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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Received a without prejudice settlement letter from utilities

Customer Question

Received a without prejudice settlement letter from utilities for some damage from a burst pipe on the pavement which flooded a cellar. It was totally and wholly their fault, water leaked for nearly 5months while they dug up outside 6 times in total. 3 times to locate and three times to refix original leak. I documented, photographed and made a not of all my conversations with all their staff (100+ calls).The settlement is no where near what I would have settled for. They want total indemnity for the future yet are offering very little in return.Should I tell them what I would like within reason and counter offer. Should I write back and tell them why I am not pleased with their offer, and what figure I was looking in the hope they will re-offer. I have written replies from my MP. their Chief exec and CC water ombudsman.
I am prepared to go to court if need be.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I have been offered a settlement which I am not pleased with.They are asking for liability to be removed if I accept.
Should I counter offer?
Should I respond to the offer with an idea of what I am prepared to accept with reasons as to why this is?
Will they possibly negotiate?
Tel-07877714635
After 5pm evenings is best.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What I would like to know is it worthwhile trying to negotiate with them?
Would it be better to respond with a counter offer or just a letter arguing the points reasoning behind their offer?
Or should I be blunt and say let's take it to court I am not pleased with their offer?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 8 months ago.
It depends.What is the sum of your loss?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
They have offered £4000.
They will not pay for my surveyors fees £2000 will not pay for at least £2000 extra estimates provided for damage. I did not include some further damage to floor above cellar as they had already said that it was not included as per their surveyors report, even though my surveyor said it was possible. Loss of rent only payment £2000 not given. There are other costs which I purposefully did not claim for like upkeep, bills rates etc for a reasonable quick settlement, I now intend to include these moving forward the total cost to me is above £10000.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Have you accepted the without prejudice offer yet please?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I have not accepted their offer.
I need to hear something useful before I accept your offer above. So far no relevant advice has been offered by anyone.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
What is it you want to achieve as a result of what has happened please?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Currently what they are offering is much less than what it is costing me. They are not providing an indemnity for any future problems from the point of entry of water. I would consider the doubling of the settlement offer for which Would at least cover all my costs, considering I am not at fault here.
As my previous post have explained my dilemma is:
I am not prepared to accept their settlement offer as is offered.
Should I counter offer? What would this mean? Would they consider?would they negotiate?
Should I write a response without a firm counter offer response but explaining with reasoning why there offer is too low?
Should I write a reply to their offer and explain my reluctance to accept with reasoning behind the points they make?
Do I need I need to write without prejudice in my response back?
Most importantly they want total indemnity for any future issues/ problems which are could possible occur in the future.
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
You need to write and set out your losses and request compensation (a figure only you know you want to achieve) within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.If they do not compensate you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you Alex
I am familiar with the workings of the county court, but unclear of what to do if I claim above this amount?
The claim is on the boundary of £10.000, at this moment in time in may be under but will go over if it goes to court.
So your response is to counter offer with a list of all my losses and be firm that I would take legal action 14 days after their response.
Would I need to entitle it as without prejudice? will this make a difference in court? What about future indemnity should I include this in my response?
What are my chances considering it is the utilities who are at fault here and have already made an offer?
What do you think is the likelihood of them coming back either agreeing with my offer or another offer?
What could my approximate costs for legal services if it goes above 10000 and us fast tracked?
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
If you are making an offer entitle without prejudice. You can bring a claim above £10,000 but it won't be a small claim, this mean the other side pays the losing side legal costs. I would estimate costs could be around £15,000 to £20,000. Does that clairfy? Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 8 months ago.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer 3, 4 or 5 starts before you leave today.I am only paid for my work on this question if you rate my answer, using the star system at the top of the screen. Please do not forget! Thank you.Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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