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tdlawyer, Lawyer
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Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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my neighbour (the adjacent owner in our adjoining

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my neighbour (the adjacent owner in our adjoining semi-detached houses) engaged a builder (considered to be family) and during the hammering in of RSJs caused tiles to fall off which damaged my adjacent house roof and my car's body work. The builder did not net the roof as should have been done. 2. Subsequently the builder also smashed my garden table and a glass cold frame. 3. the builder refuses to give his name, address and public liability details to me; 4. the builder refused to give details to the police when questioned by them. they know his address as I gave the police his vehicleS registration details (there are ~ 4 cars on the site at various times). the builder would not give his public liability insurance details to the police.  The police now say it is a civil matter.

I suspect that the builder has no insurances at all. neither public or employee. his workers are Chinese and speak no English.

5. The building owner (neighbour) refuses to give the builder's details to our agreed party wall surveyor (i.e. in place between my neighbour and I) or to me.

the neighbour is denying liability and I believe is going to allow the builder to run off (as he is a family member). incidents of damage have occurred serially.

6. the neighbour, the building owner, knows the builder's details and refuses to give them.

7.   the building control division in my local authority say that my legal claim is against the neighbour as he refuses to give the builder's details?

8.  I do have a party wall award in place identifying the building owner only. it is not practise for surveyors to identify builders in these documents and any claim for damage at the party wall is against the building owner.

9.  As I only have my neighbours details it is logical to make the claim against the neighbour.

The builder and building owner requested estimates for the work and then breakdowns. Then there has been no communication and they clearly do not want to pay for the repairs.  all of this is giving the builder time to run off. I have told the neighbour to assure that the builder clears all damages before making his final payment for the work done. but the neighbour is ignoring me, and says he is not liable despite the party wall award.

10.  I foresee the matter going to court and only have my neighbour to claim against. I have the builders vehicle registration numbers and the police have his address but due to data protection the police will not the builder's details to me.

the matter is likely to go to court - I would like to claim against my neighbour and hopefully a judge will order him to give the builder's details too. the police have told me that they will attend court so I am hoping that the judge can order them to give the builders details too.  the i would find it necessary to make a 2nd claim against the builder.

where do I stand on this dreadful matter which is no fault of my own please?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.
Hello, thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I can assist you with this.
You may have a claim against the builder, being the individual that actually physically caused the damage complained of. To get their details, you would appear to have two options. The first, would be to issue an application for what is called a Norwich Pharmacal order, which would compel the neighbour to reveal the name of the builder defendant. Alternatively, you could simply request disclosure of the police log files, which would contain the identity of the potential defendant in them.
The Data Protection Act 1998 specifically allows, under section 35C, for an exemption from the non-disclosure provisions where there is ongoing, or threatened court proceedings, as is the case here. Therefore, there are no proper grounds under the Data Protection legislation for the police to refuse to provide this information to you.
The police routinely have such applications made against them at court, and often do not oppose such applications. They prefer to have a court order in place, so that this fully protects them, and nobody can then complain about them disclosing the information to you. Otherwise, they would have to get involved in defending complaints to the Information Commissioner and Police watchdogs - which they consider not ideal!
An application can be made using form N244, which you can obtain from here: http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n244-eng.pdf
I hope this answers your question. If you wish to have any part of my answer clarified, please do not hesitate to let me know. Otherwise, please do remember to rate my answer as highly as possible.
Kind regards
Tony.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Dear *****,

thanks for your most useful explanation. I had considered that some sort of order would be necessary but was not sure of the process or procedure in such civil matters as I thought that orders can only be issued by a judge in a county court.

Please can you put your reply adjacent to my questions for my clear understanding.

1. Regarding the Norwich Pharmacal Order to My Neighbour (the building owner)

1a) must I go to the local county court to get the papers to submit a Norwich Pharmacal order?

or

1b) can I myself write a letter headed Norwich Pharmacal Order and send it directly to my neighbour?

1c) A Norwich Pharmacal Order would need a timeline for the neighbour's reply. The neighbour intentionally does not respond to communications on this matter to enable the builder to get off scott free as soon as the building work is done.

1d) how quickly must the neighbour reply to the Norwich Pharmacal Order request? I want to give them only 5 working days as the building work is coming to a close and the builder will endeavour to escape.

1e) The neighbour clearly knows the builder's identity and details for he is related and has contracted the builder for the building work. is the neighbour allowed to say that he does not know the information? . 1f) what is the penalty to the neighbour for lying during a Norwich Phamacal Order?

2. Threatened Court Proceedings & Form N244 to the Police

The WPC questioned the builder and was very good in the execution of her duties as far as she could do them, but concerned about data protection at the time.

2a) Approximately how much time does it take for the local county court to reply to an N244 request that would be made ?

2b) do the police have to reply promptly with such a reply?

3) Public and Employee Liability Insurances

the builder is a very cock sure individual, and employing non English speaking Chinese workers whilst living off the fat of the land and seeking to elude responsibility for his actions. He is also a coward and was running scared when the police questioned him.

can either of your procedures be used to determine if the builder has

a) public liability insurance? I know this is not compulsory

b) employee liability insurance? this is compulsory.

Much appreciated !

with regards

Patricia

Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.
Hi Patricia
Thanks for your reply. In answer to your clarification questions, see below:
1. Regarding the Norwich Pharmacal Order to My Neighbour (the building owner)
1a) must I go to the local county court to get the papers to submit a Norwich Pharmacal order?
** Yes, papers will need to be issued in the County Court for this.
or
1b) can I myself write a letter headed Norwich Pharmacal Order and send it directly to my neighbour?
** Yes, you can, and it's always sensible to do this.
1c) A Norwich Pharmacal Order would need a timeline for the neighbour's reply. The neighbour intentionally does not respond to communications on this matter to enable the builder to get off scott free as soon as the building work is done.
** Yes, include a timeline of what has happened in your letter.
1d) how quickly must the neighbour reply to the Norwich Pharmacal Order request? I want to give them only 5 working days as the building work is coming to a close and the builder will endeavour to escape.
** It's sensible to give 14 days to reply.
1e) The neighbour clearly knows the builder's identity and details for he is related and has contracted the builder for the building work. is the neighbour allowed to say that he does not know the information? . 1f) what is the penalty to the neighbour for lying during a Norwich Phamacal Order?
** Unless there is a Court order requiring the information to be disclosed, then they neighbour doesn't have to disclose it. Of course, it would be sensible for the neighbour to disclose details to avoid proceedings.
2. Threatened Court Proceedings & Form N244 to the Police
The WPC questioned the builder and was very good in the execution of her duties as far as she could do them, but concerned about data protection at the time.
2a) Approximately how much time does it take for the local county court to reply to an N244 request that would be made ?
** The Court moves pretty quickly, and would likely list your application for a hearing within a few weeks, maybe 5 - 6 weeks after issuing the proceedings.
2b) do the police have to reply promptly with such a reply?
** Only if there is a Court order.
3) Public and Employee Liability Insurances
the builder is a very cock sure individual, and employing non English speaking Chinese workers whilst living off the fat of the land and seeking to elude responsibility for his actions. He is also a coward and was running scared when the police questioned him.
can either of your procedures be used to determine if the builder has
a) public liability insurance? I know this is not compulsory
b) employee liability insurance? this is compulsory.
** This information would be revealed once you have issued proceedings and a disclosure order is made (if the Court does that), but you can at least writ to him and ask him then!
Hope this helps?
Regards
Tony
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