Next door's been sold recently to someone who's going to rent it out, and it appears they're having a bunch of work done. So a guy (the guy?) from the property management people popped round yesterday evening, to say "We're thinking of removing the chimney stack at the back, how about we do your half of it too, at our expense. Whatcha think?". And well, what I thought was ... umm.
So today I've called the council - yes, it's covered by building regulations and there'd be forms and fees and inspections and certificates. I've called a surveyor (the one that did the survey when we remortgaged) and the nice lady there suggested an estate agent might be better at telling us if it would affect the value of the house.
We've asked J's sister's husband (who does solicitor-y house Stuff, and kindly answered swiftly despite being busy) and he pointed out to check for convenants (pretty sure that's ok, tho must double check - we just can't sell wine or such as I recall), and that there'd be structural implications & building regulations for our half if they just took their half away.
I've called an estate agent who said it was a hard one to call, depends how much it alters the overall look of the house.
I've called the property management people back & said things about "of course you'd cover fees for the council" and such. And "how about putting it all in writing?". And they're gonna send us a letter.
And we've still no idea what we'll do. But we have a lot more information, and I've had my faith in human nature bolstered, as only the council lady actually had to help us as part of her job, everyone else was just being nice.
Half of me thinks "It's not like we were using it anyway."; the other half thinks "But it's our chimney stack, why should we get rid of it to make your life easier?".