By Lucy Penfold, solicitor at stevensdrake.
One of my previous articles touched on neighbour disputes and gave a couple of examples of different types of disputes which could arise between neighbours. One example was a potential damage claim. This article explores damage claims further.
Whether you own a flat or a house, commercial or residential, if your neighbour has caused/is causing damage to your property, it should be addressed and fixed.
Examples of a damage claim could include:
- Water damage;
- Fire damage;
- Damage to your fence/garden by your neighbour doing work to their garden;
- Damage to a party wall.
The normal remedy to damage caused to your property is to claim compensation, which we call a ‘damages’ claim. A damages claim is not intended to be a ‘penalty’ for the wrong doer, it means that the wrong doer should pay you money to put you back in the position you would have been in if the damage did not occur, i.e. paying to rectify the damage or repaying you the money you have spent rectifying the damage.
You will be expected to prove that your neighbour has caused the damage, for example, your neighbour suffered a leak which travelled into your property, and that you have suffered a loss or damage, for example, that leak has damaged your internal wall, causing mould, and as a result you have had to redecorate. If you cannot prove that you have suffered a loss, it is unlikely you will succeed at bringing a damages claim.
It is important to bear in mind not all loss is recoverable, some loss will be seen as too remote to recover, or if you fail to mitigate your loss properly or if your loss is partially your fault you will encounter some difficulties in recoverability.
Our specialist team at stevensdrake can assess the causation, what loss you have suffered, whether that loss is recoverable and take into consideration all aspects of the history of the matter, such as, if your property is a commercial property and you have suffered loss of profit for your business. We can also assess whether there has been any negligence or aggravated damages (compensation for mental distress), or even future loss which should be considered.
If you have a dispute, you will need to provide evidence to support your claim, therefore, you will need to retain details of any repair works (quotations or receipts) and details of any communications you have had with your neighbour.
If you have a damage claim and would like advice then please contact Lucy Penfold in our Litigation team on 01293 596984 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.