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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have received small claims court papers from the farmer that

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I have received small claims court papers from the farmer that owns the drive to our house. This is a Farm track, we have lived in the house since 2000. Our deeds state ' we have to contribute a fair and proportionate amount to the maintenance of the drive according to usage' This drive is accessed by the farmer who owns the drive along with 2 other businesses. One business has approximately 15 vehicles per day using the drive. The other business has HGV lorries regularly using the drive to access their warehouse. The farmer accesses all of the fields in the area via this drive. he also sub-lets the field on a crop rotation for potatoes to be grown. One year's crop of potatoes is approximately 900 tons. For 14 years he also had another agreement with a local farmer that he could use the drive for sugar beet lorries. Thousands of tons of beets over the years have been transported along the drive. Last November the farmer decided he wanted to up grade the road, and is demanding I pay the same amount towards the cost of the drive as the 2 busnises. He claims as the landlord he does not have to contribute but will make a donation of £1000. He is demanding £1800 + vat from me. Despite on many occasions pointing out to him the wording in my deeds ' fair and proportionate according to usage' he is ignoring that fact. What do you think my chances of defending this are. By the way me and my wife live alone and we have one vehicle each therefore we use the drive very little.
Brian Sarahan - 22-Apr-16 @ 3:56 PM
Hello Brian my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.On what basis has he worked out the £1800 + VAT?Have any of you had a surveyor say what they think is fair?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He took it upon himself to go ahead and upgrade the shared driveway even though we had informed him in writing on more than one occasion that we did not wish to go ahead with the work. The only survey was by the contractor to quote for the work. He lives some 7 miles away and therefore as NO record or proof of usage of the drive whereas our CCTV does cover the drive and clearly shows the usage by other parties.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It i unclear how he has split, originally he was insisting it was split evenly between the 4 residents (not including himself) and then the next thing we know we received the invoice as stated already
Well first of all having a new driveway is not maintenance and as such my view is that it would fall outside the claim. He could claim for repair, but not an upgrade or a new drive.In any event he has to prove usage and how he worked out the figures. I assume he cant. Therefore I agree £200 is not unreasonable and you should admit this part of the claim.I agree he needs to have records of who has used the drive in what vehicle as that will have an impact on wear and tear.So I think he will lack evidence but in any event his claim is for a new driveway which is not maintenance.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. How do you suggest I respond to the court?
Send in a defence and just admit £200 of it. But you MUST file a defence. It will then be set down for a small claims hearing.Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I understand that. Should i include evidence of the Articulated lorries (photographs) using the drive and the large tractors and farm machinery ? and/or send photographs of the drive as it was compared with it now? Also should I ask for the claiment to provide evidence of usage ?
Not this yet. But you will get a notice of hearing for a small claim. At that point you need to submit the evidence which you want to rely on 14 days before the hearing. So you can wait until 14 days before the hearing to submit evidence. Remember, its the Claimant's claim, he needs needs to prove it. Its not for you to disprove.Does that clarify? Alex
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes thank you.Brian
Great.Good luck Brian.