Subsidence of Neighbouring Property is Damaging My House

by Lawrence Squid

11:04 AM, 10th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Subsidence of Neighbouring Property is Damaging My House

Make Text Bigger
Subsidence of Neighbouring Property is Damaging My House

BACKGROUND: Lawrence Squid

During a redevelopment about 20 years ago these terraced properties had an ‘outrigger’ extension added to the rear.

Ownership of the outrigger itself is divided; the upper floor forms a dressing room in my ‘let’ property (I own the ‘flying freehold’). The ground floor forms a bathroom for the neighbouring property.

Subsidence is causing the outrigger to rotate away from the original building, causing substantial cracks where the original building and outrigger meet.

INSURANCE CLAIM:

I have made a claim for subsidence (£1000 excess)

My Insurer’s surveyor confirms the above and that the subsidence needs to be arrested. A survey by a specialist company would be the next step. However, he thinks that the liability for this may lie with the neighbouring property’s landlord as they own the ground floor, which is sinking.

Cosmetic damage to my half can be corrected fairly cheaply, and making an insurance claim may not be economic.

He advises checking the deeds to see if liability is clarified therein. I just want the subsidence to be stopped.

PROBLEM:

I don’t think that I can access the deeds, if they exist. West Brom is the lender and we all know what they’re like, I don’t want to prompt any vindictive action from them.

The neighbouring Landlord initially met with me to inspect the buildings and seemed positive that the matter needed to be resolved quickly (she owns a property management company).

She said that she would also make an insurance claim to get the matter resolved.

However, she now refuses to communicate, ignoring my phone calls and emails.

Clearly the damage to the buildings will only get worse if no remedial action is taken.

QUESTION:

I have an insurance claim which is effectively stalled.

The subsidence continues.

Where do I go from here?

Thanks

Lawrence



Comments

Jason McClean

11:25 AM, 10th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Lawrence

This will test the mettle of your own insurance company. You should go through with your claim and if your insurer investigates further then it will make a call on whether to transfer liability to the owner/insurer of the lower floor. They will then contact the other landlord/property company legally and not be so easy to ignore as you are.

Looks like you need to get the deeds though, for them to progress this. The good news is that if the liability lies with the other party then it will be them claiming on their insurance to get it fixed and not you.

Hope this helps!

Jason

Joe Bloggs

11:45 AM, 10th July 2014
About 4 years ago

'He advises checking the deeds to see if liability is clarified therein.'
TELL THE LOSS ADJUSTER TO DO THIS IF HE FEELS THAT IS NECESSARY. THE LA SHOULD BE DOING ALL THE COMMUNICATIONS RE RESOLVING THE CLAIM AND SEEKING CONTRIBUTION OR SUBROGATION FROM THE OTHER PARTY/IES. I WAS A LOSS ADJUSTER. IF THE CLAIM IS BEING DELAYED UNNECESSARILY, COMPLAIN.


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

44% of landlords fear Right to Rent

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More