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Ed Turner
Ed Turner,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1910
Experience:  Director and Consultant Solicitor (Self-Employed) at Ed Turner LLB Limited
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Is the council liable for negligence for not issuing me with

Customer Question

Is the council liable for negligence for not issuing me with a building certificate?
History in August 2010 I paid the council building control dept £600. I have recently chased the missing building certificate. I have been told that the application was withdrawn by the council because payment was not received. I have the bank to confirm that the cheque used was honoured. I have never received a refund. Please advise as I still need a building certificate even thought the works were finished in summer 2011.
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ed Turner replied 16 days ago.

Hello.   I am Ed, a Solicitor qualified in England & Wales with over a decade’s experience in the legal profession advising clients.

I specialise in Commercial Contracts, Business Transactions, Employment, Dispute Resolution, Personal Injury and Road Traffic Law and shall be reviewing your legal problem today.

Regarding the site’s automatic offer of a Premium Service Phone Call, I shall be delighted to talk with you by phone to discuss your issue in greater detail if you accept the offer.

However, if you do not want a phone call, please cancel the offer for a Premium Service Phone Call and you will not be charged extra.

Expert:  Ed Turner replied 16 days ago.

You have a claim in  breach of contract and breach of the sale and supply of goods and services legislation against the Council.   The Defendant was under a duty in contract law and statute to provide you with a product and service that was fit for purpose, of reasonably satisfactory quality and matched the description at the point of sale.   Your damages will be a refund on the purchase price, plus additional costs of rectifying their defective work through another supplier.

You should send a letter of claim to them.  There are plenty of free templates online and the consumer protection advice magazine/website “Which?” has a useful template which you can adapt to your claim: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/letter/letter-before-small-claims-court-claim.

If they do not reply with their reasons for disputing the claim within 21 days, you should issue court proceedings via the Government’s Small Claims Track Online System: https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim.  The issue fee depends on the total damages being claimed.   If you issue online, the court issue fee ranges from between £35.00 for a claim worth up to £300.00 damages, up to £455.00 for a claim worth between £5,000.00 and £10,000.00 damages.   The Small Claims Court Online Portal will advise you on the fee when you come to issue your claim, but you may check the Government’s Court Fee advice booklet EX50 at PDF page 5/21 accessible at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fees-in-the-civil-and-family-courts-main-fees-ex50.

A party cannot normally recover solicitors’ costs on the Small Claims Track.   However, it is designed for non-lawyers (known as “Litigants In Person”).  The trials are relatively informal, and the judges do not expect parties to have the same legal knowledge as experienced solicitors and barristers.

Expert:  Ed Turner replied 16 days ago.

I hope this resolves your enquiry.   Please revert to me if you require any clarification of my answer to your question and I shall be delighted to assist.

Kind regards

LawyerEd

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Hi lawyer Ed, does it matter that the payment was made 11 years ago but we only found out now that they didn’t issue the certificate alleging non payment Despite it being paid?
Expert:  Ed Turner replied 15 days ago.

The Limitation Act 1980 prescribes a period of 6 years for a claimant to issue court proceedings for breach of contract from the date that the alleged breach occurred, was discovered or ought reasonably discovered.   Therefore, your claim is significantly out of time, even if the court generously decides that the limitation clock began to run within a year or two of you making payment and failing to receive the services, you are still many years out of time.

My recommendation is that this claim has low prospects of success and you should not issue court proceedings in this matter.   You should seek a resolution with the council, even if it means re-applying for the certificate and paying the fee again.

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Ed Turner replied 13 days ago.

I am delighted that I have resolved your enquiry.

I wish you all the very best in resolving this matter and of course for safely navigating the current “choppy waters” in which we all find ourselves. :)

Kind regards

LawyerEd