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Basis for Claim

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  • Basis for Claim

    Further to my last thread, the same defendants are also causing damage to my property as a result of their cellar repeatedly flooding with rainwater/a rising water table. This began in 2019 and the frequency and volume has since increased significantly. Last year they had to pump it out 20 times, obviously leaving residual dampness. Various estimates of the volume of water associated with each event ranges from 400-600 litres. The damp proof course installed in my property in 2014 has been breached along the entire and exact length of the party wall adjacent to their cellar. The defendants say they have been told by two un-named surveyors to do nothing about it and are (yet again) unco-operative about repairing the consequential damage to my property.

    I have spoken to the water utility, who sent a technician and confirmed there were no fair or foul water leaks evident at either property but also the presence of a pump and flood water in the neighbour's cellar. The firm that installed the DPC at my property in 2014 re-inspected for a fee of 195 and declared it was new damage and therefore not covered by their guarantee. A second surveyor from a property preservation company took positive moisture meter readings along the length of this wall but was of the view it should be allowed to get worse before doing anything about it because of the disruption and expense involved.

    May I ask therefore what legal basis (PoC) or specific breach of duty I would have for bringing another court claim against them and what evidence I would need to gather beyond the declared history of events and surveyors' findings? Last time, I was told that damp proof company surveys were not valid evidence in court as their intentions are only to sell you a DPC. The cost to remedy current damage stands at around 2k but if the flooding is allowed to continue without any measures being taken (e.g. tanking), the damage will simply re-occur. I am more interested in resolving the problem than making a successful financial claim for c.2k.

    Latest correspondence received states they were taking legal advice rather than divulging the names of the surveyors supposedly approached (I suspect no surveyors were approached, no advice has been sought and they are simply seeking to avoid their responsibilities); now declare as fact the most water ever collected was only 150 litres on one day in May 2021; and are seeking advice from their litigator on getting him involved if I make another claim against them.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Tags: None

  • #2
    I would suggest you advise:
    1) environmental health dept of local authority
    2) insurance company

    You might like to read this thread: https://legalbeagles.info/forums/for...-problem/page2


    • #3
      Thanks DES8,

      I have taken a look at the suggested thread and note the response of environmental health in that case:

      "i have spoken to environmental health and they cannot enforce any action because it is ground water and not drain water. all they can do is advise."

      As for insurance companies getting involved, mine is likely to designate my property as having suffered the effects of flooding if I make a claim, with associated impacts on future premiums and selling of the property. They may well also not agree to meet any claim until a permanent solution is put in place, over which neither they nor I have any control. I don't know who the neighbour's home insurer is, but I am certain they are too dishonest to divulge their cellar flooding problem for the same reasons.



      • #4
        I wonder if you could write informing the neighbour of the damage being caused and remind him of his responsibilities.

        At the same time mention that you are minded to initiate a claim, but are aware of the necessity to narrow the issues between you and so would appreciate pre-action disclosure of the surveyors reports on which he is relying.

        The CPR rules on pre-action disclosure however don't relate to small claims, so it might not get you those copies (even if they exist!)


        • #5
          Thanks des8,

          That's an idea, although he would run it past his solicitor before responding and be told there is no obligation to disclose. Worth a try though.

          Many thanks horleyox


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