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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My property has been damaged in the course of the building

Resolved Question:

My property has been damaged in the course of the building works to the upstairs property. Damage has been specified in the report of the independent solicitor, but only visual inspection has been carried out. My neighbor is making payment of the compensation subject to me signing a full indemnity statement. Is this lawful?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

How does this statement read please?

Customer:

The Agreed Amount includes any associated fees, costs and VAT, and, once paid, it is acknowledged that all matters between the two parties are resolved and that there is no remaining or on-going dispute between the parties.

Customer:

Full statement reads:

Customer:

It is hereby agreed that X will pay the Agreed Amount of in full and final settlement of all claims for damage to the ground floor apartment caused by building works undertaken to the first floor apartment between 2012 and the date of this agreement

The Agreed Amount includes any associated fees, costs and VAT, and, once paid, it is acknowledged that all matters between the two parties are resolved and that there is no remaining or on-going dispute between the parties.


Alex Watts :

Ok - if you sign this that means its the end, you can't go back and say there is something wrong later

Customer:

In addition to damage compensation, we have on-going issue with the quality of the soundproofing of

Alex Watts :

It is legal and people do this all the time

Alex Watts :

So you need to make a decision, if you sign this there is no further claim if there is a problem later.

Alex Watts :

If you do not sign it you can still sue for loss and damage

Alex Watts :

So if all matters are resolved and they are going to do what they say they are, then that is it

Alex Watts :

If you sign an agreement saying they are going to do something and they don't then you can sue on that contract

Alex Watts :

So you need to decide whether you are happy with what they are offering

Alex Watts :

If not, then you don't sign

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

There are on-going issues with the quality of the soundproofing and i am concerned about any potential damage further down the road, given that works have been extensive and structural. Can they legally withhold compensation, subject to me signing this agreement or are their actions unlawful?

Alex Watts :

Is it unlawful - no

Alex Watts :

Its not illegal

Alex Watts :

It is a matter of contract

Alex Watts :

If you do not agree with it, you simply don't sign it

Alex Watts :

They can't withhold compensation if you refuse to sign

Alex Watts :

But if you accept the sum offered then you have to sign.

Alex Watts :

So they can say we are offering this but its conditional on signing the paper - yes that is legal

Alex Watts :

But they can't take away a right to compensation by making you sign something

Alex Watts :

What this is for is saying if we pay you this, you wont come after us for more

Alex Watts :

That is fair enough and quite normal

Alex Watts :

So you need to be satisfied with the sum

Alex Watts :

If you are -sign

Customer:

Can I request compensation without indemnity statement?

Alex Watts :

You can but they don't have to provide it.

Alex Watts :

If I was advising them I would also ask you to sign something if you were going to accept compensation

Alex Watts :

Otherwise you could accept the compensation and still try and sue them for more

Customer:

Can i narrow the scope of the statement to the damage specified in the survey report?

Alex Watts :

Yes you can. They may or may not accept ths

Alex Watts :

* this *

Customer:

So, if i am not prepared to sign, the only other option i have is to take legal action?

Alex Watts :

That is right sadly

Customer:

Only last clarifying point, how can keep the issue with soundproofing of the wooden floors out of the scope of this agreement?

Alex Watts :

You just specifically exclude it with a clause in the agreement

Customer:

Thank you

Customer:

Do they required to accept it, given that it has not been in the scope of survey investigations?

Alex Watts :

Yes they have to accept the term.

Alex Watts :

The whole process must be open with cards on the table

Customer:

Thank you very much

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