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hello and need advice on challenging council

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  • hello and need advice on challenging council

    :doggieyes: Hello and help!!

    Hi all , I am a complete novice when it comes to forums so bare with me. Here is my story , I will keep it brief, hoepfully someone will have some advice :

    My aunt bought her council house in 1989. The adjoining house remained in council ownership, subsequently in approx 1995, the council replaced the original slate roof, putting on concrete tiles to the adjoining house. Subsequently, the adjoining house was sold. My aunt is disabled, does not get any benefits and is living on a basic pension, however, she has always tried to maintain her property, e.g had the chimney stack re pointed and vegetation removed, cutters cleared etc. Before Christmas,as there is only a downstairs loo we arranged for a small en-suite to be built, her bedroom newly plastered and decorated etc. On Sunday, after torrential rain the previous day, I noticed a water stain on her new decoration, at the chimney wall. Investigation in the attic space found water seeping on to the roof trusses at the chimney party wall, all other parts of her slate roof being dry and intact with no evidence of water penetration. I contacted 2 roofing contractors, both of whom were recommended by professional body. they visited independently and both have reported the exact same thing - Basically when the council replaced the adjoining roof they :
    1. overlapped the her original slate roof at the chimney party wall
    2. did not put a 'secrete valley' between the two
    3. used concrete directly on to the slates to bed their concrete tiles in which has resulted in the slates not being able to breath and therefore deteriorate
    4. overlapped the lead work in such away that water can track to the chimney wall
    5. Used concrete tiles which become porous and heavy with age - both roofers have stated that the house/rafter construction is not designed to take concrete tiles anyway.

    Further to this both roofers have said that, even if my aunt could afford to to put it right, they will need to strip back the overlapping concrete tiles of the adjoining property and as soon as they do this, the tiles may be now so porous that they potentially will break etc. Potentially, if my aunt tries to 'repair ' her problem it may then lead to the next door neighbours having issues with their roof and/or suing her for damage caused to their roof....even though it is ultimately the council's poor workmanship which has lead to all this occurring!

    I have contacted the council and have been given the run around. Someone is supposed to be ringing me back...... but I do not live in hope. The council transferred their maintenance contract on to a new division in 2006, they say any issues need to be raised directly with the council - the council used to be called Taff Ely, now it is Rhondda Cynon Taf - I cannot pin down one department let along one person as yet.

    My question is;
    Can the council still be held accountable for their poor workmanship, selection of product after both properties have been privately purchased?

    If so, how do I go about it?

    If not , where can I turn and what can I do to help my aunt to get a dry home without being financially or legally responsible........she is insured but they also say that the issue is not an 'insurable peril' and therefore are not going to assist.

    Any help or advice welcomed. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Ccariad
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: hello and need advice on challenging council

    Originally posted by ccariad View Post
    Can the council still be held accountable for their poor workmanship, selection of product after both properties have been privately purchased?
    Aunt bought her house in 1989.
    Council replaced roof of adjacent property in 1995. The work was defective.
    Adjacent house subsequently sold to private occupier.
    Aunt's property suffering damage due to defective work
    You have obtained the opinions of two independent contractors, both of whom confirm that the work was defective and that it is the cause of the damage to your aunts house.

    Are the contractors reports in writing?

    If not , where can I turn and what can I do to help my aunt to get a dry home without being financially or legally responsible........she is insured but they also say that the issue is not an 'insurable peril' and therefore are not going to assist.
    This may not be entirely true - check the policy thoroughly. Does the policy include legal cover?

    Your aunt should take up the matter with the owner of the adjacent property. If she suffers loss (damage to her property), through defects in their property, it is they who are liable. If they wish to, they then take up the matter of the defects with the council separately.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: hello and need advice on challenging council

      Would expect that Councils Liability is long gone,the problem is now the owners of the next door house

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: hello and need advice on challenging council

        Thank you Golden retriever for your advice, we wanted to avoid any difficulties between neighbours, but it sounds like a friendly talk is needed, who knows the council may come back and help out, but somehow I doubt it. I have checked my aunts insurance and she does have legal protection cover, hopefully we will not need to use it but good to know we have it as a back up. Ccariad

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: hello and need advice on challenging council

          If the neighbours are insured, their policy should cover their legal liability to third parties and so pay for the repair work to your aunt's house. The neighbours will have to initiate the claim with their insurers. If they refuse to cooperate (have that friendly chat first) it could mean court.

          Comment

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