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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We have a query with a property, the property is three storey,

Customer Question

We have a query with a property, the property is three storey, from the road level it looks like a bungalow, but the property goes down another two storeys, down a bank. There is a car ramp at the front of the property which acts as a bridge from the public footpath and adjoins the property. Back in December the footpath started to crack and lift causing our car ramp to slip down, it appears when the property was built approx 30 years ago, no retaining wall was put in place, the local authority (building control) signed this off without checking the status of a retaining wall. We have since been in contact with the local authority, as we are now having the old ramp pulled down and a new one erected. The local authority are saying it's our responsibly to put up a retaining wall, to hold up a public footpath and highway, we are saying 'it's your highway therefore your responsibility' also if this had been done properly 30 years ago, this land slip wouldn't have now happened. When we asked to see the initial drawing from when the property was first built, we have been told by the local authority, the file has been lost. Where would we legally stand on this matter of liability.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : It's bad news I am afraid ......
Alex Watts : Under the Limitation Act 1980 you have 6 years to bring a claim for breach.
Alex Watts : As this happened 30 years ago any claim is 24 years out of time and statute barred.
Alex Watts : This means if you bring a claim it will fail.
Alex Watts : I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer : Is this the case, even though we only purchased the property 10 years ago, it wasn't like we purchased the property when it was first built etc, and it's like the local authority are expecting us to retain a public highway, surely a public highway is the responsibility of the local authority not uses home owners
Customer : Is this the case, even though we only purchased the property 10 years ago, it wasn't like we purchased the property when it was first built etc, and it's like the local authority are expecting us to retain a public highway, surely a public highway is the responsibility of the local authority not us as home owners
Alex Watts :

Yes this is the case. I am sorry.

Alex Watts :

The breach would start from when it occurred. Even if it was 10 years go that still means you are 4 years out of time.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify the position for you?

Customer : Ok can we just clarify a point please, the house was built and signed off approx 30 years ago, but it was only realised there was no retaining wall in December 2013, when the pavement cracked and our ramp slipped. Therefore the damage only occurred 8 months ago as a direct result of no retaining wall and extreme wet weather
Alex Watts :

Sadly the time limit applies from when the Council breach occurred, not from when you realised.

Alex Watts :

I am sorry but you are simply out of time

Alex Watts :

You can try the Ombudsman www.lgo.org.uk

Alex Watts :

This is free service, but sadly I think you are simply out of time

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

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