1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Next doors builder caused damage to property

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Trifid, Nov 29, 2019.

  1. Trifid

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 18, 2006

    Posts: 8,211

    Hi.

    Next door has had some building work which required scaffolding on my parents property. During the course of the work they have damage multiple tiles to their garage roof through carelessness (dropping heavy items, rendering being spilt on it). The garage is less then 2 years old.

    The builder has been very aggressive with his position but says he will 'fix it', the neighbours haven't been very helpful with resolving it either. Do they have to let the builders touch it? My parents would rather pay their original builder to put it right then have next doors on their property. However this doesn't seem right to me.

    Does anyone know what their rights are? No party wall agreement was signed.

    Thanks.
     
  2. OpenToSuggestions

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 5, 2006

    Posts: 10,615

    Location: Derby

    There is a difference between a party wall and 'you ****s have smashed my roof tiles'. The have the right to have the roof fixed.
    I would tell them that they want the original builder to fix it, but I would expect them to insist that the neighbour's builders do it.
     
  3. TonTom

    Gangster

    Joined: Apr 1, 2018

    Posts: 154

    The neighbours sound scummy considering your parents let the builders erect scaffolding on their property.
     
  4. Trifid

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 18, 2006

    Posts: 8,211

    Yeah, very poor form. They are getting on a bit and they know my dad's health has declined greatly in the last year. It's especially poor form as they admitted to going to the cheapest builder when my parents chose theirs on character reference.
     
  5. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 44,025

    Well it seems ethically wrong at least. I mean it is one thing for a tradesperson to be given the opportunity to rectify mistakes made with their own work it is another for them to demand that they carry out the work re: damage they've done.

    I mean if they scratched the car you'd expect them to just pay up for you to get it fixed not demand that their mechanic mate comes round with a spray can etc..
     
  6. TonTom

    Gangster

    Joined: Apr 1, 2018

    Posts: 154

    Make sure you take a lot of pictures of the damaged area and surrounding intact tiled area.
     
  7. Destination

    Capodecina

    Joined: May 31, 2009

    Posts: 19,416

    This
     
  8. Gabbatek

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 28, 2011

    Posts: 1,623

    Location: Norwich

    at the worst you can claim from the builders insurance or take the neighbours to the small claims court.
     
  9. moon man

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 17, 2003

    Posts: 2,582

    Location: St Breward Cornwall

    legal cover on home insurance maybe

    edit /at least for helpline /advice
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  10. nas

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 2, 2009

    Posts: 1,012

    Take to court and will be for them to disprove they did not cause or be liable for the alleged damage. Presumably, there was notice of some sort?
     
  11. Trifid

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 18, 2006

    Posts: 8,211

    Of the building work/scaffolding going up? It was 1 or 2 days notice only. They had run down the time on planning permission due to insufficient funds, then they found a builder last minute who would do it cheaper and could start straight away. What could go wrong?
     
  12. phonemonkey

    Hitman

    Joined: Jan 15, 2009

    Posts: 995

    Location: On the wagon

    Is the builder demanding the chance to rectify the damage free of charge or is he trying to bully his way into paid work for your parents?

    If the former I'd say it's not that unreasonable he be given the chance, just take lots of pictures and make sure you're happy with the work once it's complete and get him to agree a timescale on paper. If there are issues after that I'd say it's reasonable for you/your parents and their insurance companyto get someone else to fix the work and bill the neighbours builder.

    If it's the latter tell them to get lost, offer them a chance to rectify their damage and failing that approach your insurance and let them deal with it.
     
  13. DB_SamX

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 17, 2006

    Posts: 7,761

    Location: Winchester

    Let the builder fix it in the first instance.
     
  14. Trifid

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 18, 2006

    Posts: 8,211

    Why should he be given the chance though? Under what legal basis? My parents have no contract with him. If they damaged their car, would you say it was reasonable for him to get a can of spray paint from Halfords?

    The builder who my parents appointed for their work is still around (they paused it because of my Dads health) and so it would seem reasonable they are appointed to repair the roof at next doors builders cost?
     
  15. wedrum

    Mobster

    Joined: Aug 11, 2016

    Posts: 4,499

    Location: Cheshire

    this is going to get messy
     
  16. Dolph

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 47,540

    Location: Plymouth

    This is where you need proper legal advice. My understanding (from being in the position of your neighbour myself when our scaffolders damaged the roof next door) is that you're eniitled to have it brought back to how it was before, without cost to yourself, but not to force additional and unnecessary costs on to the other party (which demanding that a builder pays a different builder to do something they can do comes under, the Halfords spray paint idea isn't really comparable).

    If your parents have legal cover with home insurance, or through employer or anything like that, I would start there and get some proper advice, as it's important not to let these things get out if hand.
     
  17. Trifid

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 18, 2006

    Posts: 8,211

    I think this might be the best course of action if they took it out but knowing my Dad, he would rather pay out of his own pocket which is what he did when the other sides builder crashed into their wall (was the day the Google Street view went past too!).
     
  18. tom_nieto

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 10,715

    Location: Birmingham

    If the tiles are easy to get hold of and the damage is limited to a few broken tiles, the quickest and easiest way will be to allow the neighbours builder to fix it.

    If for whatever reason it’s not done to your satisfaction, this is when you get your home insurance involved.

    Feel free to kick up a stink about it, but the path of least resistance is usually the best way here. The builders will soon be gone, but a cheesed off neighbour will remain and can continue to make like uncomfortable longer term.
     
  19. phonemonkey

    Hitman

    Joined: Jan 15, 2009

    Posts: 995

    Location: On the wagon

    I'm not sure of the 'legal basis' but it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to allow someone to return your property to the condition it was in prior to the damage without incurring additional and/or additional costs.

    If, in your example of the car, he could go to Halfords and get a can of spray paint and return the car to it's prior condition then in my mind that would also be acceptable. I suspect, given he's a builder not a coach builder if he'd damaged the car he would consider it a necessary expense to get a professional to repair the car. That's the difference. He obviously feels he has the skills needed to return your property to it's prior state without incurring the cost of getting another builder to do it.

    As kind of said here
    The issue you might have is if 'returned to it's prior condition' looks different to the 2 of you. So as above, it's probably time to involve an insurance company or seek legal advice as a means of arbitration if nothing else.

    Final note, if you've been as stand offish as you've come across in this thread then I'd be very surprised if this can be calmly and easily resolved. I understand your anxiety and desire to have things resolved quickly and to your satisfaction but a little tact and a good attitude will do you far more good in the pursuit of those aims then the opposite. Stay calm and polite in your dealings with both the neighbour and their builder. The more you dig your heels in the more they will too.
     
  20. Trifid

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Feb 18, 2006

    Posts: 8,211

    Don't worry, I've not approached the neighbours or builders. I am playing devils advocate to understand where they stand and why. We would all prefer to situation to have not happened in the first place.

    I suppose the better analogy of the car is, if a garage owner rear ended you in traffic resulting in the need for a new bumper. Would you use their garage or your own? I would prefer to either use insurance or receive the funds to repair at my garage.