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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 61193
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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In May my driveway entrance wall was accidentally knocked

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In May my driveway entrance wall was accidentally knocked down by the owner of a landscaping company. He arranged for a bricklayer to rebuild the wall. The bricklayer did not put any protective sheets down and trod mortar into my tarmac driveway. He returned a week later and pressure washed the area causing damage to the tar mac. I informed the landscaping boss who was most unhelpful and I eventually ascertained the insurance details of the bricklayer but on talking to them it transpires that the insurance was taken out after the damage was caused. My bukdings insurance does not cover me for poor workmanship and I do not have the address of the bricklayer. I do have the address of the landscaping company . Can I start proceedings against the landscaper either personally or through his business.? The cost of repair is £800 plus VAT
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Essex
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Liased with landscaper boss
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. Firstly, I need to ask some initial questions to determine the legal position.

Can I just check, is the landscaper still trading?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
yes

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. What you may find is that the landscaper does not have responsibility for what the bricklayer did because they are not their agent or employee and were simply instructed by them to complete the work. So to claim vicarious liability (i.e. that they are automatically responsible for the actions of the bricklayer) may be difficult to do in the circumstances as the bricklayer would have had carried their own liability for any work they undertook. There is nothing stopping you from making a claim against the landscaper but you have to be prepared for it to be challenged on the above basis. The safest is still to pursue the bricklayer and you have to try and find their address to do so.

 

Whichever party you decide to chase for this, If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can do so by making a claim in the civil courts. As legal action should ideally be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve lawyers or the courts. These can be summarised below and it is recommended the following procedure is followed to try and progress this matter further:

 

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

 

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time, usually 7 to 14 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for the compensation in question. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

 

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed a copy will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. Once they are aware that legal proceedings have commenced it may also force them to reconsider their position and perhaps prompt them to contact you to try and resolve this.

 

As a final tip, it is always advisable to keep copies of any correspondence sent and received as the courts would like to refer to it if it ever gets that far.

 

Does this answer your query?

 

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
thank you. I would add that the bricklayer was paid by the landscaper for his work .

Thanks I thought that may be the case but it does not change my original answer. Hope this clarifies things for you

 

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