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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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Who's liable ??

Customer Question

Last year my husbands brother Mr R ..carried out an extension to our property doing some work himself and he contracted others in to work work specifics ie grounds work etc. During laying footings and new pipe work my neighbour alleges that we damaged his pipes and that they filled with concrete , concrete was viewed in his man hole cover in his garage however there was no evidence that it was caused from the ground workers ie there could have been a crack in the pipe before I guess?? , Mr R sent emails saying that he wanted more exploratory work done before repairing himself ,without a reply from our neighbour they had all the work done by southern water who are now seeking payment from us .We gave them Mr R .details and they contacted him, but he says he is no longer aware of the wear abouts of the ground workers. Southern water have come back to us again and say we have 7 days before court proceedings !!! I just cannot see how we are liable for this can you please help ?who is actually liable and what should we do ? Many thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.
the buck stops here with your brother-in-law. As you say, he carried out the extension and he contracted others to do in the ground work and he is responsible for his contractors.If this is a shared sewer then it must be repaired by the utility provider.If however it serves the property exclusively, any competent person can repair it.If your brother-in-law no longer knows the whereabouts of the ground workers, then that’s unfortunate and he’s going to have to carry the can for this himself.Let the neighbour or the utility company sort it out with your brother-in-law.I’m not certain whether that’s the answer you wanted or expected but nonetheless, does it answer the question? Can I answer any specific points arising from this?