Mother appeals £30,000 bill for her daughter's barking dog

Ms Eacott's cottage in Hereford.

A woman has been landed with a £30,000 legal bill after a four-year battle over a barking dog - that didn't even belong to her.

Angela Waring, of Crickhowell, Powys, had paid for her daughter Kim Eacott's Victorian cottage in Hereford. But while she lived 30 miles away, and the pair weren't on speaking terms, she's been held partly liable for the bill - as the house was in her name.

The trouble started in 2011, when Ms Eacott's neighbours complained about the barking from terrier Scally whenever Ms Eacott went out. Bryn and Diane Cocking filed a claim against both mother and daughter alleging the noise was 'unreasonable in its frequency and duration'.

In 2013, Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins ruled in favour of the Cockings in Worcester County Court. Miss Eacott was ordered to pay £3,500 in damages and her mother £1,000 - and they were jointly landed with a £31,000 legal costs bill.

However, Mrs Waring has now appealed, claiming her daughter's behaviour in failing to control the dog wasn't her responsibility. Indeed, she'd actually been advised by police not to talk to her daughter following a harassment complaint.

And she'd done her best to deal with the situation in any case, she claimed, by offering to take the pet to a 'dog whisperer' nearby to help cure him of his separation anxiety.

"A residential landlord is not generally liable for acts of nuisance committed by a tenant. The judge was wrong in that he found Mrs Waring jointly liable for the acts of nuisance committed by her daughter and ordered them both to pay Mr and Mrs Cocking's costs in full," her lawyer, Hamish MacBean, told the Court of Appeal.

"The judge was wrong to find that Mrs Waring bore any liability to Mr and Mrs Cocking as a matter of law."

However, Lady Justice Arden has commented that the relationship between the mother and daughter wasn't the same as a commercial deal between landlord and tenant. She added that Mrs Waring had 'turned a blind eye' to the problem.

The Appeal Court judges have reserved their decision on Mrs Waring's appeal and will give their ruling at a later date.

But things have already turned out for the worst for Scally, who has now been put down.

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Nightmare neighbours
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Mother appeals £30,000 bill for her daughter's barking dog

Gerard and Christina White from Moseley in Birmingham hit the headlines in September last year, when their neighbour ignored his planning permission, and built so close to their house that they said it effectively turned their detached property into a semi-detached one.

Despite the fact it left them unable to maintain the side of their property, the council washed their hands of the case, and said the couple would have to take private legal action if they wanted the extension to be pulled down.

Helen Coughlan, a 52-year-old carer from Woodford Bridge in north east London, was stunned when her neighbours built an extension just 24 inches from her window - completely obscuring her view.

Despite the fact she says it took £100,000 off the value of the home, and rendered it unsellable, the council said it could do nothing to force the demolition of the new extension.

In 2013, a row that had been rumbling for 17 years finally came to court. One of the neighbours had planted eight conifer trees in his front garden, and ignored repeated requests to cut them back to allow natural light into his neighbour’s home.

He was eventually forced to by a court - after the trees had caused a crack to appear in his neighbour’s wall.

Wendy and Paul Collins from Brownhills in the West Midlands watched in horror as their neighbours erected a six foot fence at the bottom of their front garden, blocking their front gate and leaving their car stranded on their front lawn.

Their home faces onto a car park serving a block of flats, and the owners of the flats erected the fence to stop the couple driving through the car park in order to park on their front lawn. The couple can still access their house through the back - and have a drive round the other side of the house - unfortunately their car is stuck on the lawn.

A Michigan man who had been through a bitter divorce, decided to get his revenge on his ex-wife by moving in next door.

As soon as he had moved in, he erected a 12 foot statue in the front garden, of a hand giving the finger. The statue is even lit up at night.

In May last year, Steven and Fiona Young from Blawith were ordered to pay their neighbours, Peter and Lesley Raymond, £600,000, after a campaign of harassment.

The Youngs had lived in a large farmhouse, but decades earlier sold up and moved to a smaller property next door. The Raymonds moved into the farmhouse and the Youngs became nightmare neighbours.

They piled rubbish in the garden, damaged fences, let animals foul their garden, and rode quad bikes over the grounds. When the Raymonds installed CCTV, Mr Young mooned them, and then painted over them.

The Raymonds sued for harassment, trespass, nuisance, assault and slander - and were awarded £200,000. The Youngs also had to pay £400,000 costs.


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