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Legal cover on home insurance help needed


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HI all, a bit of background first,,

Back in 2003 I bought a house, but while the mortgage companies valuer was assessing the house a problem was noticed. The mortgage co instructed a full survey on the problem which was sunken solid floors. Anyway, the report came back saying there was no need for a full survey as this is a common problem in the area and was historical settlement and needed cosmetic levelling only.

Skip forward to 2010 when I tried to sell it, I found a buyer, their mortgage co sent an assessor and he mentioned the floors so I gave him a copy of the 03 report. Long story short, their mortgage company wanted to have the floors checked anyway so they instructed the same company as was used in 03 with the same brief. They DID as was asked of them this time and dug up a section of my newly levelled and tiled floor and did their tests, with me all the while thinking I had nothing to worry about.

The report came back saying that the floors were F****d and I couldn't sell it in that condition:jaw:

 

Anyway on to my question,, I tried to start a claim against the survey co through my present insurance co but they have turned me down saying that as my claim originated in either 03 or 10 my present policy doesn't cover me.

 

So which insurance co should I be chasing, the one at the time of the purchase or the one at the time of the second report?

 

Thanks in advance H E

Rbs £114 + contractual at 29.84% I won total=£125 no laughing it's a win

Don't moan about it DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT :D

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Think you may be out of time to use legal cover on either the 03 and 10 policies. Even if you reported the problem under the 03 policy, surely the statute of limitations applies ? In regard to the 10 policy, the problem started in 03 and not 10. Even with the 10 policy, you would have a period of time to report a potential claim.

 

What I would suggest that you do is to contact a solicitor that specialises in this area of law. i.e property survey issues. Yes it would cost you, but I am not sure what the alternative is.

 

Speak to your mortgage company about this, as if they have financial interest in the property, they might also have a legal responsibility to help you. If you used the mortgage companies surveyor and they granted a mortgage based on their surveyors report, then you may have some comeback via the mortgage company. I have read of cases where the damage to a house had been so great, that the mortgage company had been forced to take the house back and the buyer given the opportunity to buy another house elsewhere. However, I think for the case I read, the damage to the house (subsidence) was found within a year of them buying the house and I suspect it would be much more difficult given the length of time that has elapsed.

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Limitation wise I think you will be ok. Section 14(a) (5) of the Limitation Act 1980 gives leave to apply the limitation point from the date of knowledge that the negligence occurred and as such, you have three years from the 'date of knowledge' to issue proceedings.

 

As you were not aware in 2003 that the survey, if undertaken correctly and the floor examined, would lead to a finding of fault with the floor, then your date of knowledge for the purposes of the act is not this point. Your date of knowledge comes from when you first learned that the floors were defective and rendering your house un-sellable i.e. 2010.

 

However, success with any litigation is another matter. You will have to prove, which will be tricky and expensive, that the floor - if examined in 2003, would have been in the same parlous condition as it is now or in 2010 when the new survey was done. I don't think you have any comeback on the 2010 survey as they were just undertaking instructions form their client.

 

I suspect that to put the floor(s) right to enable the sale of the property it will be expensive? If so, you should be able to get a lawyer to do it on a no win no fee Conditional Fee Agreement given that you can persuade them that in this instance the claim is not statute barred.

 

What you have to remember is that if you start proceedings against either company and you lose, given the level of damages that you will be seeking, you will have to pay their costs.

 

Ask your insurers i.e. car, home, contents, credit card, if you have legal expense insurance and see if they will cover it (unless you have already tried this of course).

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Hi, thanks for the replies, as far as proving the condition would have been the same in 03 as 10 should be straight forward, well for a decent lawyer, its a common problem in the area because of the filling they put under the floors, which is basically ash which compacts down over time, the real problem is only serious if it gets damp which causes what they call sulphate heave, now in 03 and 10 the sub floors were in the same condition but when they carried out the 10 survey they only confirmed that sulphate heave COULD be a future problem IF it got damp, which it hasn't, so if they'd followed the mortgage co's request in 03 they would have confirmed the same thing.

Yeah it's going to cost around 9 grand to do the floors and even more because we'd have to move out for a short time.

 

We've tried home insurance as above so that looks like a no go and I doubt car insurance would cover it but i'll try and as for credit cards I've learnt my lesson there and got rid of em lol.

 

Thanks again for your input, much appreciated.

Rbs £114 + contractual at 29.84% I won total=£125 no laughing it's a win

Don't moan about it DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT :D

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Limitation wise I think you will be ok. Section 14(a) (5) of the Limitation Act 1980 gives leave to apply the limitation point from the date of knowledge that the negligence occurred and as such, you have three years from the 'date of knowledge' to issue proceedings.

 

As you were not aware in 2003 that the survey, if undertaken correctly and the floor examined, would lead to a finding of fault with the floor, then your date of knowledge for the purposes of the act is not this point. Your date of knowledge comes from when you first learned that the floors were defective and rendering your house un-sellable i.e. 2010.

 

 

Isn't that only for personal injury claims?

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Isn't that only for personal injury claims?

 

Apparently can apply to negligence claims.

 

Sections 14A and 14B, inserted into the 1980 Act by the Latent Damage Act 1986, made similar provision for other negligence claims.

 

Here is a case that may help. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldjudgmt/jd060301/haward-1.htm

We could do with some help from you.

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