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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 live in a block flats which are being refurbished, they will

Customer Question

I live in a block flats which are being refurbished, they will be rendering the outside for the next 6 months, my car and many others are being covered in fly ash and concrete dust every day, is there something we can do about it. They have offered us car covers but you can't expect people to put them on 4 or 5 times a day when they come in, there not that easy to do, they told us to park outside the compound, but with the wind .it is still covering the cars. The cars need jet washing because if you try to wipe them it scratches the paintwork.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Could you confirm if you own or rent your flat please?

Joshua :

Is the freehold of the building owned by the flat owners collectively or by a third party?

Joshua :

Have you ascertain whether the process being used by the contractors is a standard process or if there are alternative better techniques that can be used in such circumstances?

JACUSTOMER-fvzpiokm- :

The block is owned by the council, they have put a netting round the block, which will probably stop some of it, but not the majority, at the moment they are only doing concrete repairs to the outside, which is still finding its way down to the cars, in the next few weeks they will start to jet blast the bock, which is 14 story's high. With the jet blasting and the rendering we are looking at !2 months before they complete the work, they are saying near enough tough luck, but its not there vehicles which will be damaged.

Joshua :

Thanks. The freeholder has a duty of care towards your and your co-owners property. They should take all reasonable steps to mitigate and prevent damage to cars. If their actions are causing damage your property and have failed to take reasonable steps to prevent such damage you may have a claim against them for damage caused. What this means in practice...

Joshua :

If the cap park is not usable during the period of repairs due to the falling debris, then the freeholder may need to consider alternative parking arrangements for all of you. If it fails to do so then it may be liable for the cost of such alternative parking

Joshua :

If alternative parking is not possible or feasible and the issue can be dealt with by car covers on the basis it is limited to dust or debris then provision of car covers may be sufficient to discharge their potential liability towards drivers despite the inconvenience.

Joshua :

Is there likely to be any debris as well as dust or is the issue likely to be limited to dust?

JACUSTOMER-fvzpiokm- :

We have asked them to supply a mobile jet wash so people who want to jet wash there cars can do so in the evenings, these machines can be bought at many outlets for less than £100, but now there throwing a health & safety issue at us, there just not interested, they have offered us covers but when you come and go 3 or 4 times a day, with the wind and rain and the time it takes to put them on and fasten them down is just not feasible. do we have no rights at all.

Joshua :

Sorry for the delay in reverting to you. If the issue is limited to dust then on the basis you can point to the source of that dust being the works they are carrying out you could constitute a claim for the costs of cleaning your cars. The question as to whether this would be worth while however given the costs of cleaning a car would be questionable. You could consider joining together to bring a joint claim for the total costs of cleaning your cars - whether this is car washes or a jet washer (as is more cost effective) however whether all the residents would be sufficiently motivated to do so given the individual benefit would again be questionable.

Joshua :

Certainly if you are all collectively sufficiently motivated then you could potentially bring a claim against the council for the above costs. You may need to canvass local residents to see if there is sufficient support for such a claim. If you found there was then you could consider either all washing your cars periodically and keeping reciepts and then bringing a joint claim or clubbing together to buy a cost effective washer and collectively bringing a claim against the council for the costs. If necessary you can use the www.moneyclaim.gov.uk service. Pragmatically the residents may decide to simply share the costs of the above on the basis that the administration involved in bringing a claim as above in the county court is not worthwhile given the individual costs but if there is sufficient motivation there would appear to be the basis of a claim.

Joshua :

Is there anything else I can help you with?

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