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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Are there specialist lawyers who could give me some advise

Customer Question

Are there specialist lawyers who could give me some advise on a property matter.

In a nut shell - I bought a new build property and the development company were liquidated but the Architects who commissioned the build, as per their business model.

The 8 flats in the development have a claim against the insurers of the development against the major original build defects. It has taken us 2 years to get the insurance company to respond to our claim. Initial exploratory work was completed - walls taken down, waste pipes exposed plus more. The insurance company has had contractors onsite for nearly 18 months to rectify matters but have not completed even 20% of what is required. The residents have been kept in this state since it started for nearly 4 years now.

I would like to speak to someone who specialise in these cases.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name isXXXXX and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.

Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.

Do you have a specific question please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I understand I can complain to the financial ombudsman in regards XXXXX XXXXX insurance company currently conducting the building work.


 


I want to know if there is any legal route I can take to apply pressure to ensure that work now carried is done in a timely manner. There is no control over the insures and we have been left in a home which has been partially dismantled for 18 months now with no timeline in place for progress.


 


Is there any recourse to the original developers?


 


Peta

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

I am going to opt out of this for another expert to consider. Please do not reply or it comes back into my inbox. Another expert will pick it up at some stage. It is now open to all experts.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return.

I assume you want to know why it is taking so long to do the work?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


How I can apply pressure and control the process going forward including penalty clauses/compensation for missed deadlines?


 


The only people benefitting from any penalty clauses are the insurance company and the 8 apartments involved have no bite to influence the procedure at all.


 


Many thanks Alex

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Have the insurers accepted liability at all?

I can understand that this is frustrating and it is like banging your head against a brick wall.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Is that not explicit under the 10 year warrantee (MBA), if they have began the work or how do I get them to accept liability?


 


Is my only recourse through the complaints procedure with the Financial Conduct Authorities or ombudsman?


 


 

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
You could complain to the Financial Ombudsman, as they handle complaints against Insurance Companies. There are somewhat independent but are only to make recommendations and not make take any enforcement action. They are at: www.financial-ombudsman.gov.uk - but strict time limits do apply to complaints.

Although you do not directly have a contract with the insurers, clearly any fee you pay the buildings a contribution goes towards that insurance. It may be possible to bring a claim against them under the Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 which states:

"(1)Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person who is not a party to a contract (a “third party”) may in his own right enforce a term of the contract if—

(a)the contract expressly provides that he may, or
(b)subject to subsection (2), the term purports to confer a benefit on him.(1)Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person who is not a party to a contract (a “third party”) may in his own right enforce a term of the contract if—

(a)the contract expressly provides that he may, or
(b)subject to subsection (2), the term purports to confer a benefit on him."

Therefore after you go to the Ombudsman hopefully you would get a finding from them in which they make certain recommendations and if not followed through may be able to bring a claim to enforce those recommendations through the County Court.

In the alternative if you bring a claim under the above Act you could ask the Court for an order that they complete the works, which is called 'specific performance'. If they do not then technically they would be in contempt of Court and liable for a fine, imprisonment or both. Or you could choose to get a number of alternative quotes to get the work done and then sue them for the cost.

But this should give you a number of options. Can I clarify anything for you? Alex


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