There may be times when the overhanging guttering of a neighbour can cause severe inconvenience to you. This is the reason why we will explore in this article whether your neighbour is allowed to let their guttering overhang on your property. If the answer is yes, we will discuss how should you accommodate it as long as there is no violation of Building Regulations or the guidelines set by Planning Permission. However, if the answer to the question is not in the affirmative we will explore the rights of a neighbour who has someone else’s guttering overhanging on their property.

Can My Neighbour’s Guttering Overhang My Property?

No, your neighbour’s guttering should not overhang your property. Legally speaking, this act is considered trespassing as the air space above your property belongs to you and your neighbours should not access it for any purpose including overhanging guttering pipes.

As per the Code of Laws, the owner of a house is supposed to make sure that rainwater from the roof of their house either flows on their own land or on a public road; but not on a neighbour’s property. 

Although in some cases the configuration of the land can be such that rainwater, snowmelt or spring water from your neighbour’s property flows into yours, however, it should be a case where they have no other option. In such cases, it is advisable to discuss the matter with your neigh bout and seek a mutually agreeable solution

Meanwhile, in the case of used water, house sewage or residue, the law states that if your neighbour’s guttering is overhanging on your property, you are entitled to get it removed.

If your neighbour’s guttering is overhanging on your property, you should talk to them and try to resolve the matter through a mutual agreement. If the attempt is unsuccessful, you should write down the details of your complaint and send a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt to your local council office.

In their response, the local council will first assign a mediator who can talk to both parties and resolve the matter amicably. If that is not the case, the grieving party has the right to take the matter to court and have the overhanging guttering altered or removed altogether.

Even in the case of an “overhang easement” or a roof sewer easement, homeowners must make sure that any gutters installed on their property to divert rainwater or snowmelt do not protrude on their neighbour’s property. If it does happen, the neighbour can ask for its removal or modification of your property.

If someone has been witnessing inconvenience due to a neighbour’s overhanging gutters and it goes on for a long period of time, say 30 years or so, they will not be able to exercise their rights to have any removal or modification done. This is one of the main reasons why whether or not overhanging guttering causes any damage to your property if it causes inconvenience, you should tackle the matter at the earliest possible.

On the other hand, there are some who advise the use of an “eavesdrop system” and completely do away with the traditional guttering lines. This system allows rainwater to drop freely to the ground without the need for a guttering system to evacuate rainwater.

However, one must be careful that the design is such that there is protection provided to the structure of the building from water ingress through doors or windows as well as dampness. 

What Are The Building Regulations Regarding Guttering?

When it comes to Building Regulations for guttering the purpose is to make sure that damp damage is avoided as much as possible. This is why one will need to make sure of the following:

  • assess the size and position of downpipes 
  • plan for the acceptable drainage options 
  • calculate the flow rate that guttering should meet

While one may not need to seek approval from Building Regulations when they are simply repairing the guttering on the property, it is advisable to check if the work being done is in line with guttering regulations.

However, if the property is declared as a conservation area or the guttering needs to be completely overhauled or is being done for the first time, one would need the approval of Building Regulations.

Building Regulations all over the UK require that any guttering that is being installed or replaced must protect the foundations of the property, as well as those of neighbouring property from damage caused by accumulated rainwater.

Does Planning Permission Apply To Guttering? 

Generally speaking, you do not need approval from Planning Permission for guttering under the following situations:

  • You are repairing or replacing an existing guttering
  • You are changing your guttering to a different size or material
  • You are changing the size or location of the downpipes (as long as they can handle the water flow coming from the roof)

Similarly, if you are repairing or replacing guttering or downpipes on a property that is listed as part of a conservation area, you can do so without the approval of the Planning Permission. 

However, if you wish to reinstall the guttering using a different material which will change the appearance of the building, you will need to seek approval from the Planning Permission department as this change may impact the historical appeal of the property.

Conclusion:

After going through the content of this blog post, one may be able to safely conclude that your neighbours cannot let their guttering overhang your property and the sooner you voice your concern to them and have the matter resolved, the better it will be. The longer the time lapse regarding the matter, the more difficult it will be for you to convince them to make alterations or even convince the authorities; should you decide to take legal action.

FAQs: Can My Neighbours Guttering Overhang My Property?

Do I have to let a neighbour drain his roof water into my downpipe?

No, you do not have to let a neighbour drain their roof water into your downpipe. If they are letting water flow into your property you can claim negligence.

Who is responsible for shared gutters?

In the case of joint gutters, the responsibility for maintenance and repairs is generally shared between both parties. You should have a look at your title deed for details regarding the matter. In the absence of their mention, you can arrive at a mutual decision in discussion with your neighbour.

Do you have to have gutters on top of your house in the UK?

Yes, you should have a guttering system to allow water excavation and avoid damage to the building. 

How do I stop my neighbour’s water from draining into my yard?

Your neighbour is not allowed to let water from their home drain into your yard. You should speak to them and have the matter resolved. Otherwise, you can register a complaint with the local council.

Can my neighbour remove my guttering?

Yes, your neighbour can have your guttering removed. If your guttering is trespassing into your neighbour’s property they have the right to have it removed or altered through an injunction from the court.

References: 

Can My Neighbours Guttering Overhang My Property? | Justdownsize.

What can homeowners do about overhanging eaves and gutters? – Lyons Davidson Solicitors

Building Regulations for Guttering – Quotatis Advice

Planning Permission for Guttering – Quotatis Advice

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?