Questions

Date Posted Question Category View
1 20th February 2019 05:17PM

Hi, I'm not sure whether my question falls into the professional negligence category or human rights. It's a very long story and far too complicated to explain fully on here. Basically, we own the end house on a group of 4 terraced houses. Both the surface water drain and the foul drain for all 4 properties run across our land. In 2016 we notice a really bad smell in our kitchen and as our kitchen units were collapsing (even though they weren't old) we decided to rip out our kitchen and put in a new one. We had the kitchen replastered in December 2016 but were unable to continue with the fitting of the kitchen as the outside wall would not dry out. In January 2017 we contacted our insurance company to report that we felt there was an issue with damp. After speaking with them we were advised to contact Thames Water to see if there were an issues with the drains. Thames Water attended the property in February 2017 and categorically stated that there were no issues with the drains and that the damp in our property was an internal issue. My husband suffers with blood cancer and has a reduced immune system so once the loss adjuster came out to the property we were advised that we needed to move out in case the property was contaminated. We then went through what can only be described as 2 years from hell. Thames Water initially denied there were any problems with the drains. The insurance company repeatedly refused our choice of alternative accommodation. In June 2017 it was finally discovered after numerous drain surveys that the main surface water sewer in the road was so broken and displaced that Thames Water had to make emergency repairs. The catch pit on our drive was so full and blocked it had caused several breakages to the pipes on our property and the surface water had been flooding back into our property for God knows how long. The foul sewer was also so blocked it took a day for Thames Water to clean it. Over time the whole of the downstairs of our property has been damaged by the damp. The outside walls have constantly read 999 which is the worst possible reading. We have no idea how long we had been living like this. Thames Water made the repairs to the sewer in the road but did not make any repairs to the pipes on our property despite knowing it was their issue. Meanwhile the insurance company refused to pay for reinstatement of our property until Thames Water made the repairs to the drains. Eventually after numerous battles and contacting OFWAT and Environmental Health Thames Water made the repairs to both the surface water drain and the foul drain (by removing the interceptor) and issued a full report admitting that the sewer failure had caused the flooding to our property. The insurance company have been as good as useless. After their surveyor/builder told us that our walls were bone dry we refused to have them carry out the restoration works as a drying out company came and our walls were still reading 999. We wanted to use our own builders as we had little faith in anything to do with the insurance company but they have fought us every step of the way and paid only a fraction of the estimates we received. We have received disturbance allowance but not to the full amount we should have received and only for a short period of time. We have had a truly awful 3 years and the stress has really taken its toll on our family. We have basically lived without the downstairs of our house for 3 years. Reports from Belfor (the drying company) confirmed to the insurance company that the water which had flooded our property was contaminated. We remained in our property without a fully functioning kitchen until December 2018 mostly because the insurance company refused to pay any more than £1500 per month for rent despite there being no equivalent properties available for a 6 month let near a station for my husband or the schools for our children. Both myself and my eldest son have autoimmune hypothyroidism and have suffered dreadfully. This is only a brief outline of the distress and upset both Tesco Insurance and Thames Water have caused my family. My question is, can Thames Water be held liable for negligence as they knew there was an issue with the surface water drain and foul drain on our property for over a year before making repairs? Do we also have any redress against the loss adjusters for their appalling behaviour? I have argued, cried and been treated like an absolute criminal when all the way along we knew there was an issue with the drains and yet the loss adjusters have fought us every step of the way. We have only managed to carry out half the repairs to our house as we simply do not have the funds. Our driveway is sinking and our exterior boundary wall has collapsed but because their surveyor (who said the walls were not wet) said the flooding wouldn't have caused the damage we are not covered for the damage. It is quite clear and evident that damage has been caused by the sewer issues. We do have legal guard cover with our insurance policy but because we have had Thames Water out to unblock the drains (blockages reported by our neighbours) prior to the start of our policy they will not cover the legal costs. The insurance company have been extremely unsympathetic and unhelpful since the beginning of the claim. 2 weeks ago I contacted Thames Water and reported yet another offensive odour. They came to our property and checked our neighbour's drains (the next separate row of 4 terraced houses). We were told there were no blockages and that "they couldn't smell anything". The odour persisted. Today Thames Water have been called by yet another neighbour as they have a blockage. The end house in that run of drains is directly next to our property and have been told that the foul drain is so blocked with limescale that the line needs cleaning within in the next 5 days. Obviously, there is far more to this complaint than I have listed. It has been a constant battle for my family so any help will be gratefully received. Many thanks, Claire

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Do not know View
2 20th February 2019 08:08AM

Good Morning

A family member has been convicted of fraud and is now subject to the proceeds of crime act. The court has issued a confiscation order for their house as it is the only asset. They plan to ask family to lend them the money to pay the amount owed (£20,000) instead of selling the house. Would the courts see this as acceptable?

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Do not know View
3 19th February 2019 10:00PM

Hi there was a modification on my car and i had an accident hit lampost and broke my hip and shoulder the insurer didnt know about the modification and insurance has been void. I was paying monthly they asking for full years payment when the car was only driven insured for 1 month. I applied for logbook few times still no reply and couldnt get a sorn. Still waiting. I had fully comprehensive and some one got me the quote cheap and said some stuff which wasnt fairly true what i told and i wasnt aware they said im a receptionist. I been 3 months in bed had a metal plate in my arm. I wanted to claim personal injury.

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Driving Offences View
4 19th February 2019 08:15PM

I applied for 3 mobile contracts and mobile handsets. I was approved and signed 3 credit agreements for each and I am also being billed. The phone provider is now refusing to give me the mobile handsets!

I have not broken contract. Can they do this?

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Consumer Law View
5 19th February 2019 07:28PM

Hi. My question needs information on submitting divorce certificate from my last marriage and immigration control as I am dependant spouse. Further I plan to marry a British national and not sure how to go about the legal things. I will really appreciate some information and help. Kind Regards

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Family & Matrimonial View
6 19th February 2019 05:58PM

I'm the joint owner of a property where my ex husband lives. I have a consent order from the Court stating I will receive 20% from the sale. It has been on the market now for 16 months. He is an alcoholic & his drinking is again spiralling out of control. The estate agents have advised lowering the price. Is there any legal action I can take as just want closure. Many thanks

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Property & land View
7 19th February 2019 12:13PM

hi , beffore one month i make aolication for taxi driver but tfl dont giv my licence ,because my criminal check record is not clean, please can i send you criminal conditions for taxi licence and my criminal check record and can you tell my what was wrong there and when i can do Taxi aplication again ? thanks

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Other View
8 19th February 2019 12:05PM

I am in the process of purchasing a property, but have now changed job since making my application with my mortgage provider. I am scheduled to exchange in two weeks. I am still within my probation period at my new job, but cannot see any changes that could negatively impact my mortgage. Should I be disclosing this with my mortgage lender? What are the implications if I do/don't? Thank you.

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Property & land View
9 19th February 2019 08:23AM

I currently own a property which is sold STC. Mortgage paid.

I am currently 49 and engaged, live in England about to move to Wales.

A new property has been offered on and that offer accepted, will be purchased outright from the sale proceeds in next 8 weeks.

I have two children aged 8 and 10, who live 50%-60% of time with me.

4 years ago I was in a relationship which broke down after 15 years, very difficult time and have a shared care agreement with the mother.

No legal claims against property.

3 years ago I met a new partner (Nikki also 49) and we are due to get married October 2019. Nikki does not have many assets or property.

It is very important to me that one day the children get the enjoyment of the money in the property to get them started in life and do not want to have a position where this can be challenged or eroded in anyway.

My new partner Nikki is very understanding in many respects but appears hurt that I would not simply just give her half of the property, especially as we are to be married. I have explained that in life many things can happen and this could result in the children maybe not getting what I wish them to have. Eg. I die new partner and they decide the children should not get proceeds.

It is important to me that Nikki can live in the property should I die first, until she dies but the proceeds in the property pass to the children.

Nikki is to be on the property deeds, which is important to her.

What worries me is that any will can be challenged or changed if circumstances change and I must protect the children, Nikki and myself.

My solution is to have shared ownership in the property 80% myself, 20% Nikki, us both named on the deeds.

Should I die, my will states that Nikki has use of my 80% of the property until she dies then it passes to the Children. I want her to have use of the money until she dies but ultimately it goes to the children.

Should Nikki die then the 20% is dealt with in the same way.

Should we both die the house goes to the children.

I do have other assets in cars and a limited company but I would expect these to be handled as if we are husband and wife. But it is important to me the house is protected for the children.

Nikki is hurt and cannot see why it is not simply 50:50 and I should trust her. I do not want to spend a fortune with a solicitor but will have this dealt with at the same time as the conveyancing by way of a will. Do not really want to use a trust as this takes ownership away and we will probably move again one day.

Can you please :

Make comment on my solution?

Maybe, propose a better solution?

If possible make comment as to my position and if you think I am being fair.

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Other View
10 18th February 2019 10:04PM

Hey, so we have been running a business for 2 years but we closed it 1 year ago and have been trying to sell it every since, we still kept up to date with payment and then our landlord decided to change owners and now that we are struggling to pay they keep demanding payment. We have been closed for a while now, how can we convince him to allow us to find appropriate buyers and then he cuts the rent from the sale?

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Landlord View

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Specialising in Divorce and family work. I advise on a wide variety of family and matrimonial issues.


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