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    • Dear PIXeL_92 It has been explained to you in previous correspondence that the roof tiles that are the subject of your complaint, at the time of inspection were heavily covered in moss. It is in your agreed terms that the surveyor will not carry out an asbestos survey and is not required to scrape away moss if the surface below is obscured. The surveyor will carry out only a visual inspection and comment on defects visible at the time of inspection. Roofs can fail at any time particularly in periods of inclement weather. As stated in your report, the surveyor confirmed that the roof was in a satisfactory condition at the time of inspection therefore would not require replacement in the immediate future. The subject building is a utility building and is not a habitable room of the main property. As previously explained, tiles on an outbuilding of this nature would not affect the property value. You state you would have factored in the cost of removal/replacement into the purchase offer however as advised at the time of inspection the tiles were in a satisfactory condition and you have not sought to replace the tiles in the three years following the date of inspection. This confirms the comments provided by the surveyor. You have previously stated that the roof became damaged due to high winds and the roofing specialist you instructed to replace the broken tiles made you aware of the possibility that the tiles may contain asbestos. However, you have not yet had the tiles tested to confirm the presence of asbestos. Our surveyor revisited your property and confirmed that you have had the damaged roof tiles replaced. A roof that contains asbestos will only become a health and safety risk if it is disturbed and it therefore seems odd that the roofing contractor was happy to replace the tiles if in fact asbestos was present. We understand that raising a complaint and progressing to legal action as you have suggested you wish to do can be a lengthy drawn-out and expensive process with no guarantee of success. If necessary, we will notify our legal team to address this matter on our behalf however, we are happy to attempt to settle this matter in advance to avoid prolonged communications and extending this matter for many more months. In an effort to conclude this matter to the satisfaction of all parties, we shall increase our goodwill offer to £500 in full and final settlement of this matter. This offer will be available until Thursday 27 August 2020. There will be no further offers made after this date. I look forward to your response. Yours sincerely, Walker Dunn MRICS   ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************   Dear Walker Dunn,   Apologies on the delayed reply unfortunately I had to attend to some personal matters that left me unable to reply to emails.   A few points I want to make regarding your previous letter.   You mention at the time of the inspection that the surface of the tiles was covered in moss and obscured the view of the tiles, we however have pictures from when we moved in showing this was not the case, whilst there is moss on the tiles it in no way obscured to the point that the material would have been assessed incorrectly and you can also see the curling of the edges to a large amount of the tiles and this is a characteristic of asbestos.   You state in the report that the roof was in satisfactory condition, however, if the roof was indeed slate that your report indicated this would have been correct however the curled edges of asbestos tiles indicate that they are fatigued and need replacing and that is not satisfactory condition, again the material was not identified correctly at the time of the report.   As for this point "You state you would have factored in the cost of removal/replacement into the purchase offer however as advised at the time of inspection the tiles were in a satisfactory condition and you have not sought to replace the tiles in the three years following the date of inspection. This confirms the comments provided by the surveyor."   We had put away money to have this done, at the time as it was deemed slate in your report we didn't prioritise this as a repair, as you know the roof of the main property was in an awful state and was leaking into the bedroom this took priority along with having all the plumbing in the bathroom replaced as we discovered it was stuffed with kitchen roll under the bath to hide a set of leaking pipes that eventually made its way into the kitchen. We then also had a passing in the family that took us away from the local area for around a month and then my partners dad became homeless due to a gas explosion that destroyed his property so we had to accommodate him for a year and half so most work we had planned got put on hold. This doesn't confirm your comments in your report, this just allows you to assume it did as it wasn't done straight away however this was not the case. We have all the paperwork and invoices to show the above work was done to the main property along with pictures along with all the details surrounding the gas explosion.   We don't agree that part of a building being a habitable room of the main property makes a difference in our case, of course any structure on a property would affect the properties overall value when offers are being made as you make your offer based on the overall property and if you wanted to use the outbuilding for a specific reason you would be more inclined to go for a property that dose have an outbuilding over one that doesn't or if you want another example one with a swimming pool selling for a higher amount as that is considered a premium.   You then say "You have previously stated that the roof became damaged due to high winds and the roofing specialist you instructed to replace the broken tiles made you aware of the possibility that the tiles may contain asbestos. However, you have not yet had the tiles tested to confirm the presence of asbestos."   We had the roofer come and take a look instructing him that we wanted two slate tiles replacing due to us believing at the time the roof was slate based on your report, he then mentioned from a simple visual inspection that they are in fact asbestos. He said he could replace them with two slate tiles but we would have dispose of the two slipped asbestos ones safely as he wasn't licensed to do so, they were removed in a safe manor to avoid cracking them due to how brittle they were.   We have at several times offered to have them tested for you if you would cover the costs of testing if they are in fact asbestos tiles but this simple question has still remained un answered, so for this reason we have now booked a test and this will be added to the costs we will be pursing if and when we are forced to go down the legal route along with all legal cost and the cost of disposal and replacement of the roof, as mentioned before I just wanted the disposal costs covered, but our solicitor has now advised us we should be entitled to have the full costs awarded so we are left in the same place financially along with the roof material matching the report.   Our next step would be to have the test results come back, and send those tests results if they come back as positive with the invoice and three quotes for removal of asbestos to yourselves to decide if you want to cover those costs or if you wish to continue with legal proceedings and as mentioned before if we have to issue legal proceedings we will be asking for all costs to be covered and a complaint to the RICS and Ombudsman will also be issued.   Unfortunately at this point we are rejecting your £500 settlement but if you decided you wanted to settle it without facing any potential legal action or complaint we would settle for the sum of £2000 and that will be the matter resolved, we believe this to be a fair amount as the testing has now cost us £150 and the mid range quote has come in at £1900.   Regards   Robert Atkins   ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************   Dear PIXeL_92 I refer to your email sent on 7th September. I am disappointed and dismayed that you have decided to not accept our very reasonable offer. We have now notified our legal team in preparation should you decide to proceed along the legal route. You have told us you are receiving legal advice, therefore I am sure that your solicitor will have explained to you that in matters of alleged negligence, if the court finds in your favour, they can only make an award on the basis of diminution of value and not the cost of repairs.   Therefore to quantify the diminution in value you would need to obtain a report from another surveying firm that identifies the value of your property three years ago with a slate roof to the outbuilding and the value of the property three years ago with an asbestos roof to the outbuilding. To do this effectively, the surveyor would have to identify comparable properties in the area with and without such roofs to be able to justify his findings. This would be no easy task.   To further complicate matters, the guidelines set out for the court are that they only award losses based upon diminution of value that exceed 5% of the property value, which is considered a reasonable margin of error for surveyor to work within. In this instance therefore, you would be required to identify a loss in excess of £6,000. This figure does not include your legal costs. Because this is a claim for alleged negligence and not for a debt, it is not a matter that can be dealt with by the Small Claims Court, it would have to be heard by a higher court. This would mean we would then be able to claim the costs of our barrister, solicitor and any experts for however many days the hearing lasts, plus you would have your own costs, if you were unable to prove your claim. Once you submit a claim, you are unable to then back out without incurring costs. I hope you find this advice helpful and I am sure that if you present this letter to your solicitor, he will be able to verify whether the above information is correct. We will await your response on how you intend to proceed. Yours sincerely, Colin Walker MRICS
    • Sorry for the text heavy post, we are getting nowhere with them, I need some help deciding our next steps, I have a couple more emails as PDFs that I need to attach below.   Dear PIXel_92, We confirmed in our previous email that our offer would be made available until Friday 14 August 2020. This offer was presented as a gesture of goodwill based on the information you have provided in support of your claim. Thus far, we have not had sight of a Specialist Report confirming the presence of Asbestos or quotations for the required works. Since you have not furnished us with any additional information we are unable to provide any further comments on the matter at this time. If you’re able to provide the requested information we will be happy to review the matter and discuss it further with you. Kind regards, Customer Relations ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** Dear Walker Dunn,   I have on two occasions offered to have it tested further than a visual inspection but if it comes back as asbestos you cover the costs, you asked me for the costs involved in getting it tested and you neither agreed to nor declined to cover that cost if it came back as asbestos, again I am happy to have it tested but if it comes back as asbestos to have those costs covered.   I have sent communication from a roofer on headed paper confirming they belive it to be asbestos but they aren't registered to remove it.   I am happy to get three formal quotes written on paper and provide them, I have spoken to a roofer that deals in asbestos that was here to do another job at the time and he said just going off rough size it would be approximately £2000 to remove the roof and dispose of the asbestos. I will get some quotes over the next week and get back to you with them.   Regards ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** Dear Walker Dunn,   Could I please get confirmation regarding if you are going to cover the cost of testing if it does come back as positive before I go ahead with it.   I now have 3 quotes for removal of the asbestos too.   My solicitors has also forwarded me this to read through, https://www.rics.org/uk/upholding-professional-standards/regulation/how-we-regulate/disciplinary-process/panel-hearings/disciplinary-panel-hearings/walker-dunn-limited-and-colin-walker/.   This will be our next step going to the RICS / property ombudsman as we seem to be getting nowhere and it has been going on for some time due to you not answering the above question.   If you don't answer it we can get it tested and look at legal action to recover the money at a later date if that's how you want to do it.   Regards **************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************  
    • So you did...should have gone to specsavers......so as this debt is in your name only only a restriction type K can be placed on your share of the equity.   You have still not explain why " you dont actually own any equity "...you can PM if you rather this was not divulged on the open topic....as this may be important and possibly stop any interim charge.....subject to your response.
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I was re-reading the letter, it says if you want to appeal clearly set out your reasons for appealing so do you think it's best to just put the reasons (bullet points) in the letter and then in the meeting go into detail, put the reasons in the letter and a sentence saying I have prepared a statement to bring to the appeal hearing and if you wish to see this in advance please let me know, or just send the whole thing (three pages I have written of why I'm appealing)?

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You have to link your known depression to the act that dismissd you. You have to show that they treated you less favourably to other emplyeees that have had illness.

 

It would help if the summarily dismissed you without taking advice from a doctor or OH consultant. have they a policy on sickness? Did they follow it? If not then you can say in your appeal that you were discriminated against because they knew about your illness and did not foillow their own policy.

 

Mention discrimination and raise a grievance immediately to suggest that you were treated differently.

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Yes I told them numerous times about my illness and they did not ask for any information or refer me to a doctor or OH.

 

ETA: Is not following their policy discrimination? I would have thought it was more unfair dismissal but I'm not sure? Thanks for your help

 

ETA2: There is no sickness policy, just capability and absence management. They did not follow the capability policy as they considered it conduct not capability.

Edited by Kirei
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Yes I told them numerous times about my illness and they did not ask for any information or refer me to a doctor or OH.

 

ETA: Is not following their policy discrimination? Yes because they make a policy and are expected to follow it for all employees not just those that they want to. I would have thought it was more unfair dismissal but I'm not sure? It is both. Thanks for your help

 

ETA2: There is no sickness policy, just capability and absence management. So, by not having a fair and even handed approach they just make it up as they go. !! There should be a thought out policy as to how they approach sickness. They did not follow the capability policy as they considered it conduct not capability. As you point out you can be capable even when ill.

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Thank you, that makes sense... so should I be saying they didn't follow their capability policy and discuss ways forward for me to get some medical help while keeping my job. They also don't have an alcohol policy. Not having these policies helps them in a way because I can't say oh you should have followed your alcohol policy, etc because they don't have one. I'm not sure whether there's a way to put in my appeal that they don't have these policies and they should have them. Even the capability thing talks more about lack of training rather than someone who is sick.

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Hi

 

Do not volunteer too much information to your employers regarding what they should and what they shouldnt have done,

 

Save all this for any impending ET claim otherwise all you will be doing is asking them to cover their tracks.

 

Tell them as little as possible but make sure that everything that you want covering is covered and recorded at your appeal hearing.

 

Dont forget this is your last chance to get reinstated.

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Thank you, that makes sense... so should I be saying they didn't follow their capability policy and discuss ways forward for me to get some medical help while keeping my job. They also don't have an alcohol policy. Not having these policies helps them in a way because I can't say oh you should have followed your alcohol policy, etc because they don't have one. I'm not sure whether there's a way to put in my appeal that they don't have these policies and they should have them. Even the capability thing talks more about lack of training rather than someone who is sick.

 

I agree with madari don't say too much but you do need to raise it in a way that alludes to shortcomings. By raising these problems in an appeal and lodging a grievance it may give them pause for thought and reverse the decision.

 

However even if you raise these and win, expect that your grievance will be lost. There then will be a period where new policies will be introduced and you will be closely 'supervised' for the future. Eventually they will find something to tie to you to get rid of you.

 

What I am suggesting is do you actually want your job back or to take them to the ET and try and find a new job?

 

If it is the ET route, are you up to the task, because it takes a lot out of you fighting for what you think is right and there is no certainty of success?

 

The point about raising the discriminatory allegations in the appeal means that by confirming the dismissal, those making the decision may be guilty of victimisation because they will have taken an action to your detriment (dismissal) in the full knowledge that you have raised a grievance about discriminatory shortcomings they have and specifically they were raise at the appeal they are dealing with for reinstatement. So it makes it personal to those managers.

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Ah that makes sense, I was going to raise it all at the appeal. I actually don't want my job back now, though if they offer it I will take it. But after what's happened I'd feel uncomfortable there and worry they'd just try and get rid of me another way. All I really want is them to give me a good reference and not be dismissed for gross misconduct on account of being drunk at work. I don't know if I should directly ask them for this at the appeal or not though? I spoke to ACAS who said it's something I could ask through their concilliatory service that they offer as an alternative to going to a tribunal but I have to do the appeal before that. Does that make sense? Would either of you, or anyone on this thread, mind me PMing my rough draft appeal letter and statement to read over? I don't want to post it on here as it has personal information in it.

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Ok Kieri not wanting to go back is a positive move on your part which can define how you can tactically move your interests forward.

 

Put in the grievance along with the appeal letter. Do not offer AT ALL anything that will show you are weak. These cases are generally about who blinks first. They are also about (for the employer) keeping legal costs to a minimum. Getting a settlement as cheaply as possible generally means compromise at some stage. That can be an ACAS mediation, but that does not happen until you have played out the internal processes and issued an ET1. Once an ET1 has been issued the employer HAS to address the LEGAL arguments and all internal bias has to be put to one side.

 

If you present an arguable case (note not one that is watertight) then even a weak hand can win, or at least be what you call a win.

 

Pm me if you want, but others may be in a better position than me, but at least I can make a start at it for you.

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Oh it won't let me send a PM as I don't have 30 posts yet. Not wanting to spam the board up is there any other way I might be able to send it?

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Hi

 

One more thing...be seen to be fighting for your job back to the bitter end or the ET will take a dim view of you not wanting your job back.....& so on.

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Thank you. I mean, I would like my job back ideally, but being realistic, I don't think it would be a very nice environment after this, and I'd worry they'd be looking for another way to get rid of me anyway. It's sad because I actually loved my job.

 

I'm writing in the appeal that they should have used capability not conduct, and that they didn't consider my mitigating circumstances.

 

If I can get my job back great, but being realistic I don't expect they'll want me back after this has happened so I'm hoping at least they could give me a reference that would allow me to find a new job. I'm not sure whether to ask for this outright?

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Once you have got the official ball rolling these things normally end up in a compromise agreement. Along with any compensation they agree to things like apologies and references are common requests to get you to withdraw a ET claim. It is a rough ride and you will get upset about the lies. Stick with it and you will win through in the end.

 

How about writing about you experiences in general terms. Make a word document paragraph it and lost it in chunks so we can read it one post after the other in order to get it above the 30. Answer this post and Madari's post separately and that will eat another 2 away.

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Thank you Papa Smurf! So do you know if you have to put in an ET1 in order to use ACAS concilliation service? On the phone they gave me the impression it's an alternative, I know it is offered alongside an ET1 claim but they also seemed to say it coud be used as an alternative with no need to do an ET1 at all. Are ET1s still free do you know and is there any risk I would have to pay costs if I lost my claim? I really have no money, well actually less than no money since I am now out of a job :(

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Did the thing about taking holiday make sense as I explained it? I didn't complain at the time because I was in no fit state to really think anything of it but since it happened I have been feeling that I was treated differently to another sick employee by being told to take holiday, not sick pay, and I don't feel I should have to lose out because of this. i didn't go to the doctor's and get signed off sick, even though I could have, because I try to work as hard as I can and don't like going sick. I did agree to take the holiday instead of sick, as it was suggested to me, but I just went along with it really as I was in such a state. It was suggested I wasn't in a fit state to work because of my depression so I should take holiday and give myself a break. Good intentions but it cost me a lot of my holiday and also they didn't address my sickness or give me support. This isn't part of why I was fired but I believe it is relevant because I'm saying they didn't take my illness into account and this is another example. It was all done verbally though, and I can't actually remember what the exact dates were so I don't know what to put. I just know how many days and roughly when it was. The depression when I took the holiday was actually sparked by a falling out with another manager (who didn't know I had depression) and I had got upset over a comment that was made to me. I didn't put in a complaint about any of this and now it's (just) over three months since so I think it's too late to put in a complaint(?) Also I can't raise a grievance because I'm no longer an employee.

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I'm thinking about putting the above in the letter but I'm not sure because it's not directly related to the thing I'm appealing so is it a bit of a red herring? I am thinking of just raising it in the appeal hearing, and saying I am not happy with repaying this money because I was actually sick and the company were aware of that but treated me differently and encouraged me to take holiday instead. If I put it in a statement at the appeal hearing is that the right thing to do?

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People under stress will look for advice where they can get it. In my humble opinion if you are stressed and suffering depression and someone says something that you think will help you, then you do tend to follow that advice, even if in the long term it is a detriment to your self. I know suffering from depression myself that sometimes you have trouble getting through the next few hours without even thinking about the next few weeks/months.

 

I would appeal it, I would state that you were suffering from an illness that your direct manager was aware of and they coerced you into something that you didn't want to do, even though short term it helped you, long term it didn't and only helped your manager.

 

Yes, I did just go along with what they said, it didn't seem weird at the time but it does now that I've been able to think about it clearly, it feels like they weren't acknowledging I'm ill which I've felt like they've done all throughout this process.

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I'm not able to reply to your PM for some reason Papa Smurf, but I totally understand and hopefully we can talk tomorrow. I'm not going to be posting anything tomorrow anyway as there's not post offices open.

Thanks to everyone that's replied so far and any more advice that anyone thinks of would really help as I need to send my letter on Wednesady.

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I can't seem to edit my posts so I'm making another one to ask one more question: I was given a paid suspension until a set date but they actually dismissed me with effect from a date before the end of that suspension, so I have not been paid for as long as they initially said. Is this OK or is this something I should appeal / question also?

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Hi

 

Once you are dismissed then it follows that your pay will also stop, it makes no difference to how long you were suspended for.

 

example: if you were suspended for say three months with pay and during that period you went and set the place of work on fire[and got caught], do you think they would continue to pay you for the full three months?

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Hi Madari, thanks that makes sense, although in my case they suspended me on full pay for one week while they investigated the incident. They fired me a day before the suspension ended. Is that still okay?

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They pay you up until the date you were dismissed, suspension or not as the suspension only lasts until you are called back tot the meeting.

I am not a legal professional or adviser, I am however a Law Student and very well versed areas of Employment Law. Anything I write here is purely from my own experiences! If I help, then click the star to add to my reputation :)

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Papa Smurf for some reason I can't send PMs, I'm not sure if I can receive them so if you have any advice regarding the document I sent you would it be OK to post it in here please? Please don't paste the document in here, as it has some specifics I wasn't going to put in here just in case.

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Guys, I just thought of something else. The first incident that I believe is discriminatory was almost 3 months ago. Even though I didn't complain about it internally at the time but am complaining about it NOW in my dismissal appeal, should I put in an ET1 so I'm not out of time? And will it go against me that I didn't complain at the time? I honestly thought it would just blow over and couldn't handle the stress of doing a grievance at the time.

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