Liability for potentially illegal flue installation

Apr 5, 2012
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We have recently completed a major refurb of a semi-detached London house with the assistance of a registered architect and registered plumber. Our neighbour on the detached side owns the passageway between the buildings. There has always been pipework on the wall of our building however during the build, our plumber who was responsible for the pipework design and installation, installed the boiler flue exiting onto the neighbour's passageway. We were not consulted then or subsequently. We have maintained good relations with the neighbour throughout the build and he has given verbal permission for access the passageway to transport building materials. He has now realised the incursion and is aggrieved and complaining because (in his words):
1. The original pipework that was on the building on that side did not give us the right to put new pipework up without asking permission.
2. The new flue creates a requirement for maintenance access which they cannot be obligated to provide
3. Gas Safe regulations say that flues should not vent over neighbouring properties
4. There is an air vent on his building which is closer to the flue exit than the Gas Safe allowed minimum distance

We intend to do right by our neighbour on this issue and are investigating. Parking point (4) for a moment which might be remediable by extending the flue, I have three questions:

1. Is my neighbour right about the property law issues (1&2) as I suspect?
2. Is he right about the Gas Safe regulations (3) as I also suspect?
3. Is my plumber liable to me for remedying only any Gas Safe breaches or is he liable for remedying any property law breach as well?

Many thanks for any help anyone can give.


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