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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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The builder who painted the outside of our house did not

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The builder who painted the outside of our house did not remove the scaffolding. It has been there now 2 months since he finished the job. We have made numerous requests for him to remove it by phone, text and email - he ignores them all. We can't find another builder who will remove the scaffolding because they say it is unsafe. Can we take legal action to get him to remove it ?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Did he use a third party to erect the scaffolding?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
his friend but we don’t have his details
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
OK
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Is anyone there ?
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hi Ben are you still there ?

Hi there. Apologies for the slight delay and thank you for your response and for the phone call request. I am not available to talk at this present time but leave it with me for now and I will review the relevant information and laws and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. Obviously this is a far from ideal situation as you have someone else’s property on your property and it needs to be removed. In the circumstances, there are several options available to you:

1. Arrange for someone else to take it down and you can then store it until the original owner collects it. You can also give them notice you will disclose of it after a certain amount of timer if they do not collect it

2. Take it down yourself, although that may be difficult, depending on its size

3. Contact the owners to advise them that you will be charging them a daily storage fee until they collect it, hoping that it prompts them to remove it

4. Obtain a court order for specific performance, requiring them to remove it – however, in the end this is still only a piece of paper and can only be enforced with their compliance

There is no simple solution unfortunately and you may have to try one or two at least before you get anywhere. If it was me, I would set a deadline for removal, state that a daily storage fee will be charged in the meantime if not collected and that eventually you would get someone else to take it down and take it away and you would have no liability over it as you have given them ample warnings to take it down themselves.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hi Ben
We have already done what you suggested. We gave the builder a deadline and told him that after the set date we would get another scaffold-er to remove the scaffolding and the cost of removal would be offset against the cost of the materials. We also said there would be a storage charge.This had no effect. Also we can't get anyone else to take the scaffolding down, we have had two companies in, because they say the scaffolding has been erected unsafely.
Trying to take the scaffolding down myself would be extremely hazardous as I have no experience and am afraid of heights.
Hence I was hoping there was some legal action I could take.
Regards
Mark

Hi there, in all honesty there is nothing in law which would guarantee the people who put up the scaffold will come to take it down. No one can go and physically march them over to your property and force them to do that. That is why you will inevitably always be relying on their cooperation to do this. The closest you will get to this is to get an order for specific performance from the court, which is an order requiring them to take the scaffold down. However, that is still just a piece of paper which says they must do something and it will only happen if they agree to do it. So I am afraid I cannot give you anything which will guarantee they come over to take it down as such an option simply does not exist. Hope this clarifies a bit more?

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can either reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’, or select 3, 4 or 5 stars on this page. I can still answer follow up questions if needed to clarify anything for you. Many thanks

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi Ben
So there is nothing you can do in law if someone leaves their goods on your land ?

There are rights as discussed above but what I am trying to convey is that you cannot actually force them to come back and collect - you simply cannot get them physically over to do that. You can get a court order requiring them to do that but it is just a piece of paper in the end and you still rely on their willingness to honour it

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Surely if they ignore a court order they are in contempt of court and can be charged with that offence ?
Mark

yes of course but that still does not guarantee the removal of your scaffolding, which is what you were specifically asking about

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Well no but it does at least provide them with an incentive to remove it.
OK - Thanks Ben I think I'm clear now - I'll consult a local property lawyer to raise a court order for the removal of the scaffolding.
Mark

you are welcome and best of luck

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