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Kasare
Kasare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1301
Experience:  Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
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My house was damaged when the Environment Agency carried out

Customer Question

My house was damaged when the Environment Agency carried out work with heavy machinery very close to my property. They used my land as an access route with heavy diggers, lorries, bulldozers going past for many months. Cracks appeared in my house inside and out. Because they took photos before and after the work they seem to accept responsibility and did arrange to have the cracks mended, but they have opened up again. I was offered a further £500 to repair the cracks again, which I refused as I feel the damage needs more investigating. After I put in a complaint they are visiting me today to discuss this matter and to look at the damage. They have messed me about no end (this has been going on for four years) and if I was a rich person I would sue them. I don't want to accept 'some money', I want my house put right. I'm not sure how I stand legally or what words to use to make sure they behave properly. Can you help me?

Just to add, I shouldn't have started this question in the middle of the night and might fall asleep before you answer! If so I hope I will be able to continue in the morning!

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Kasare replied 1 year ago.
Hi thank you for your question, I will assist you with this.
I am afraid with this type of damage I would recommend that you get your property surveyed by an independent surveyor. The Environment Agency may offer you a sum that is much less than what the damage is worth and then they could say that they paid this in full and final settlement and you would have no further recourse.
I know I have dealt with this kind of matter on a conditional fee arrangement (typically a no win, no fee agreement) with clients and there are a lot of solicitors firms who may be willing to take on your case on this basis.
However, I appreciate that you do not wish to commence this route if it can be avoided. Therefore when they visit you today, you need to ask if they are prepared to fund an independent surveyor to review your property and the issues as a) it will benefit both parties as the surveyor is independent and b) they will be able to advise you both on the level of damage that has been incurred - if any damage is not attributable to the works or repairs they performed - and the costs to put this right.
If they are unwilling to do this, then I would suggest you either contact a solicitor who is a specialist in this type of property litigation to assist you - advise them you are looking for a "no win, no fee" agreement; or write to the Environment Agency giving them the name of 3 independent experts and offer them the opportunity to select one within 7-14 days failing which you will instruct one independently and seek to use their results as the basis for a legal claim for full compensation and/or restitution.
I hope this assists. If you have any further questions please ask. However, do not be deterred by the possible legal costs as I have said many solicitors will offer funding arrangements.
Kasare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1301
Experience: Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
Kasare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your answer. I'm sure you cannot recommend solicitor who would be an expert in this type of case but can you tell me how I can go about finding one? Would this be an expert in 'property litigation' ? And how do I find one that is prepared to work for a conditional fee?

Expert:  Kasare replied 1 year ago.
Hi Linda,
You are right, we cannot recommend individual solicitors/firms, however, if you look on the law society website - http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ - you can search for a solicitor in your local area and in practice areas.
Good luck today and don't let them bully you!

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