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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am a private tenant in a small block of flats. Last month

Customer Question

I am a private tenant in a small block of flats. Last month the boundary fence fell on and damaged my car. My landlord supplied me with the insurance policy details, but the company would not deal with me as I am the tenant. I contacted the Management Co of the property who had recently taken over from another Management Co. The new MC said they did not hold the insurance policy for the building, but that it was still with the old company. The old company will not answer my queries in reference to making an insurance claim. I have been fobbed off by all parties so far with no way forward. The damage is estimated at just over £1000. Is there anything else I can do now?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Josh-2010 :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Josh-2010 :

Do you know the cause of the fall on your car please? Was it poor maintenance of the fence or high winds for example?

JACUSTOMER-7joa35eh- :

I'm not honestly sure - there was some wind that night, but it is a very long fence and only one panel was damaged. I have parked there for the last four years without incident and when I parked the car the night before, the fence was intact

Josh-2010 :

Thanks. Were the winds overly strong - e.g. gales?

JACUSTOMER-7joa35eh- :

No they weren't

Josh-2010 :

Thanks. Finally do you know whether the fence was built by the developer who built the black or a neighbour? Do you know who maintains the common parts? Is it the landlord who may employ an agent or is there a management company referred to in the lease which does so?

JACUSTOMER-7joa35eh- :

The fence belongs to the property in which I live - there is no neighbour as the plot next to the flats is a vacant lot.

JACUSTOMER-7joa35eh- :

There is a management company employed who is responsible for the upkeep of the grounds and the building.

Josh-2010 :

Are they employed by the landlord or are they specifically referred to in the lease?

JACUSTOMER-7joa35eh- :

There are several landlords - there are 8 flats, and as far as I know the management company is employed by the landlords

Josh-2010 :

There is likely to just be one freeholder is there not?

Josh-2010 :

the freeholder is the individual who may charge ground rent under the lease and on his behalf service charge is charged and paid to albeit freeholders often appointed agent to collect service charge and maintain on their behalf. If you are not certain on this point, I can proceed without it

JACUSTOMER-7joa35eh- :

I really don't know - as already stated I cannot get any information from any body on this. What I want to know is if the management company who are responsible for the maintenance of the property and boundary fence should be liable for the damage done to my car.

Josh-2010 :

thank you. The responsibility is likely to fall to landlord unless the landlord can demonstrate by reference to this that it is a management company that is specifically being provided for in the lease to be responsible for the common parts. Normally preclude to responsibility for the common parts if you do not have the lease to hand will be person or entity that the buildings insurance is made out to. This will almost always be the same individual that is responsible under the lease for maintaining the common parts of the development

Josh-2010 :

assuming that the landlord is the individual that is responsible for maintaining he common parts of the development, whether or not he subcontracts this out to an agent, if the fence was erected by the original developers of the development or by the landlord subsequent to the development being built, it will be the property of the landlord and accordingly it is the landlord that is responsible for maintaining the same. If the fence fell due to an accident such as high winds than the landlord would not be responsible however if it fell due to poor maintenance or poor original construction than the landlord would be liable and it may be a matter which is covered by the landlords insurance however even if it is not, you still would have on this basis a potential claim against the landlord

Josh-2010 :

in terms of pursuing a claim, you may decide to pursue the matter by your insurers or directly

Josh-2010 :

if you decide to pursue the matter directly, your first step is to write to the landlord advising of your damage to your car and alleging that the damage was caused you to a poorly maintained or poorly fitted fence as those no wind or other element that would justify the reason the fence fell and accordingly demand payment in respect of your loss. You can advise that if payment is not received within 10 days of the date of your letter, you will have little option but to issue proceedings against the landlord of the County Court

Josh-2010 :

If you are forced to issue proceedings in the County Court, the simplest way to do so is by using the courts online issuing process

Josh-2010 :

https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/

Josh-2010 :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

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