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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm with 20+ years legal experience
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We received a court notice from the neighbor regarding boundary

Customer Question

We received a court notice from the neighbor regarding boundary violation and dampness to my neighbor wall due to paving of slab next to his wall.We got the surveying done for the boundary issue and which looks like no issue, for the dampness , can we directly ( not through solicitor) approach the claimant saying that I can offer solution for his dampness?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
Alex Hughes : Good evening. What are they asking for in their claim?
Customer:

They are claiming £3200 for dampness claim and £3000 for repairing

Customer:

and I am not 100% sure the dampness is caused by the pavement of slab

Alex Hughes : OK. There is nothing wrong with you negotiating a settlement directly with your neighbour. You have to be careful about what you say of course because any admission could be used later in court. Your best position would be to discuss the matter on a 'without prejudice' basis and at this stage any negotiation should be 'without admission of liability'. But you do not need a solicitor and can look to settle this out of court by discussion.
Customer:

ok, Thanks, ***** ***** to know about the dampness problem only after the court notice,Do I need to send this letter in a recorded delivery and if my neighbor still wanted to pursue the case , can I use this as my intention to settle it amicably.

Customer:

My neighbor is not talking to me personally.

Alex Hughes : Yes it is advisable to send the letter by recorded delivery. You should point out that no pre-action letter was sent before proceedings were issued and as such your neighbour commencing proceedings is an 'unreasonable' step and you will raise the matter with the court should negotiations fail. This may give you some leverage in negotiation although ultimately the failure to send a letter only goes to costs in the case which are not normally awarded in small claims anyway.
Customer:

Thanks. Can you please elaborate on the following point as it is not very clear to me :

Customer:

'This may give you some leverage in negotiation although ultimately the failure to send a letter only goes to costs in the case which are not normally awarded in small claims anyway.'

Customer:

'This may give you some leverage in negotiation although ultimately the failure to send a letter only goes to costs in the case which are not normally awarded in small claims anyway.' - Can you please elaborate on the above point as it is not very clear .

Alex Hughes : Yes. In small claims the court does not award costs for lawyers unless the other party has acted unreasonably. Your neighbour may or may not know this. But by threatening to raise this issue later might make the neighbour stop and think about settlement rather than try and force the matter through the court. I'm assuming no lawyer was involved anyway as a solicitor would have sent a letter before action anyway.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

total claim is for £50000 , out of which £19000 for cutting three matured trees and shrubs ,which never existed, £6200 for dampness and remaining as trespassing. not sure this is considered as small claim or not


 

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
The small claim limit is £10,000.

The figure of £6,200 you mentioned earlier is clearly within this limit.

But a £50,000 claim is not. Different procedures apply and for the amount of money at stake it would be advisable to see a lawyer in person to discuss the options fully before you send your letter.