Q&A - Neighbours extension work has caused problems on my land what can I do?

Q. I am worried that my garden is getting flooded because my neighbour built and directed a drain pipe from his extension onto my land without my consent while I was at work. Whilst doing so he has also damaged my fence post and left a load of debris in my garden. I am wondering what I can do about this?

A. It seems that this inconvenient situation has resulted from your neighbour trespassing onto your land. Trespass is defined as any “intentional direct interference” with a person’s possession of land without their consent. By entering and building the drain in your garden as well as damaging your post and leaving the debris, it seems that your neighbour has interfered with your land.

The main issue is the continuing discharge from the drain pipe. You can apply to the court for compensatory damages for the trespass and also apply for an injunction order that the neighbour removes or re-directs the drain pipe. Damages could also be claimed for the nuisance of this unlawful interference with your use or enjoyment of land.

Before court proceedings are started a letter should be sent threatening the action, but in advance of that stage it would always be good to write to or meet with your neighbour to explain what the problem is for you and to suggest or discuss possible solutions. At the end of the day it is always best to remain on good terms with your neighbours.

To assist with this complex area of law and with any delicate negotiations it is always good to have the input of a solicitor with specific experience of resolving disputes and taking action.