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Ask JGM Your Own Question
JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11139
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I own a downstairs flat, council own upstairs. Gutters

Resolved Question:

I own a downstairs flat, council own upstairs. Gutters required to be replaced. I first contacted the council Sept 2013 with regards ***** ***** I spent months sending emails to various people to get a price. Eventually after 4 or 5 attempts by them at
pricing I agreed to a figure as winter was approaching and to prevent possible damage to our building. I had been given a quote by another contractor which was rejected by the council as he only had £1million public liability insurance. They would only agree
to pay their share if the contractor had £5million minimum even if they were employed by others. My solicitor accepted their quote but in his letter to them he stated " Our clients agreement on this occasion is without prejudice to our clients rights to pursue
any action against the council. I now want to pursue in the small claims court for the difference between their quote and the one from my contractor. Approx £350 in total which would have been a saving of £175 for myself and £175 for the taxpayer. I am hoping
questions will be asked. My solicitor who doesn't do court work isn't sure how it would go in that the court might not allow me to pursue the council. What are your views please.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
The issue that has to answered is the basis on which the council insisted of £5M cover and whether this can be justified. Your narrative doesn't state any reason stated by the council as to why they said this was necessary. If it cannot be justified, then you would have a claim on the face of it.
Happy to discuss further.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the quick reply. This is my point. 10 years ago there was no mention of any insurance when a repair was being carried out. I do believe some level of insurance should be in place. They say they are acting on advice from their insurance section. I fail to see the relevance here as my contractors insurance takes all the risk. I did a FOI request and the highest single claim is £36000 in the last 5 years. There is nothing in title deeds with regards ***** ***** and I feel they could have had something put in the burdens section when they sold the property. This is a unilateral stipulation and restricting small local contractors.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
The burdens section of the title could have stipulated an insurance figure but the problem with that is that it would eventually be out of date.
The main point is whether the council is acting reasonably in demanding that level of cover and I suspect not unless they can point to some specific and logical manner in which that level of cover has been arrived at.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Finally do you consider it is worth pursuing. It's more about principle than the money, this could open a can of worms.
Many Thanks
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I think you have a stateable case. In addition because it's a small claim you aren't taking a risk of massive expenses being awarded against you even if you lose.
I suspect in any event the council would simply pay up rather than incur the expense of and times involved in defending the action all the way to a full hearing.
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