Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried out

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Eliza
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by Eliza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:14 am

Collaborate wrote:You are still at the information gathering stage. I suggest you call for a full copy of the works schedule, referenced to the current amended regulations. The schedule should break down the associated costs, and contain copies of all invoices (you must check the VAT reference numbers if any). You can then approach another builder to consider the works specifications and they can tell you what a reasonable cost would have been.

You then need to put to them the hypothesis that keeping the well up to current specifications doesn't fall within the covenant. I happen to think you're wrong on this point.
That sounds like a good first step to me.

You are indeed at the information gathering stage right now.
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....

how_much
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by how_much » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:49 am

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all your comments.

Due to how the land is, I can only make a connection on neighbours land (if i wanted to put a new toilet in) and fair enough if he says i cant make a new connection into the existing drainage pipe. i'll accept that.

I was only really making an example of what my neighbour has said...ie as above vs my neighbour saying i owe money cos he upgraded / created a new Spring water system...the title deed doesnt say i can make a new connection on his land...neither does it say i have to pay for an upgraded/new spring water system and not to forget my neighbours solicitor is also saying i only have a right to use the drainage pipes that existed at the time the title was granted...so surely this also stands for the spring water system ie only have to contribute to what existed at the time the title was granted. The upgraded/new spring water system did not exist at the time the title was granted.

I get the point my neighobur upgraded the spring water system becuase of the notice served, but that doesnt change anything in my opinion about what i do and do not have to contribute toward. The council cannot dictate / change what it says in my title.

Ok so - I will ask for more detailes info from neighbour as mentioned by Collaborate. I have also arranged a fixed fee to go an see a solicitor tomorrow to discuss all this.

Cheers guys.

despair
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by despair » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:42 am

Make very sure whichever solicitor you see they are a very experienced land solicitor

Also check very very carefully all mortgages,insurances, credit cards union memberships for legal expenses cover you may not realise you have

Eliza
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by Eliza » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:53 pm

I am reading this myself as the neighbour exercised nepotism to select the workers to do this work and that was clearly absolutely wrong (as they should have put the quoting out on the "open market"), rather than choosing their personal favourites for it.

In OP's position I would tend to go personally for finding out exactly what a fair "open market" quote would be for the work and tell the neighbour I was prepared to pay half the "open market" rate for the job, provided permission was given for me to have my 2nd loo. But I would be insisting on both those factors and making it plain that any future work would have to go for quoting on the "open market". If I werent charged over the odds for this and if I got my permission, then I would turn a blind eye on this occasion only to the fact I hadnt been given my chance to indicate which firms I thought should be asked to quote.

I would also be getting what proof I could (in case it came to it) that nepotism had been used to select the workers who the neighbour chose for the job.
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....

how_much
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by how_much » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:38 pm

How do i know if a solicitor is an experienced land solicitor?

I have legal cover with my house insurance but it doesnt cover contract disputes (thats what they said it currently is)...but if neighbours move fwd to court proceedings to take an injunction to stop my water supply, then they will cover that under enjoyment of my property!

Going back to the costs of the works my neighbour is claiming from me...it is completely made up...I've gone through the document that lists the contractors names and costs on it with one of my builder friends and he said he cannot see how on earth my neighbour reckons the works cost £6000. He doesnt even think its £2000 worth.
He said there is some costing book that you can reference which will give idea of costs for such works.
From my point of view this is now/looking like a fraudulent claim by my neighbour. Is there any legal words for this kind of fraudulent claim?

I have no issue with using friends or family to do a job (usually to save a few quid)...but in this instance it seems to have been a pre-planned way for my neighbour to make some money. There are numerous labour charges in the made up invoice which total around £500 - whats annoying on top of the fact this is a ridiculous cost for labour is that I could have done the labour for nothing to help keep costs down. There is no common sense to this made up invoice.

jonahinoz
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by jonahinoz » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:51 pm

Hi,

I "done a Google" for BOOK COST OF BUILDING WORK. Quite a few results, but here is just one ....

https://www.whichbuildingcontract.co.uk ... s-s/24.htm

Your local reference library might have a copy, and I have experienced my local lending library has offered to order a book in for me ... when it arrived, it was brand new, and quite expensive.

I also used to spend lunch-hours in the DVLA library. I presume they must have inherited a lot of their reference books from the Dept of Environment ... Sweet and Maxwell, for instance.

John W

ukmicky
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by ukmicky » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:55 pm

The notice from the council would have said what works were required, what does it say needed to be done.

Statute law law also trumps your common law easement rights on your deeds so if the council prohibit the use of the well until certain works are performed until they are performed the rights you have through the easement are suspended.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

how_much
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by how_much » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:45 am

Hi guys,

So solicitor said:

- It would seem that the upgrade of the water system will come under renewal as stated in covenant.
- She was surprised that no quotes were sent with the letter in the first instance, which she said will be frowned upon if it were to go to court.
- She was surprised that there was no document with a description of the works that were carried out sent to me, no itemised invoices from each contractor and no invoices for the materials, which she again said will be frowned upon if it were to go to court.
- She said the piece of paper with contractors name and a cost next to it is basically a joke.
- The threat of seeking an injunction at this early stage of correspondence would seem more of an aggressive approach and does not meet any pre-court protocol.
- Turning the water off in my house would be violation of my rights (something about human rights) and that it is very unlikely that any judge would allow an injunction for this...especially with children living in the house. She went as far as saying she was appalled by neighbours solicitor to even put this in their letter.
- She said seeking an injunction to cut off water would be very expensive for my neighbour and they would run the risk of adverse costs.
- She said there is no offer of alternative dispute resolution, which again will be frowned upon.

The actual sum of monies claimed by my neighbours was discussed and I explained my interpretation of the works as best i coould that were carried out which are:
A larger collection tank was installed in a newly dug hole in the ground. which i guess is about 4ft x 4ft and approx 4ft deep.. The hole was then lined with breeze block and a possibly a concrete floor. The new holding tank is filled up from the existing smaller collection tank. From the new tank an approx. 50m trench was dug to the boundary of my property and the trench was backfilled. There were no communications at all at this time...just simply a coil of pipe left on the boundary of my property.
The council called me to say my neighbours would be turning off the old water system in 72 hours and the new one turned on.
I was then left with no choice other then to dig a trench under my garden to the house and connect the blue pipe to the existing supply pipe in my house prior to the new system been turned on. I hired a plumber to do the connecting part of it. Luckily the plumber, who is a friend came out promptly otherwise i would have had no water to my house after 72 hours.

My solicitor said the costs dont add up and said it seems the costs are massively exaggerated and that I have incurred costs too, which will need to be taken in to account in any final settlement figure.

She said she can send a letter to other side but i said i wanted to try and keep costs down at this stage...She said she has no issue in me replying back and asking for further documentation ie quotes,invoices etc. She said she will proof read my letter before sending.

She also said the fact my neighbours solicitor has relied upon the wording in the covenant in the past saying it states no new connection for a new pipe is correct. She also said when i send my own letter then i am within my rights to bring this up in correspondence to see what the other sides position is / what they say in response to my interpretation of the wording ie it doesnt mention upgrade/creating a new water system in the title deed. She said this would be classed as pre-court protocol in establishing the position of each side.

So thats where i am at right now and im now in the process of putting together a letter to send back.

Cheers.

Eliza
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by Eliza » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:07 pm

I would have thought the obligation the neighbour has to tell you themselves about the water being turned off in 72 hours would be a legal one and, if so, a Court would frown upon it as well that the neighbour didnt tell you this. The only way you knew about the forthcoming turn-off of water was because the Council told you. If they hadnt told you for any reason, then it sounds like you wouldnt have known and it would have come out of the blue to you when you turned on a tap and no water came out. I would have also thought some hygiene regulations somewhere or other would be contravened if your water supply had just been removed just like that without you having had notice and I guess your Water Board might be the best people to investigate that fact with.
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....

arborlad
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by arborlad » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:22 pm

Eliza wrote:I am reading this myself as the neighbour exercised nepotism to select the workers to do this work and that was clearly absolutely wrong (as they should have put the quoting out on the "open market"), rather than choosing their personal favourites for it.

In OP's position I would tend to go personally for finding out exactly what a fair "open market" quote would be for the work and tell the neighbour I was prepared to pay half the "open market" rate for the job, provided permission was given for me to have my 2nd loo. But I would be insisting on both those factors and making it plain that any future work would have to go for quoting on the "open market". If I werent charged over the odds for this and if I got my permission, then I would turn a blind eye on this occasion only to the fact I hadnt been given my chance to indicate which firms I thought should be asked to quote.

I would also be getting what proof I could (in case it came to it) that nepotism had been used to select the workers who the neighbour chose for the job.


Claims of nepotism are misplaced in these circumstances, not only is it normal, it is expected that family and friends will be working on your own land. You can't dictate who works on someone elses land.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

Collaborate
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by Collaborate » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:35 pm

arborlad wrote:
Eliza wrote:I am reading this myself as the neighbour exercised nepotism to select the workers to do this work and that was clearly absolutely wrong (as they should have put the quoting out on the "open market"), rather than choosing their personal favourites for it.

In OP's position I would tend to go personally for finding out exactly what a fair "open market" quote would be for the work and tell the neighbour I was prepared to pay half the "open market" rate for the job, provided permission was given for me to have my 2nd loo. But I would be insisting on both those factors and making it plain that any future work would have to go for quoting on the "open market". If I werent charged over the odds for this and if I got my permission, then I would turn a blind eye on this occasion only to the fact I hadnt been given my chance to indicate which firms I thought should be asked to quote.

I would also be getting what proof I could (in case it came to it) that nepotism had been used to select the workers who the neighbour chose for the job.


Claims of nepotism are misplaced in these circumstances, not only is it normal, it is expected that family and friends will be working on your own land. You can't dictate who works on someone elses land.
No, but the costs claimed will be subject to greater scrutiny.

how_much
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by how_much » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:52 am

Hi guys,

as well as asking for quotes and invoices, can you think of anything else that I should include in my letter?...should i go as far as saying there is no wording in my title that states i am to upgrade the water system, only replace,renew like for like?

I should also mention that historically the water system only provided water to my house. Prior to me moving into my house, my neighbour built a property (with planning permission) on his land and then sold the 'original' house to me. Then he moved into the new built house when i completed on the original house.

So my neighbour had teed off from the old water system supply pipe to provide water to his new house. Now the upgrade works have been done, each house has its own pipe from the new water holding tank.

Thanks and Merry Christmas.

MacadamB53
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by MacadamB53 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:51 am

Hi how_much,

as well as asking for quotes and invoices, can you think of anything else that I should include in my letter?...should i go as far as saying there is no wording in my title that states i am to upgrade the water system, only replace,renew like for like?

if your position is that you think the works constitute an upgrade and therefore you don’t need to contribute then this is what you should tell the neighbour - asking them to clarify what grounds they believe they have for making the claim.

inform them you will still/may still consider making a contribution once you have been provided with more information - quotes and invoices.

kind regards, Mac

ukmicky
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by ukmicky » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:58 pm

The wording of your easement means nothing in this case because statute law overrides your easement rights . You said the council ordered the works to be performed so if you and your neighbour wanted to continue to use it the upgrade had to happen.

If the well had continued to only supply one residence the council would have had no power to order works to be performed. However Under the law of easements the servient owner must retain the right to also use the water supply so it only serving your property previously makes no difference and is not an argument you will win.

Because the council ordered that works had to be performed under the law someone had to foot the bill. As I mentioned recently in another thread for your easement to be legal it must be at no expense to the servient owner and therefore you are legally obliged to pay your fair share towards the upgrade that had to be carried out if you wish to continue to benefit from your easement rights .. The only point of discussion for you and your neighbour is what works were required under the order from the council and was the cost of those works reasonable.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Collaborate
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Re: Claim of money disproportionat against the works carried

Post by Collaborate » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:54 am

ukmicky wrote:The wording of your easement means nothing in this case because statute law overrides your easement rights . You said the council ordered the works to be performed so if you and your neighbour wanted to continue to use it the upgrade had to happen.

If the well had continued to only supply one residence the council would have had no power to order works to be performed. However Under the law of easements the servient owner must retain the right to also use the water supply so it only serving your property previously makes no difference and is not an argument you will win.

Because the council ordered that works had to be performed under the law someone had to foot the bill. As I mentioned recently in another thread for your easement to be legal it must be at no expense to the servient owner and therefore you are legally obliged to pay your fair share towards the upgrade that had to be carried out if you wish to continue to benefit from your easement rights .. The only point of discussion for you and your neighbour is what works were required under the order from the council and was the cost of those works reasonable.
There is nothing in the easement forcing the servient owner to spend the money. That makes for a crucial distinction.

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