How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

Under the Water Industry Act 1991 Thames Water have a liability

This answer was rated:

Under the Water Industry Act 1991 Thames Water have a liability for damage to my house following a burst main which flooded the ground floor and ruined Xmas. They have accepted liability,however they say their liability in terms of contents is limited i.e. they will only pay what the furniture and contents are worth. I think this is wrong morally and would challenge that in the County Court. I also believe that we should be recompensed for the huge disruption we will be facing for months. Where do I stand?

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX 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 as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Your physical loss though is the goods which they accept, have I understood?

Yes, but they are seeking to limit that loss

Alex Watts : How much is in dipsute?

No sum as yet - I am trying to establish the basic principles. Firstly in terms of content, it seems ridiculous that they can limit their liability to the estimated worth of the existing floor surfaces, i.e. carpets and wooden floors (do they expect us to buy secondhand?!). Also surely we should have some entitlement in terms of Nuisance?

Alex Watts : in terms of value you can't get new for old,
Alex Watts : For example if carpet had say a life of 10 years and you had it for 8 years then you would only expect 20% of replacement vs,ue.
Alex Watts : Otherwise there would be better rent.
Alex Watts : betterment
Alex Watts : You can sue for nuisance but this is not under the above Act it would be an entirely separate claim.
Alex Watts : You need to write and set out your losses and request a payment within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy. If they do not pay you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 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 matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation. Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Fully understand the issues, particularly in relation to betterment - which I assume is a fundamnetal legal principle, however their negligence is effectively forcing me to spend money on something I neither needed or wanted. It would appear that the Nuisance route is the only way I have of being recompensed for their negligence unless they agree to meet the full economic cost of the contents damage

Alex Watts : That may be so yes.
Alex Watts : Can I help with anything further?

Lastly, and just to emphasise my point, their lossadjustors have suggested I claim new for old off my contents insurance. However, given that they will claim this back including my excess and impact on my no claims bonus, why don't they do the simple thing and pay this direct to me?!

Alex Watts : I can't say why, internal policy or procedure I suspect,
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’. Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help:


Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you