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John, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2125
Experience:  10 years legal experience
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Ellen, I'm quickly writing out my legal question now. NW10

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Hi Ellen, I'm quickly writing out my legal question now.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: NW10 6AU
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I've implied to the freeholder, a housing association, who are also my landlords (I part own a shared ownership property), that my next step is to take legal action, though haven't said this outright. I'm still trying to keep this civil, in the hope I could resolve it without legal action.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I've sent the soon to be respondents a record of correspondence with them dating back two years; I assumed this to be something I would have to disclose anyway if it did become a legal matter. My claim involves a demand for financial compensation, which I believe to be covered by the household insurance which I am obliged to take out, though the policy is held in the name of the freeholder-landlord; the financial compensation, and clause in the insurance I believe, is for negligence by the housing association; their negligence is failure to recognise subsidence in my property in a timely fashion, in spite of my repeatedly warning them of this. As a result there are now 2 years observation required before they can effect repairs. But I had already made arrangements to sell.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
My question is quite simple: how does instructing a lawyer in a civil matter work? Is an upfront fee required? How is the matter billed/costed thereafter?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
My circumstances seem to me slightly bizarre. These are that the household insurance policy, a premium for which I pay to cover my property, the policy-holder being the freeholder and landlord of my property (it is a shared ownership property, with a housing association), I believe contains a clause for claims for financial compensation as a result of losses incurred because of negligence by the housing association (/freeholder-landlord) [hereafter 'the housing association']. My claim has to be initiated it would seem through the housing association, though this is something of which I am unsure. The housing association has been dilatory in forwarding the articles of my claim to the insurer; presumably because they will suffer financially if a claim for financial compensation is upheld because of their negligence. I am considering whether to instruct lawyers. I need to know the cost of doing this. Thanks.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
The details of my claim for financial loss as a result of the housing association's negligence is this: at the beginning of 2019 I made arrangements to sell my flat (I own a 25% share, the housing association 75%) [hereafter 'the flat']. I had agreed with my partner that I would sell my flat and that we would buy a family home together in 2019, and that I would contribute 50% of the mortgage payments, and invest whatever money I took from the sale of the flat into our new family home, as soon as I sold the flat. The flat was valued at £425,000 by estate agents in June 2019. I completed redecoration of the flat in June 2019, and put the flat on the market (which is done by informing the housing association that I wish to sell, and the housing advertising listing the flat to all of their potential shared-ownership buyers they hold on record. During June and July I showed the flat to twelve or more potential buyers, several of whom were keen to buy a 25% share of the flat, valued by the housing association in toto at £425,000. I mention this because it proves that it is reasonable for me to have expected to sell the flat by summer 2019 (say August or September 2019) at £425,000 in toto. By the summer of 2019 my partner had bought our family house at £700,000. Our plan had always been that she would go ahead and buy our family home regardless of the sale of my flat; this is because: (1) we were never going to purchase the house together; this is because she is a freelancer who earns far more than I do when she is working; therefore she could raise far more money by taking out a mortgage on her own than we could together as co-buyers. (2) it was time-critical when my partner bought our family home. This is because she had taken a 6 month contract at a rate of pay that allowed her to just raise the necessary mortgage sum to purchase the kind of family home we wanted to buy. The contract was time-limited, at the expiration of which she would not be able to raise the same mortgage. She did not intend to find another such contract because this type of work was causing her damaging stress and she intended to change career once we had secured the house, and we intended to start a family as soon as possible. This is because we wanted to, and because I was due to 'celebrate' my 50th birthday in 2020, and felt certain if I was fertile at all, my fertility was waning, and because Claudia is prone to cystic fibroids, a proneness to which has been found to correspond with lowered fertility in women (3) my partner could afford to meet the full cost of the mortgage payments on our family home for a short time after purchase (which was completed around May 2019) (4) it was reasonable to expect that I would have sold my flat, at the value estimated by the estate agents, swiftly. August or September 2019 being a negative estimate.In August 2019 the first signs of what I now know to be subsidence emerged in the flat - hairline cracks in the walls. I took these to be a result of shaking of the house by (a) the many railway tracks a very short distance to the rear (b) the extensive building works taking place in the neighbouring house (c) slight and natural earth movements. By July 2019 the cracks had begun to deter buyers. I informed the housing association of the cracks and receive no or a dismissive response. By October 2019 all buyers had pulled out, and I headed an email 'Urgent Help Required for Subsidence Damage' to the housing association. The housing association took no notice, or sent a dismissive or evasive response. They continued to send such responses to my regular emails, phone calls and photographs and videos of the worsening damage (render falling out of the ceiling, the bathroom walls coming apart at the corners, tiled shower cabinet ruptured and damaging leaking into the downstairs flat. cracks appearing around the windows) this for the next year, until around October 2020 when their surveyor visited the flat. When the surveyor visited he said the damage was far worse than he had expected, it was too late to take remedial action - reinforcing the pointing - underpinning was the only solution now, and to carry out the latter it was necessary to monitor the evolving damage for 18 months, before repairs would commence. The sale of my flat was therefore delayed by 2 years as a consequence of the housing association's negligence. My partner had purchased our family home by the summer of 2019, into which we had both agreed we would move as soon as the purchase was complete, and fallen pregnant with our hoped for baby by July 2020, conceived as a result of us living together in our new family home from the summer of 2019.In short I could have sold my flat in August 2019 but for the housing association's negligence. I left my flat in the summer of 2019 as I had agreed with my partner that I would do. My costs continue ci.£1000pcm. The housing association are responsible for my losses of 25 months=£25k + ors.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
In spite of the wearisome prolixity of my questions and background information, my questions are short and simple: (1) Should I instruct civil lawyers in this matter? (2) How do I do this? (3) How much does it cost?

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Cancel the question. It’s ridiculous, you must have misunderstood; mine is the most basic question in the whole of civil law, that everyone who works in this field knows, including receptionists. My question is: (1) How do you get a lawyer for a civil matter (2) How much does it cost?I can imagine the answer to this might be: (1) You contact the lawyer of your choice; you might find this by recommendation, on the high street, by an online search. (2) They will ask you for an advance payment to cover the first hour of research and correspondence. Future payments will be agreed. Alternatively some law firms offer ‘No Win No Fee’ agreements. Typically they take more from a final settlement than you would have paid in a standard arrangement paying your lawyer by the hour.

Hello, how are you? Welcome to JustAnswer. My name is***** am a solicitor and I will be assisting you today. Please note there may be delays in responding as I am away helping other customers but I will get back to you as soon as I can.  I may also need to ask you some clarifying questions to determine the legal position.

Thanks for your message, I appreciate it is important to you.

You can instruct a law firm that deals with civil matters by searching here  You can filter it to find the area of specialism.

The costs depend on the type of arrangement you have in respect of funding. There are different methods of funding and different firms have different pricing structures, you will need to contact them to find out. However, generally speaking it will be a "no win no fee" but that is subject to the value of the claim you are pursuing

John, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2125
Experience: 10 years legal experience
John and 4 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

I hope this helps. Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer, please let me know if you need me to clarify anything or if you have any additional questions. I am happy to help.

Hello, just following up on this to ensure you're satisfied with what you need to do. Please let me know if you need me to clarify anything or if you have any additional questions. I am happy to help. All the best, John