Dispute Resolution - Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions that we have gathered from our experiences in Dispute Resolutions cases. If you have any questions please contact us on the details below. We look forward to assisting you in whatever way we can.

Dispute Resolution Common Questions

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Will I get paid for the time I put into bringing the claim?

Unfortunately not. English Law dictates that it is the Claimant's responsibility for bringing the claim and you will not be paid for doing so. The majority of work will be conducted by your solicitor and you will therefore only be required to provide the essential information and instructions.

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Can I claim for inconvenience?

Generally not. Only in rare circumstances will a court consider a claim for inconvenience, such cases would require you to establish that there has been extreme and prolonged inconvenience suffered.

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I do not want to allow contractors back into my home after defective works, do I have to let them back in?

As a general rule you have to allow the contractor reasonable opportunity to put right any problems. However if the relationship has completely broken down, or there is genuine belief that the works will not be repaired to an acceptable standard then it may be reasonable to instruct alternative contractors. Each case needs to be considered on its own merits and advice should be taken in respect of the specific circumstances of your claim.

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Why can I not simply take the third party to court?

The fundamental tenet of English Law is reasonableness and you must show that there have been reasonable attempts to resolve the issues without court action. The courts are a measure of last resort and a judge may penalise you if you use the court process immediately without attempts to resolve the issues, or without other good cause.

There are many legal procedures that need to be followed and specific evidence will need to be gathered to prepare your claim. Whilst this may take time, that time may be used to attempt to resolve the matter without recourse to the courts and if those attempts fail it may then be appropriate to use the court process.

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Does it matter how long a boundary has been in the wrong place?

Yes. As a general rule if a boundary has been in position uncontested for 10 or more years you may find that this new boundary supersedes the original.

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Can I cut off branches of a neighbour's tree over hanging my garden?

Generally speaking, as long as it is regular maintenance or trimming then yes you can. You must not however do anything to harm or damage the tree. On a practical level it would be worth discussing the matter with your neighbour before any such action is taken and seeking their agreement to do so. Any major works to the tree should be performed with the agreement of your neighbour.

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I have contractor problems as they have not done their job properly do I have to pay them?

Yes. When a contract is made it has duties and obligations for both parties. The obligation for the contractor is usually to perform the works to a reasonable standard, and your obligation is to pay the agreed sum for such works. Failure to pay could result in the contractor bringing a claim against you to recover the debt. In the event of a dispute regarding work, it should be made clear that payment is made under protest accompanies by a explanation as to the perceived problems. On a practical level you may be able to agree with the contractor that payment will be made upon completion of the works, or that you will pay for the works when completed to your satisfaction with the remainder to be paid upon completion of the outstanding works.

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I have received a claim form, what do I do?

You must enter an acknowledgment of service or a defence to the claim within 14 days of the date of service (a defense may be filed within 28 days of the date of service provided that the acknowledgment of service is filed within the original 14 days). We suggest you contact a solicitor before this time expires in order that you may receive appropriate advice and if necessary that a suitable defense is entered on your behalf.

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Who needs to obtain the evidence to prove my claim?

You do. It remains the Claimant's responsibility to obtain the necessary and appropriate evidence to support their claim. Some evidence may not be immediately available to the Claimant; however your solicitor will be able to give you advice as to how this evidence may be obtained if they are not able to obtain it on your behalf. It is therefore important when making a claim to keep accurate records of any relevant issues no matter how trivial they may appear, and also to keep full documentation to support the claim. For example it may be useful to take a number of photographs and keep all invoices, contracts, terms and conditions etc. Your solicitor would much rather be presented with too much evidence than not enough.

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If you have any questions or would like to talk with us or arrange a free initial telephone consultation, please call us now on 01344 512370 or email: enquiries@ascotlawyers.co.uk.

Alternatively, complete our contact form and we'll get a relevant member of our team to contact you.