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    • I feel that people are focusing too much on the OPs property being a council house and putting responsibility on the council to resolve this.   imagine for a moment that the OPs house is privately owned, now what powers would they have to take action on the trees? Pretty much none without taking the tree owner to court right. Well as the trees are privately owned, that is the same power that the council have right now.   the information with the £375 will be inline with high hedges legislation as this will be the only power the council will have and it is common for there to be a charge for this.   this is not a social housing issue, but a neighbor dispute with a private homeowner.   i used to work as a tree officer for a local authority and from experience have seen that people’s idea of dangerous and what is actually dangerous are two different issues. A councils power to enforce tree works are also limited and will usually only be where a private tree poses a risk to the highway, not to another property as that is a civil matter (even where the council own the 2nd property).    With regards to risk to underground pipes, this is something you will be unlikely to successfully argue as various studies have found that unless a tree is planted on top of the pipe and crush it, the roots will not cause damage, but rather only enter through already damaged areas as they are opportunistic, any tree roots in drains are usually a secondary issue where a pipe had existing damage and to resolve it will require a permanent repair to the pipe to prevent recurrence.   the only options i see here are to calculate the height allowed under high hedges legislation (it varies depending on what direction the property faces , the location of hedges etc) and try to enforce that which will involve the fee. Otherwise there is little you can do as the private homeowner has a right to have trees in their garden although they may be liable if they were to cause damage to your property (such as a shed) or the councils property in the future.
    • Served on 16 Feb.   On reviewing the MCOL website today for an updated, I noticed that 1) Hermes has aknowledged the claim, but not yet filed a defence, and 2) that I there was a glitch / error on the form. Essentially, it looks like I had accidentally left the "I will send detailed particulars of claim" box ticke (I thought I had unticked it), with the result that the claim section has been truncated, and some extra text has automatcially been added - in red below):   "...Claimant seeks £XXX, plus I will provide the defendant with separate detailed particulars within 14 days after service of the claim form. The claimant claims interest under section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of..."   This is obviously not ideal. Is it better to try to amend the claim somehow, or to just submit a brief POC that a) clarifies that I am seeking £XXX plus costs (which was automatically truncated), and b) sets out my calculation of the £XXX?  
    • Hi   It amazes me how they pass the buck as they don't want to deal with a private homeowner but if the shoe was on the other foot they would be hammering down on you for breach of tenancy.   As this is council housing you need to make a Formal Complaint in writing to the Council Housing about this (as a social housing landlord they have a complaints process they have to follow). you need to exhaust their complaints process. Make sure and title your letter Formal Complaint.   From what you have posted this tree is not just a nuisance but also a Health & Safety risk:   1. The tree being overgrown is now a danger to the occupants/Guest/Visitors to your property   2. The tree has overgrown into the Council Housings Boundaries your property causing damage/endangerment to the occupants/guest/visitors.   3. As the roots of the tree are also overgrown into your property you have concerns that these may be causing/damaging to any underground pipework that may be within the boundray of the property.   4. So far the Councils actions have been to treat their Council Housing tenant as a third class citizen with a private homeowner aloud to cause endangerment/possible damage due to these overgrown trees which are encroaching on your council house property/bounderies.   You also require clarification why you were sent the Healthy Neighbourhood Information which states I have to pay £375 to make a complaint. (make sure and attach a copy of the response that states this cost)   You also require copies of the following:   1. Complaints Policy (not the leaflet) 2. Customer Service Standard (not the leaflet) 3. Health & Safety Policy (not the leaflet) 4. Public Liability Insurance Policy. (not the leaflet) 5. Clarification from you if their is any underground pipeworks running through the bounderies within the garden area (you should have full knowledge of this it being your property/plans) 6. Compensation Policy (not the leaaflet) 7. Equality & Diversity Policy (not the leaflet)   When you get the above policies sit with a pen/pencil/highlighter and take you time reading them and just think to yourself 'DID THEY DO THAT' if not mark it then leave it for a while then do the same again this way you can basically throw/write back stating the haven't followed x policy with which part of that policy and your reason. (you are building evidence to use against them using their own policies. I would also like to refer you to The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision) Act 1976: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1976/57/part/I/crossheading/dangerous-trees-and-excavations     You need to remember yes it is the Council but the Council Housing is a separate entity and is a Registered Social Landlord (RSL)   Is the Council Housing classed as a registered Charity? (what is their registration number whether charity or RSL?)   Also have a wee look at this CAG link:     
    • @rocky_sharma   Fame at last!!   Dunno how much help it would be in your case, but I could try digging out the txt of my defence if you think it might be relevant to your defence. We might hafta do this via PM, then e-mail though if ya wanna go down that route.   Good luck with yours anyway mate.
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comebackjimmy

Overpaid, now employer clawing back and forcing repayment Contract

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Hello All,

 

A friend of mine started work for a care home around eleven months ago.

 

From the very start they over paid her and it has just come to light.

 

I do not know for sure if she was aware of the over-payment, (she is cunning enough to be aware and dizzy enough to not notice!, with apologies to feminist readers!!).

 

The company has now demanded she repay the over-payment.  I am not clear what the sums are but she was contracted for around 20 hours a week and was paid for thirty so I would estimate 40 hours x minimum wage x 11 months so something like £3500.  (Please don't comment that this was a huge number that she should have noticed, I already know!).

 

At first they told her she could not leave until she had paid it back, finally an arrangement was made that she will repay at the rate of £50 per month and must settle the balance if she leaves before she has paid it back and they have made her sign a contract to that effect.

 

I take the view that whether or not she has an obligation to pay it back there should not be any contract that in effect ties her to the place.  She should be free to give notice and work elsewhere, any repayment should be at a rate she can afford and if she has a better job offer she should be able to take it without having to wait to pay back the overpay.

 

I would be most grateful for any CAG'ers opinions and comments on this matter and what her rights and obligations are. 

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Please follow the link and read on this forum about estoppel.

If she has received the payment completely in good faith – meaning that not only did she accept the fact that the payment was made properly and with authority, but also she had no reason to suspect that there was an error, then she will be entitled to say that they were estopped from recovering the payment – assuming that she no longer had the money and she had not used it to improve her lifestyle beyond what was normal for her.

From the sounds of it, she may not be entitled to rely upon the doctrine of estoppel. You say that she was working 20 hours and she received 30 hours – which is a very substantial overpayment. She would have to persuade a court that she really had no way of suspecting that the money she was receiving had been paid to her in error.

The courts apply very high standards if people try to rely on the doctrine of estoppel by way of a defence.

In terms of them refusing to allow her to leave, they have no right to do this. It's complete nonsense – although they may well decide to hang on to any payment which is owing to her including holiday pay et cetera and she would find it very difficult to deal with this.


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Just to add, I completely agree with you that a contract to prevent her leaving the employment would be completely unenforceable. However she probably should realise that the situation may be referred to in any references provided to her for a future job.

Who is the employer? Their approach to this problem – which of course has been of their own making, is frankly bullying and unacceptable.


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Thank you for your response BankFodder.

 

First of all her employer is a care home and she is a Part Time Carer.  I do not know what the company is called but would prefer not to publish it here even if I knew.

 

Having read through the link you provided I would tend to agree with your opinion regarding the Estoppel standard of proof especially as she is getting 50% more than she should of been expecting.  Having said that she has had this from the very start and knowing her as I do it is possible she thought this was her monthly wages! 

 

In her everyday life she goes from hand to mouth so there is no improvement in lifestyle unless you consider her absence from Foodbanks an improvement!

 

I think the solution is for her to repay at the low figure that seems to be in place but to disregard the contract requiring her to pay it back before or on leaving.  Should she give notice and work four weeks how can we stop them from witholding her last months wages?

 

 

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they cant force her to stay but they can deduct the money from her last salary run and then bill her for the rest that is still owed.

If she leaves the problem becomes theirs rather than hers because f she offers to pay 325 a month there is nothing they can do other than try adn sue for the entire amount and risk getting an order for worse payment terms from the court

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