship is not covered under their insurance.

I have done some research and their roofer is not registered with the competent roofers scheme and I doubt that a Building Regulation application was made- I have asked Building Control if an application was made and if not what action they will take about on-compliant work.

Now for the legal bit. Does my neighbour have a duty of care towards me or can they transfer all duties owed to their roofer?

if their roofer is not willing to return to make good, would I have to take legal action against the roofer. In the meantime, my walls are getting damp and my insurers will not pay out until the defective work is put right.

the strangest thing in all of this is why my neighbours don't want their roof being done properly- but as long as there is not water Ingress into their property!!

Thanks for reading

Dear Kevin,

Thank you for this question. It is an awful position to find yourself in and I hope you will resolve it soon.

In short it is your neighbour's responsibility and he ought to take action as you have brought this to his attention; however leaving it, even without a temporary covering, is not good for your position.

It seems to me that if you are insured you should bring this to the attention of your insurance company. They will decide where liability lies and whether it is worthwhile their expense of suing your neighbour and/or his contractor. If you are uninsured or the insurance company is not going to assist, I suggest that you contact a local solicitor.

I hope that this assists you.

Kind regards,
John Dowse

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John Dowse


Legal; contract interpretation; quantum; delay analysis. Practitioner in arbitration, adjudication and mediation.


Thirty-three (33) years experience in building and construction, at all levels both within contracting and consulting organisations. Practising arbitrator, adjudicator, and mediator. Faculty approved trainer for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Lecturer on construction contract forms and dispute resolution practices.

Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Institute of Directors Society of Construction Arbitrators

Various UK and International construction and legal publications.

LLB (Hons), Pg Dip (Legal Practice), MCInstCES MCIArb MIOD Barrister

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