Is My Neighbor Liable For Damage To Our Shared Wall?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

My next door neighbours are having some major home improvements and today their workers drilled straight through a shared wall into my living room. I am not very happy as my wallpaper cost a hundred pounds and I keep focusing on is this patched up hole that they have left. Do I have a right to claim that they repair and pay to repaper?

This sounds like a very straightforward negligence claim. The workers accidentally drilled through the wall, so they (and, by extension, their company) are responsible for the damage that caused. HOWEVER, it’s important to understand that this is a website dealing with United States law, and we assume from your vernacular that perhaps you are not in the U.S.

Based on *U.S.* law, the question would be just how much that damage is. For example, they might argue that repapering the whole room is excessive, as just the area with the hole should be sufficient. You may disagree, since the new paper may not precisely match the surroundings.

Again, if you are in the U.S., it’s probably best to wait until they’re done or nearly done (in case there are other accidents!). While you’re waiting, you should get an estimate or two for the repairs you would like, so you know what you’re negotiating. Make sure you get adequate contact information for the company, so you can find them once they’re not at your neighbor’s house every day.

In the U.S., most reputable companies have insurance for this sort of problem, though your damage may be small enough that the company will take care of it itself.