Damage to house caused by oak tree roots from council path
My elderly in-laws are in a bit of a predicament at the moment. There is subsidence causing the extension to their privately owned house to sink a bit (cracks on wall, uneven floor etc). The current insurance company, Saga reckon it is caused by the roots from an oak tree at the back of a house on a council-owned canal path and are carrying out some soil tests etc to confirm.
My mother in law actually wrote to the council expressing her concerns about the proximity of the tree to her property about 20 years ago but they refused to act. At the same time (20 years ago) she paid for a structural engineers report that concluded that there wasn't a serious problem and just patched the crack that had appeared up!!
Now Saga are saying that because the issue has been going on since way before they were the insurers for the property that they will not pay to rectify any damage (sadly my M in L was honest and told Saga about the report 20 years old report)
My in laws are not wealthy people and are well into their 80's. They have been informally advised that the council are unlikely to pay for any repairs even though the offending tree is on their property (the canal path) and they were informed about the concerns my in laws had and now it looks like their insurers have found a way out of paying on the claim.
Does anyone have any suggestions regarding what my in laws might reasonably do next and who (if anyone) is liable for the cost of repairs?
Thanks in advance, hope this is in the correct forum
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