Neighbour's proposed Soil Stack - Urgent advice needed please

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Barn Builder, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. Barn Builder

    Barn Builder New Member



    I live in a row of small detached bungalows, each about 3 to 4 feet apart. (Just enough room between them to give access to each back garden).

    All of these bungalows in our road are either in the middle of getting extended or are mid planning permission etc.


    Anyway, my neighbour has pretty much finished his building work/extension and he has a problem, which now, is also my problem I guess.

    One of his new bathrooms, the one furthest away from his sewer, backs onto a wall which is on our boundary.

    He says that Building Control has told him that he needs to install a new soil stack and vent it to the outside.

    This is a downstairs loo. He will have one other one downstairs and also one upstairs.

    He has asked whether I would be ok on him having this come out of the wall facing us and projecting up his wall on the outside of his building, but in the my "air space" of my alleyway.

    I am not very happy about this without at least seeing if there are any alternatives.


    As this is the last loo on his system, does it have to be vented to the outside?

    Why can't it just be vented inside like his other 2 loos? (3 in total)

    If he does have to have a vent pipe outside, can it be a smaller diameter than the one he is proposing of 4 inches?

    How can any smells coming out of this stack be handled without having pipework going all the way up the wall and up over the gutters and eaves, causing an unsightly mess?

    Any other advice for us?

    Please help if you can. It would be much appreciated.

  2. Jimthecob

    Jimthecob New Member

    Can he not fit an AAV inside the property somewhere,some vents can be reduced down to 2 inch dia suggest both of these options,Should your neighbor refuse either of these options buy a pot bellied pig,let it live in your garden very soon I think you will reach a mutual agreement on venting!!good luck mucker.
  3. --------- plumbing

    --------- plumbing New Member

    this has been answered on another forum.

    if he wants to fit outside stack and it's going to be in your boundary line then tell him no.
    then theirs nothing else he can do if you say no.
    he'll have to fit an internal stack and vent in loft with a durgo valve.
  4. MTcock

    MTcock New Member

    Your neighbour can have an internal stack vented to outside through the roof with a Ubisoil terminal or similar.
  5. Barn Builder

    Barn Builder New Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    We don't want to fall out unnecessarily with the neighbours, but at the same time we don't want an ugly stack in our alleyway and possibly put people off if/when we come to sell.

    I get the feeling he will always resent me if he has to do a lot more work and have the ugly pipe inside his property.

    Any further comments? Should I worry about falling out or am I a big softy?
  6. thelonegunman

    thelonegunman New Member

    under no circumstances let him do this.
    Tell him your mortgage lender who still in theory owns part of the property will not allow you.
    He won't know if you don't have a mortgage ?
  7. Northwest gas svc's

    Northwest gas svc's New Member

    We (us gas fitters) have a similar problem when fitting flue terminals ! You cant fit even a flue on someone elses property.
    What happens if you decide you want to extend your property to your boundary like he probably has done.
    It sounds like he was going to run his soil pipe into your drain as well ??? Is this right.
    DONT let him put his soil stack on your property.
    It will cause alsorts of problems in the future
  8. Barn Builder

    Barn Builder New Member

    This is the soil pipe vent part.

    He wants to have it come through the wall to the outside, just above head height when standing in my alleyway, and then up his wall on the outside up to the eaves. (This all being in my alleyway).

    His poo will get flushed into his soil pipe under his floor and out of the front of his house.

    He is also threatening/requesting to vent his shower room and kitchen hood extractor into my alley way too.

    Please advise. What action do I need to take if any at this point.
  9. sooyar

    sooyar New Member

    Tell him you're planning an extension yourself.
  10. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    Hi Barn Builder.

    You need professional advice which, with respect, you ain't getting on here by the looks of it.

    Until you do, my personal thoughts are you need to be polite but firm - and say 'no' to the vent pipe and the kitchen extractor. He has alternatives - venting directly through his roof or using an air admittance valve inside (for the soil stack).

    Tell him "sorry, but every one I've talked to has been quite adamant about the problems this could cause - everything from insurance implications - who's liable if the stack were to fall down and damage anything - to the potential 'statutory nuisance' which could be caused by cooking smells."

    Explain it would CERTAINLY raise questions should you wish to sell your property - the buyer's solicitors would be wanting confirmation of these points which would, at the very least, slow down the sale.

    Bottom line is your neighb hasn't planned things through properly or, worse, has thought it through and hopes to get away with it.

    I know the last thing anyone wants to do is fall out with a neighbour, but in this case your neighb is being completely unreasonable. If he gets shirty about this, then you know he is a complete ****ole - for you to accept the situation just to keep the peace would effectively mean you've been bullied into the decision.
  11. Barn Builder

    Barn Builder New Member

    Thanks for your reply.

    I try to be easy going as much as possible and definitely try to go out of my way to avoid conflict/hassle.

    If he does just do it, I will get my solicitors involved and fight it fully.

    It will certainly give him problems when he comes to sell because there will be this legal dispute on file.

    Not good for either of us, but hey, he's the one being unreasonable etc..
  12. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    Hi BB.

    If at all possible, try to sort it BEFORE it happens; it'll be much harder - and costlier - afterwards.

    What is your neighbour saying? Is he threatening to just go ahead? Make sure he fully understands that you - for many reasons - find it unacceptable and that it'll cause problems if he continues.

    Contact your council planning dept and try and talk to the BCO who's overlooking this job (presuming they've had planning permission!) Explain what's happening, ask if it's permitted, and find out what action you need to take to object.

    Look at your house insurance and see if you have 'legal protection'. If so, phone them up and explain the situation. It'll also help if you can tell your neighbour you have legal cover should you have to go that way (a lot of peeps believe - often rightly - that the fear of the cost will prevent many people going this route.)

    If he's building on the actual border, are his builders currently using your pathway for access to the job? If so you can threaten to refuse them access if you want extra leverage.

    I fully appreciate you want to keep things good between you, but this shouldn't allow an unreasonable person (and he is unreasonable - I mean, would you try and get away with what he's doing?!) to take advantage of the situation.

    I'm sure you're coming across as friendly and reasonable as possible when you speak to him. Keep it that way, but just explain that you can see it causing lots of problems in the future, including potential legal issues to do with him overhanging your border, possible nuisance due to kitchen smells, etc.

    Add that you've sought advice from builders (er, don't mention Screwfix... :()and that you KNOW he has alternatives.

    You do need to act NOW.
  13. tgs

    tgs New Member

    I agree with DA you need to get advice. The Building Control will not be bothered about property line disputes since they are concerned only with Building Regulations and applying planning rules.

    You need to find a solicitor who specialises in property issues and get advice from him/her. Then decide on what you want to do.

    You have every right to be concerned about whether you properties saleability will be affected. After all your neighbour would be.

    The best thing is to have a chat with your neighbour and explain you have real concerns about this and you need to get advice and consider alternatives.
  14. Barn Builder

    Barn Builder New Member


    Thanks for the replies.

    I have taken legal advice and he is NOT allowed to do this.

    If he does trespass and do it without my permission then I can make a claim against him etc...

    My house insurance covers all my legal fees :)
  15. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    That's excellent news, BB.

    Armed with all that, you can afford to be magnanimous when you pass on the news to your neighb - 'cos he's still going to be your neighb afterwards.

    Get him to nod in agreement when you say " DO understand my concerns, don't you?"

    I agree with tgs up to a point. BCO probably won't get involved in border disputes, but the plans your neighb submitted must surely have shown the vent pipe position, and if he's positioning it in a different place, I think they'd like to know (it's a bit like trying to fit an additional window overlooking your neighbour which wasn't on the plans - the council WILL act).

    I wonder if the original plans showed the extension finishing a couple of feet from the boundary?!

    Also, I'm sure trying to vent kitchen fumes straight onto your land is a no-no.

    Keep us posted on how things go! It'll be informative ;)
  16. Barn Builder

    Barn Builder New Member


    So you think I should approach him again and restate that we don't want his pipe or vents coming onto our property, or wait and see?

    Should I put it in writing or talk to him?

    I have also looked on his plans and there was no mention at all of a soil stack or it's location. I think they have been caught by Building Control, thinking or hoping they could just use a durgo internally.

  17. Captain Leaky

    Captain Leaky New Member

    Try and sort it out in a friendly way, they are your neighbours so it's not in your or their interest for this to cause a bad smell :O between you.
  18. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member


    I presume it doesn't bother you what they're doing inside the extension, as long as it doesn't cause a nuisance to you outside?

    Absolutely talk to them.

    Just ask if they've decided how they were going to tackle the vent and kitchen extractor. Anything less than "we're going to vent through the roof/fit an internal air valve, etc" should be met from you with "I'm afraid that isn't going to be acceptable." And explain you've taken legal advice if they hum 'n' haw.
  19. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    Ie: DON'T wait until they start fixing the vent pipe to the outside wall - if they start knocking holes through before you give them the ultimatum, (and don't forget they're chancers in any case...)

    [Edited by: admin2]
  20. Barn Builder

    Barn Builder New Member

    Exactly, I don't really care what they do inside, so long as it doesn't bother me outside. Well put.

    "Chancers" that seems well put as well.

    So I guess I have to go round and try to speak to him then.

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