Neighbour’s Gutter Overhangs My Property. What Can I Do About It?

mariam-abu-hussein
Mariam Abu HusseinLegal Assessment Specialist @ Lawhive
Updated on 25th January 2024

Is a neighbor’s gutter overhanging your property? Here’s what you need to know: 

In the eyes of the law, you’re likely the rightful owner of the airspace above your property. So, if your neighbour’s gutter hands over your land, it’s legally considered trespassing, giving you the right to address the issue. 

neighbours-gutter-overhang-property

Now, what can be done in such a scenario? More importantly, what can you do to navigate the situation effectively? 

Maintaining positive relationships with neighbours is always preferable to disputes. However, as a homeowner, you also have the right to enjoy your property and use it as you wish. 

In this article, we’ll look a bit closer at the law on gutters in the UK and provide some practical tips on dealing with a neighbour’s overhanging gutters. 

UK Law and Gutters 

Now, before we dive into some of the practicalities, it’s important to know that certain situations might legitimise your neighbours’ overhanging gutters in the eyes of the law such as: 

  • If the property deeds explicitly allow the overhanging gutters; 

  • They have been around for more than 12 years (the gutters, not your neighbours); 

  • If the gutters were part of the original development or have been there for a while. 

There are, however, a couple of caveats to the above. If the gutters have been hanging around for more than 20 years, they might have a legal right to stay there for long-term usage. 

If they’ve been there for over 12 years, your neighbour could potentially claim adverse possession of the airspace they occupy. 

On the final point, if this is the case it could mean (although, not always) that the boundary line above the ground is different to accommodate the overhanging gutters. 

What can you do about your neighbour’s overhanging gutters? 

If, after considering the above, you think your neighbour’s overhanging gutters are trespassing, you could insist on their removal. 

But, sometimes, just because you could doesn’t mean you should. 

In this situation, we always advise the first course of action is to start a conversation with your neighbour calmly to preserve those neighbourly good vibes. An informal chat might be enough to bring any current or potential problems into your neighbour’s sphere of awareness and get the issue of overhanging gutters solved once and for all. 

If your neighbour’s gutters are trespassing on your property, you can ask them to take them down. If this doesn’t work and you’re very sure this is the particular hill you want to die on, you can apply to the court for an injunction to force them to be taken down. 

But…here’s a heads up: A court might not see overhanging gutters as much as a problem as you do, especially if there’s no real harm in them or no significant issue, like damage from water draining onto your property, for example, or they’re getting in the way of development projects on your land.

In such circumstances, the court may not grant an injunction and could even penalise you for making overhanging gutters an issue without good reason. 

Which brings us back to the original questions. Can you do something about your neighbour’s overhanging gutters? Yes.

Should you? Well, that’s a question for you to answer after weighing up whether it’s worth making a fuss in your situation. 

Neighbour disputes are very difficult to deal with. After all, your home is your castle and if it feels like you're under attack every day it can be stressful and overwhelming. 

Fortunately, at Lawhive, our network of neighbour dispute solicitors is on hand to provide quick, affordable legal help at the click of a button. What’s more, all of our trusted solicitors offer their services at fixed fees via our remote platform, making it even quicker and more affordable to get legal advice. 

If you’re neighbour’s gutters are overhanging your property and you want to know your options, get in touch with our legal assessment team today for a free case assessment and quote. 

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