My neighbour has recently had the outside of his house painted and mine looks very tatty next to it. He now says the state of my property is affecting the value of his and is insisting that I get mine repainted. He is threatening me with his solicitors if I do not do what he asks. Can he do this?
No he cannot. If your property is very dilapidated due to your lack of maintenance then the only remedies available to your neighbour would be a local authority Enforcement Notice declaring the property to be in a dangerous state which would require you to carry out urgent repair works for Health & Safety reasons, or action by an estate owner having the benefit of a restrictive covenant for repair.
It is possible you live on a development where all properties are the subject of various covenants which will include obligations to keep the property in a good state of repair, decorate the exterior of the property, say every five years, and not be a nuisance to your neighbours.
Your neighbour, could at his cost, request that action is taken against you for breach of your covenant to repair, but these remedies would only be available in extreme circumstances and, accordingly, your neighbour’s ability to force you to redecorate your property is very limited.
• Emyr Pierce is Managing Partner of Emyr Pierce Solicitors in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Western Mail Conveyancer of the Year, specialising in Domestic and Commercial Property. Contact www.emyrpierce.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org