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Unsure if I have a case to claim money spent on Mortgage/Council Tax whilst claim is sat unattended.

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Unsure if I have a case to claim money spent on Mortgage/Council Tax whilst claim is sat unattended.

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SamMJamesSamMJames Forumite
1 posts
MoneySaving Newbie
Hi Guys,
My property unfortunately was the victim of subsidence last September. My connecting neighbour and myself have joint porch. The floor on my porch has sunk and as a result has damaged the tiles and the floor has come away from the skirting board. This was caused by the neighbour removing conifer trees from her front garden. There were 3 trees removed and one in-particular was close to the building (within 1 metre). After many frustrating phone calls I accept that despite this being entirely my neighbour's fault, I will pay my excess in order to get the porch returned to its state pre damage. 

In February I purchased another property and moved into this property (Feb 7th). I had a consultation with the project manager from the company(Innovation Group) my insurers (Aviva) have delegated to deal with these cases on their behalf. When the project manager was in this meeting with me, he took pictures of the property. Made multiple notes and told me there and then that because the porch is joint and the structural damage to my neighbours side was worse than mine his outcome was that the porch needed to be knocked down and rebuilt. He tells me that it will take a few days for his report to be written up and then that goes to his manager to be approved. At this point I am obviously unhappy but I want the property back into a condition in which I can put it on the market. The project manager tells me it will take time as insurances companies have to speak with each other and sort who pays for work etc. He says to me IF I was looking to sell or rent I should get in touch with the bank and talk about getting reimbursed for loss of rent or something. 

I inquire about this loss of rent with the bank and because of my policy I am unable to claim anything back.

Covid hits :(.

During this time Innovation Group go mobile and their contractors shut down. I try to stay up to date and in touch with the company however an update is hard to come by as I keep getting told I will get a call back. No call comes. I eventually get an update and find out that the project manager actually decided that the porch does not need to be destroyed and built back up and that we can just repair the damage to my side and move on. I, at the time think this is great news as this could take less time. 

Around April 27th I call Innovation as I know of some builders/contractors working through the pandemic in properties where social distancing can be observed. I get told that my case will be forwarded to the contractors with a note saying the property is empty and available to be worked on asap.

I call around 2-3 weeks later to see if we have had any reply from the contractors and have been told there is no update. 

A further 2-3 weeks go by and I am fairly sure contractors are back open. There are now multiple shops that are able to open etc so it makes sense that a building contractor could resume work on properties that are empty. The customer service agent tells me that the contractors are back and she will call them for an update. I wait on the line and to my dismay get told when she returns that the contractors have not received anything on my file from April 27th. She then tells me that she will do the file and send it across. I should expect a call in the next week from them. I do not receive a call. 

I chase this up and get told that there is no update. This brings us roughly to today.

Today I got told that the contractors need the file be amended for the new works to be done. New works? I find out that during lock-down someone has decided that the porch now needs rebuilt again.This was never at any point communicated to me. This also means that the 2 insurance companies have to agree a split again etc. 

For 3 months I have been thinking that I can get a call any day with a date to arrange the works on my porch and get my house on the market asap. Instead I get told that the plan has mysteriously changed and I need to continue to pay around £500 a month on mortgage and council tax on a property I can't sell due to this damage.

This to me seems like somebody or everybody at the Innovation Group is not dong their job to standard. Their ineptitude is costing me so much money monthly. I simply cannot afford to keep paying this money on an empty property. All I want to do is get rid of the property.

Do you think I have some sort of claim either back on the money I have paid or a contribution to the money I will continue to pay whilst this work is still undone.


  • csgohan4csgohan4 Forumite
    8.3K posts
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    If you unhappy write a letter to them and if your unhappy bring it to the ombudsman.

    Unlikely you can claim mortgage and council tax costs though, but no harm in asking
    "It is prudent when shopping for something important, not to limit yourself to Pound land/Estate Agents"

    G_M/ PIxie RIP
  • SandtreeSandtree Forumite
    652 posts
    500 Posts Name Dropper
    I am sorry but I am being a little lazy today and so didn't read the whole post fully.

    I believe the crux of it is that you claim has been delayed given the current situation, you are living in alternative accommodation that you own and you intend to put the property on the market once works are complete. Is that correct?

    Has your original property been made uninhabitable during the works or was it just your choice to move out early?

    You could speak to your insurers about a claim for alternative accommodation even if you own it but this generally will only be considered if it was deemed necessary to move out. You could alternatively put in a complaint about the delays and look for extra-contractual compensation but you may need to look at the picture in the round... whilst the delay is frustrating given the announcement yesterday on stamp duty and depending on property values it could be that the delay in the round is beneficial to you financially in which case your complaint is really a token inconvenience rather than financial loss. Either way there is no harm registering the complaint and getting the ball rolling.
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