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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2849
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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Himy holiday apartment in spain has been damaged by a leak

Customer Question

Hi my holiday apartment in spain has been damaged by a leak from the apartment above me, both owners are uk citizens, and we both live in england.  I need to take legal action to get the cost of the damage back from the owner above because he has said he will only pay to fix the problem in his apartment and because its a lot I should pay to repair the damage caused in mine.

Can I take my case to a court in the UK.

Thanks

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
Good morning.
The usual jurisdiction of the Courts comprises the land, air, territorial waters and sea bed constituting the territory or country in which the court sits. Generally speaking, the court has jurisdiction over all those persons and property within the jurisdiction of the court.
However in certain circumstances the jurisdiction of English courts extend beyond these boundaries provided sufficient connection is made between the claimant and intended defendant and/or property which are to be made the subject matter of legal proceedings.
The 'sufficient connection' for your purposes would be that the person against whom you which to make a claim is 'domiciled in the UK’.
So you could commence action in the County Court for this matter. The other party may challenge the jurisdiction of the court but your argument would be that they are resident in the UK and, therefore, there is sufficient connection for the court to deal with the matter.
If you could also prove that the contract or agreement was made in the UK then that would also help your case considerably.
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2849
Experience: Partner in national law firm
Alice H and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
Hi

I am following up our conversation to see how you got on with the issue. If you need any further help then please let me know - remember I am a qualified UK Solicitor and able to help on most aspects of English Law. I am London based and usually able to respond to your query very quickly.

Regards
Alex Hughes
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi
the bottom line is I suppose that I found your answer of general help but not specific and so to really help me it would be better if it was more specific to the problem I have. For example if I sue the owner of the holiday home in spain that lives above me for my damage he has caused and i sue him as discussed through the county court process how likely is it that he can just wriggle out by saying that it should be dealt with in spain.
I can tell you that whilst it happened in spain he has sent me emails and texts from the uk and me to him from the uk as i know he has instructed builders from the uk in spain to do work and so it is quite clear that he operates from uk and handles all issues with spain from there. and we are both uk residents ?
i hope you can give me the confidence that he can not wriggle out of at least having to answer in court and let them decide whether he should pay me or not
thanks
Alan

Expert:  Alice H replied 2 years ago.
Hi Alan

He can challenge the jurisdiction of the English Courts.

He can argue that since the issue arose in Spain, the Spanish Court should deal with it.

He can also argue that Spanish Law may deal with the issue differently to an English Court - after all they have a different legal system.

Ultimately the English Court has to decide whether it has jurisdiction to deal.

I cannot give you the assurance that you seek because there are arguments for and against - it will ultimately be for the Judge to decide on the day.

But based on the information you have provided there is certainly sufficient connection to the UK for an English Court to deal with the case.

I appreciate this is not the answer you are seeking and you would ideally like an answer that gives you some certainty but realistically no lawyer will be able to give you the assurance that you seek.

Alex


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