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    • Hello, I live in a house with multiple flats and when Royal Mail brought my package they didn't ring anyone, just left my package in the open when public walks to/from the park. I never agreed to this. They already confirmed to the seller that package was left in the open and wasn't given to anyone. Now the seller wants me to report this to police and obtain a reference number. My concern and source of anxiety is talking to police. I never had to deal with police before in my life and after hearing many stories how even small issues like "not politically correct" posts on social media result in record to your name. I don't understand why seller can't obtain this reference number themselves. I've provided all details and was helpful, but seller insist that I must call police myself.  Is it true? Is it something I need to do myself. I would appreciate if anyone could give me some advice. I don't want to sound suspicious, but I really don't like the idea of dealing with police. If it any help, I bought my item on eBay. Thank you 
    • Also, don't forget that the claimant has already spent about 150 bringing the claim.  Even if you agree at 600  they will still have the 150 to deal with and frankly I don't think you should be responsible for that.  The best solution will be to have the case dismissed for lack of protocol and we will deal with that in the defence.  By including that in the defence, we avoid the need for an application notice and we avoid the need for an upfront fee which you might not get back.
    • I agree about your suggestion or settlement, but I don't think you are there yet. Although this is a judgement you will have to make.  For the moment you will need to file a defence to the claim, but there's lots of time and we will see what his response to your letter is and whether or not he agrees to provide you with the information you are asking or if he declines.  It would be useful to have the information but if he declines then this could play into your camp as well.  We may then have to file a process which requires him to comply.  So I understand that you have the electrician statement already in a WhatsApp text.  If you can't get a statement from them then the WhatsApp text will be very useful.
    • I have explained that to her this morning  and have a job starting with her on Tuesday next week so I will chat it through again then As an alternative we can use the whatsapp message wihout the statement of truth direct to the claimant in the letter requesting information as it may help claimant to a decsion My preference is to get this out of the way and settle but not at £1200  £500 or £600 would save us all lots of frustration and time, I have no axe to grind and my client is/ was a very nice man and we both felt the same about each other  
    • We have heard about this waste of taxpayer money in a national crisis ... when hige amounts of it were reported 'dumped near a nature reserve .. but the saga continues Lets hope labor gets a billion back from the duff stuff supplier, and prosecutes the government figures behind the atrocious mismanagement and cronyism   PPE worth £1.4bn from single Covid deal destroyed or written off | Coronavirus | The Guardian WWW.THEGUARDIAN.COM UK government deal struck at height of pandemic described as ‘colossal misuse of public funds’  
  • Our picks

    • If you are buying a used car – you need to read this survival guide.
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    • Hello,

      On 15/1/24 booked appointment with Big Motoring World (BMW) to view a mini on 17/1/24 at 8pm at their Enfield dealership.  

      Car was dirty and test drive was two circuits of roundabout on entry to the showroom.  Was p/x my car and rushed by sales exec and a manager into buying the mini and a 3yr warranty that night, sale all wrapped up by 10pm.  They strongly advised me taking warranty out on car that age (2017) and confirmed it was honoured at over 500 UK registered garages.

      The next day, 18/1/24 noticed amber engine warning light on dashboard , immediately phoned BMW aftercare team to ask for it to be investigated asap at nearest garage to me. After 15 mins on hold was told only their 5 service centres across the UK can deal with car issues with earliest date for inspection in March ! Said I’m not happy with that given what sales team advised or driving car. Told an amber warning light only advisory so to drive with caution and call back when light goes red.

      I’m not happy to do this, drive the car or with the after care experience (a sign of further stresses to come) so want a refund and to return the car asap.

      Please can you advise what I need to do today to get this done. 

      Many thanks 
      • 81 replies
    • Housing Association property flooding. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/438641-housing-association-property-flooding/&do=findComment&comment=5124299
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    • We have finally managed to obtain the transcript of this case.

      The judge's reasoning is very useful and will certainly be helpful in any other cases relating to third-party rights where the customer has contracted with the courier company by using a broker.
      This is generally speaking the problem with using PackLink who are domiciled in Spain and very conveniently out of reach of the British justice system.

      Frankly I don't think that is any accident.

      One of the points that the judge made was that the customers contract with the broker specifically refers to the courier – and it is clear that the courier knows that they are acting for a third party. There is no need to name the third party. They just have to be recognisably part of a class of person – such as a sender or a recipient of the parcel.

      Please note that a recent case against UPS failed on exactly the same issue with the judge held that the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 did not apply.

      We will be getting that transcript very soon. We will look at it and we will understand how the judge made such catastrophic mistakes. It was a very poor judgement.
      We will be recommending that people do include this adverse judgement in their bundle so that when they go to county court the judge will see both sides and see the arguments against this adverse judgement.
      Also, we will be to demonstrate to the judge that we are fair-minded and that we don't mind bringing everything to the attention of the judge even if it is against our own interests.
      This is good ethical practice.

      It would be very nice if the parcel delivery companies – including EVRi – practised this kind of thing as well.


      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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I have a sorry saga to tell about a relationship between some leaseholders & “Countrywide property management” It will be interesting to hear if any members here have also been victims of these people.

There have been many issues in the 20+ years we’ve had to endure their “services” but I will start with the most profound that is coming to its culmination.

We had an elderly gentleman with us who owned his basement flat in our converted Victorian building.

He had not lived here long till he started to complain of water ingress into his dwelling from above & below. He took up these problems (along with some other minor issues) with the management agent, “Countrywide.”

As I was involved in the building industry he asked me to take a look. There appeared to be rising damp in a few places, but the most notable problem was water ingress from above in his hallway around a soil stack casing. The ceiling & plasterboard casing were soaked through & the floor was damp.

He had no success in getting “Countrywide” to embrace this problem & was becoming desperate. I advised that there was no point in repairing the ceiling & replacing the floor covering until the water leak was repaired.

This went on for several years until he refused to pay the “maintenance” charges until “Countrywide” remedied the issues his dwelling had, which they never did.

He was taken to county court & was evicted from the flat.

Not sure how the system works, but the flat ended up in the hands of the freeholder.

Building work commenced & eventually the flat was put on the market & sold.

The new lessee moved in, & soon afterwards he noticed water ingress as had been noted by the previous lessee.

Eventually, after much correspondence “Countrywide” sent their contractors to survey the problems in the dwelling in September 2013. At this time it was also pointed out that there was a guttering leak that was forming a pool of water by the window at the back of the dwelling causing a serious damp problem inside. Also pointed out, at the front window there was a leak through the ceiling which was clearly coming from the sill above.

The flat is not fit to live in. The new lessees are squeezed into one room with their belongings as everything is suffering with the damp.

“Countrywide” have had several requests for clarity as to the findings of the surveys, but sadly as of 12/1/2014 the information has not been forthcoming to the new lessee or other lessees including myself, & the redial guttering/sill problems mentioned have not yet been rectified.


All the lessees are now expected to pay for the damp proofing works.

I will post more of Countrywides inadequacies later; their accounting systems failure is another story altogether.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Upon reviewing the survey, the tenants decided we would still like to repair the leaking gutters & sills before proceeding with the works suggested in the survey.

We were informed by Countrywide that as notice of works has been served that “We are in a legal process” & no remedial work would be allowed to be carried out till the “process” had run its course, despite being informed since September 2013 of the guttering/sill issues.

While we wait for this, the new tenants dwelling is suffering from severe damp where the leaking gutter sheds the rainwater by the bedroom that is uninhabitable, & they are still catching water leaking from the sill above in a bowl in their front room.

The surveyor was approached, who said he had no problem with getting the guttering & sills repaired before reviewing the problem. Common sense reigns for now.

The tenants are organizing these repairs.

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I'm a builder and I've worked for these "clowns". I used to do alot of quotes for them, and never get the job. They just seemed to contact me when their "odd job man" couldn't find the fault. I was being used like "phone a friend".... "give us a clue".

They would then invite me back to the same site to investigate a different fault 9 times out of 10 caused by shoddy work from the repair previously quoted for.

They appear to employ "the cheapest trick on the street", looking at the state of the "finished" job.


With regards to your current problem. I would agree with you; Sort the gutters and cills out first,but also check the water mains to each property,along with blocked soakaways and CCTV drain survey.

I'm sure I don't need to point out the implications of those to you.

Good luck.

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Thank you F16 for your input.

Your description of “shoddy work” reminds me of an exterior decorating the tenants paid for managed by Countrywide.

We were sent the quotes for the works, both for scaffolding all-round. Usual specification, wash masonry, prepare, undercoat & gloss cills, soffits & fascias.

The “decorators” turned up with ladders & started work without the scaffold. It’s a 3 storey building with large bays at the front.

The finished job from what I could see at ground level was appalling. It was obvious that the cills had had no preparation & just got a coat of gloss slapped over them. The hardwood front door cill was untouched.

I made a list of issues I could see, & arranged to meet the Countrywide building manager to point them out. He was disinterested, but the “decorators” did come back & varnish the door cill.

I remember that the works were carried out by a building company, not a decorating company & it was clear by the “finished” job that they were not specialists by any means.

I did some work myself on an area of exterior masonry on the building last summer; I could scrape layers of paint off and see the dirt in between.

The cost for the scaffolding for the previous exterior decorating was over £5000.

Interestingly, in mail regarding quotes tenants have obtained the Countrywide building manager replied “He must be instructed by me via a work order and only after he has provided all insurance and health & safety documents.”

There was not much interest in health & safety when the cowboys were toshing the building up on triple ladders during the expensive episode described above.

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With regards to your current problem. I would agree with you; Sort the gutters and cills out first,but also check the water mains to each property,along with blocked soakaways and CCTV drain survey.

I'm sure I don't need to point out the implications of those to you.

Good luck.


Yes,common sense to sort the gutters & cills out to at least make the new tenants day to day life a bit more tolerable during this very wet weather.The rainwater was 3 inches above ground today in front of his window,& the render has all blown in that area.

By the time this gets sorted out it will be 7 months since the problem was first reported to Countrywide,& remedy speed-ed up slightly only by input from the other tenants.

Apparently we may be "allowed" to spend our money to get the gutters repaired prior to the "legal process" running its course if the builder we requested can jump through the relevant health & safety hoops,(What about the health of the new tenant?) but the new tenants will have to continue to catch water in a bowl due to the dodgy cills above his other window.(Also pointed out to Countrywide in September 2013)

As you say F16,if the ground does not dry out sufficiently after the gutter is repaired we may need to check the soakaways & drains.This decision has already been made by the surveyor.How this can be a foregone conclusion prior to preventing thousands of gallons of water from the roof being dumped on the ground beside the building for months is beyond me.


Incidentally,Countrywide get 5% "management" fees on top of the final bill,& the surveyor gets 10%.

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NI, 3" of water around the building, inthe area the tennant has water coming in. Blocked soak away. I've seen 100's of poorly converted victorian buildings where little or nothing has been done to the drainage. They might clean the "gutters" .... what about the" swan neck".

I've seen super market bags used to "connect" the rain water downpipe to the 4" pipe (if your lucky) to the soakaway.

Where the hell do Country wide think the water is comming from? Tennant with over active bladder?

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#5 Spot on. Get the job priced up by a pro; All the residents agree to the price; Country wide then lead you (Clip Clop Clip Clop) deep into "revolver country"

and you end up with a job that I could have executed from my car window with a catapult.

That's how they make money. No pride in the job, they don't care


There is no point spending £1000s on tanking the basement until you found the "root cause" of the problem.

Old saying in this game "You can't put an old mans head on a young mans shoulders"

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@F16. The main problem area is not as complex as a blocked soakaway, it's quite clearly a broken gutter clip which is visible from below, causing the gutter to sag & expel its load from the main roof into the flower bed beside the unlucky tenants window.

I have some videos of what happens when it rains,I'll whack them up on youtube & post the link.No sign of sodden ground around the rest of the building.

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That's how they make money. No pride in the job, they don't care


Are you sure?

They've got a cracking website :)


"Integrated solutions, Local expertise."... & as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.

Goes to show,be aware of snake-oil salesmen on the world wide interweb

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Here's a video, recorded today (13/02/2014) of the leaking gutter reported to Countrywide Estate Management in September 2013, some 6 months ago.

As must be clear, the tenants enjoyment of their property has been severely diminished, as both bedrooms are damp & all furniture & chattels damaged.

They have had to sleep on the settee in the front room with a leak from the cill above (reported to Countrywide in September 2013) whilst the bedrooms are uninhabitable due to the guttering leak.

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A fleeting long shot of roof guttering in rain - hardly evidence IMO


But you have to address the problem logicaly. This must be repaired first. I'm not saying this will solve the damp because I suspect there may be other contributing factors. You can see from the film that the angle beads around the window are rusted, they will have expanded, cracking the render allowing water ingress.

As i've said earlier I would be carrying out some investigation work on soakaways etc. at the same time.

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