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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30014
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Regarding responsibility for damage to my car by a

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Regarding responsibility for damage to my car by a neighbour
JA: The Lawyer can help you determine if you have a case. Where are you located? These laws vary by location.
Customer: london uk
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Neighbour had property renovated. Render was splashed on my car - cost of repairs £8500. The property is registered with Land Registry in the name of a Company - business is management of real estate (house) refurbs etc. The property is being let. Therefore I believe as this is a commerical enterprise the home owner (company) is liable for the bad work of the builder (sub-contractor); I wish to take this route as it has a better chance of getting recompense through any future sale of the property

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above and I imagine how frustrating it must be. I will certainly try to clarify the position for you.

  1. May I confirm if you have exchanged correspondence with the home owner please on this matter and has the company owner acknowledged the incident?
  2. Do you have any evidence of the damage - e.g. photos and photos of the work that was taking place?
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I have 4 witness testimonies from neighbours - I was abroad when the damage was done to my car. The position and the colour of the render on the car matches the outside of the house. The home owner appears to accept liability as we are trying to settle out of court in advance of an appeals hearing next week.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I do not trust them as they repeatedly fail to forward the public liability details of the renderer. As far as I know they have been employing workers 'cash in hand'
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
My understanding of the Law is - as this residence apears to be a commerical enterprise - the project manager (her company) is liable
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
which is fine by me as I have already drawn up a property charging order
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
The chances of locating the builders, of them having assets, is zero - they know how to play the system by changing company names, addresses etc

thank you. Based on what you describe, as the contractor was retained by the property owner, as you suggest, the property owner is vicariously liable for their actions whilst carrying out work to the property. In point of fact the property owner would have a claim against the contractor in question for negligence and could in this way seek to pass on any damages they are forced to pay you but that is a matter as between them and their contractor. You could also bring a claim directly against the contractor on the same basis but it is likely to be simpler to pursue the homeowner for among other reasons, the reasons you refer to above.

obviously, negotiation should be the principal basis on which you should seek to settle this matter which from what you say, you are presently undertaking but if this fails, ultimately you can bring a claim against the company in the County Court for the damage that was caused to your vehicle together with interest at 8% per annum and court fees:

https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Thank you - however I need to convince the Judge this property is a commerical enterprise - have I done enough?

What evidence do you have that the the property is to be let?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
There are tenants in there fir 2 years they told me they are renting
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
According to Health & Safety regulations, in the eye of the law the property owner is seen as the main contractor and liable. However my concern is if they argue it is a residential, private home, in which case the Builder is liable. Getting recompense from the Builder will be very unlikely as they are of no fixed commercial address

thank you. It is not clear to me the importance of proving the activity on the land as a commercial enterprise. A homeowner, be it a private individual or a company can be vicariously liable for its contractors where the contractors damage neighbours property under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher.

I hope the above is of some assistance but if you have any further questions, please revert to me.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I have read Rylands v Fletcher and it appears the damage by the neighbour must be inflicted upon property of another landowner.
However my car was parked on the street, in front of their property

It is not my understanding that the rule is limited to neighbouring landowners. The Rylands rule is "that the person who for his own purposes brings on his land, and collects and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes, must keep it in at his peril, and, if he does not do so, is prima facie answerable for all the damage which is the natural consequence of its escape".

I trust the above was of assistance and that you do not have any follow up questions for now. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer and see you again in the future I hope.

Joshua and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Hi Joshua
I was in court today and your advice is out of date, particularly regards ***** ***** liability, High Court case Barclays -v-...

I am sorry to read of the above. There is no indication that what was discussed above is not still good law according to a leading legal law library commentary on the matter. Unfortunately there is insufficient information above as regards ***** ***** for me to comment further including the case reference you cite which appear to have been cut off.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
For your reference
https://www.dacbeachcroft.com/es/gb/articles/2020/april/the-supreme-court-rules-in-the-awaited-decision-on-vicarious-liability-and-the-independent-contractor-defence-barclays-bank-plc-v-various-claimants/