Man's bid to access neighbour's roof denied

Man's bid to access neighbour's roof denied
Mr Hanam, who lives in the three-storey house (left), sought a court order to access the house next door (right) to carry out checks on the party wall dividing their homes but had his request turned down by the court.

SINGAPORE - A home owner who suspected water leaks in his three-storey semi-detached house came from the two-storey home next door has been refused a court order to access his neighbour's roof to carry out checks.

Mr Andrew Hanam was told by the High Court that there was no valid easement - or legal right of way - in which he could enter businessman Lam Vui's property without his consent. Justice Belinda Ang, in judgment grounds released on Thursday, said Mr Hanam's application was "patently misconceived".

The ruling is now expected to be a reference for landed property owners sharing common walls where one side has built a higher extended wall to accommodate additional floors.

Mr Hanam, a lawyer who represented himself, discovered the leaks in his house in Thomson Green in March last year.

It is divided from Mr Lam's home by a two-storey "party wall", while Mr Hanam's third storey sits on his side of this.

A contractor advised Mr Hanam last year that the leaks were coming from either his third-storey wall or the area where this meets the party wall.

Both neighbours held talks over the matter and Mr Lam was willing to grant access, provided Mr Hanam was prepared to repair any damage to his roof and deposit a $5,000 banker's guarantee.

Mr Lam had previously had a bad experience with leaks in his roof caused by a past owner of Mr Hanam's house.

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