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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Over the last year, we carried out major redevelopment of our

Customer Question

Over the last year, we carried out major redevelopment of our home. Recently the county council have sent us a letter claiming the pavement outside our property has been damaged as a result of the construction work and that we are liable to replace it.
I would like to know our position as homeowners regarding this matter and of any previous case law which may relate.
We have carried out the work ourselves and not employed a building contractor. Although in this case we have acted alone and as the homeowner, we have previously operated a construction company for over 20 years and are well aware of our responsibility to protect the highways. We have never had a claim against us personally or as a company in that time, since we have always ensured the highway has been protected. In this case, we consider the pavement to be of a very poor standard and condition and that it was, at least to some extent, damaged when we purchase the house. The sub standard workmanship and condition is evident by the number of defective areas elsewhere on the street and also by the sheer quantity of patch repairs carried out all along the street.
We feel that we have taken all reasonable care to ensure that no damage was caused as a result of our work. we have not have heavy plant or machinery crossing the pavement, as any plant used has been of the smaller size and of no greater weight than a typical family car. Additionally, the plant has only crossed the pavement to access out land during delivery and collection.
During the delivery of materials, all our suppliers have taken reasonable care to ensure damage to the pavement was not caused. These actions have been sufficient in hundreds of projects over the last 20 years. we cannot say with any conviction whether the delivery of materials has led to the damage or not. Since we bought the property, we have also witnessed many other vehicles, including busses, mounting the pavement to gain access around parked cars.
I am trying to establish whether the council has a case.
Any help would be very much appreciated.
Kind regards
Joe Smereka
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Do you accept that you damaged, as they say, or are you saying it was pre-existing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We do not accept responsibility of rthe damage as we consider the damage was, at least to some extent, already there. We also hold, that it is impossible to determine who caused the damage without witnesses and evidence.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok, how much are they claiming for repair?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are claiming for us to reinstate the pavement with tarmac, it is currently concrete slab, and that we will be liable for any claim should someone have an accident as a result of the damage.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Any claim for £10,000 or under would be a small claim and as such you would not need representation save for any personal injury claim which the small claims limit is £1000.
AS for reinstatement then by law they need to prove you did the damage and it is now worse that it was before. You do not need to do anything, they need to prove any claim. If you do not accept that you damaged it then you are not liable. If they took it to Court they would have to show that you did damage it.
In any event any claim for £10,000 or under in terms of this reinstatement sum would be a small claim, so you do not need to worry about legal costs. But he who brings a claim must prove it.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Alex. That's all we need for the moment. How long will this question stay active should I need anything further?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You can ask anything else within 7 days. Otherwise you can just post a new question and ask for me in it, I can pick it up then.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.
If the system won’t let you please click reply.
Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Rating and review done!!!
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Thanks!