Can you please advise.There is a development of 25 flats being built appros 10m form my garden fence.Piling ect has taken place and last week neighbours reported cracks in their gardens.The contractor has accepted responsibility.They have sent their own surveyor out to look at the gardens and report back.We asked if we could get our own independant surveyor, at their cost, as they have accepted responsibility and they said no. We would really like to know what legal rights we have as we feel that the contractor has been negligent in the type of structure they have put behind our homes to support them during these works. The contractor is blaming the heavy rain and slippage in the ground but there has been no ground slippage in the last 20 years during heavy rain! We also feel that West Dunbartonshire Councilhas been negligent in not managing this particular application as the majority of work has been carried with the Planning office receiving the appropriate/up-to-date plans, drawings, works. Basically, what rights do we have in getting our gardens fixed? What do we do about our house insurance and how do we get a long term warranty/guarentee from the contractor for the work that they will carriy out. We don't want this to happen in another 6 weeks, 6 months or a year after they have completed the repairs to our gardens and after they have built the flats and left the site?Any advice or information is greatly appreciated.Regards,Margaret
Province/Country relating to question : Scotland
Thank you for your question.In my opinion there is a conflict of interests in this contractor dealing with the damage to your properties. He is concerned about his development, not your gardens.As there are a number of you, you have to agree for everything to be coordinated by one solicitor who can then instruct a surveyor to report in formal terms. The solicitor can then intimate a formal claim to the developer and the matter should be dealt with under the developers liability insurance.The entire legal, surveyor and remedial costs should be dealt with by the insurers although you may have to pay the solicitor and surveyors fees in the first instance.Your solicitor should also consider whether an order of court is needed to stop the development proceeding any further at the moment in the event that there is a risk of further damage. That will require input from the surveyor (you can see why the surveyor has to be independent of the developer). Your solicitor also has to consider contacting the building standards department of the council which also has powers to suspend the building warrant granted to the developer. This is not a planning issue. It is a building standards issue.I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
27 years as a practising solicitor.
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