Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Mums and Dads have you got the right safety seat for your child, if you haven't and your child is in a car accident the Courts could find you are 25% responsible for any injuries to your child as can be seen from a recent case on this subject.

    In Williams v Williams [2013] EWCA Civ 455 Louise Williams placed her Emma her 3 year daughter, on a booster seat securing her with an adult seatbelt, sh...e believed Emma would be safe. Unfortunately they were involved in an accident that was entirely the fault of Dwayne Williams (unrelated to them) when he crossed onto the wrong side of the road and collided with their car. Emma was too young and short to be travelling on the booster seat and, according to manufacturers' guidelines and expert evidence, should have been secured in a car seat with a five point harness. Her mother had without realising it placed her daughter in the wrong type of safety equipment. The Court of Appeal upheld a first instance finding that Miss Williams was 25% responsible for her daughter's injuries.

    This article is for information purposes only

    Sunday, 19 May 2013


    Landlords remember it could be an expensive lesson if you do not deal with your Tenant’s reasonable request to deal with any disrepairs at the property you are letting. 

    In the case of Woolf v North London Homes at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court, 19 April 2012, a landlord’s obligation in respect of dealing with disrepair was considered.
    The claimant was an assured shorthold tenant of a two-bedroom flat in the attic of house from28 November 2008, but left in January 2011.     She complained of disrepair from the  commencement of the tenancy, including a leak to the bath, a leaking toilet and a burst pipe, and an intermittent hot water supply.   These defects were remedied, but from 2009  onwards there was a bad smell of damp, the front door would not lock properly, the bathroom window was rotten and a pane fell out, the roof was leaking and the building suffered from subsidence. The defects were confirmed by the evidence of an environmental health officer and the tenant’s surveyor. The landlords defended the claim on the basis that the tenant had refused access and made various allegations against her, including that she was an alcoholic, had deliberately damaged the property, kept dogs at the property, left vast quantities of nappies outside the premises and had caused the attendance of the police.      All of these allegations were rejected by the judge, who found that there was significant disrepair from the time when the claimant moved in, which worsened over time until March 2010 when the claimant’s surveyor inspected. During 2009, the premises had defective windows and were subject to damp. The judge awarded damages at 20 per cent of the rent of £1,450 per month for the 15 months from the beginning of the tenancy until March 2010, and 30 per cent of the rent for the eight months thereafter, making a total of £7,830 for disrepair. She also awarded £2,500 in respect of special damages on the basis that the claimant had suffered some loss; however, the Judge she did not accept some of the more exotic items in the schedule of special damages for which the claimant had no receipts. Total damages awarded were, therefore, £10,330.

    Originally reported by Beatrice Prevatt’s in the December 2012 Legal Action,

    This article in for information purposes only
    Deborah Aloba
    Affordable Law For You Limited 

    Are you suffering as a result of a Nuisance at your rented property

    Landlord’s remember if you are undertaking work regarding  removing infestations at your tenant’s home then make sure that you pay a bit extra and get a thorough job done or you could be bitten  with a claim for damages resulting from nuisance as can be seen from the below mentioned case.

    Siveter v Wandsworth LBC [2012] EWCA Civ 351,16 February 2012

    The claimant was a council tenant. Her home was rendered uninhabitable by an infestation of 
    poultry mites. She claimed that the mites had spread from a pigeon’s nest resting on a cupboard outside her flat, into the cupboard and through an opening into her flat. The council had arranged to have the nest removed, but the cupboard itself had not been inspected or sprayed. The judge rejected a claim that the landlord was liable for compensation on the basis that the council had acted reasonably in removing the nest and spraying the area even though it had not sprayed inside the cupboard. The Court of Appeal allowed an appeal and remitted the case to the county court for the assessment of quantum. The expert evidence was that, in addition to the nest removal, the cupboard should have at least been inspected and, probably, treated. It was inevitable and foreseeable that if left uninspected and untreated, the infestation would migrate from the cupboard and throughout the flat.

    Originally reported by Beatrice Prevatt’s in the December 2012 Legal Action.

    This article is for information purposes only.

    Deborah Aloba
    Affordable Law For You Limited


    You could find it an expensive mistake if you  refuse to co-operate with the Claimant’s/Defendant’s solicitors.  In the case of Street & Anor v Larkins & Anor (2013) Ch D (Gaunt J QC), 08.03.13 a Wasted costs order was made against the claimant because they unreasonably refused to consent to an adjournment of a trial date where it was virtually impossible to have the case prepared in time.

    The Circumstances of the case are that directions were given in June 2012 for the preparation of a joint expert report. The trial was listed for 04.03.13. An expert was not instructed until December 2012 and his report was due by 22.02.13. On 08.02.13 the Defendant's solicitors wrote to the claimant suggesting the trial date be re-fixed to allow time for consideration of the report. They chased for a response on 15.02.13. The claimant consented on 26.02.13.     The claimant accepted that the defendant had adopted a reasonable position in requesting an adjournment and that, at the time of the chaser letter on 15.02.13, it was virtually impossible to prepare the case in time for trial. The claimant's refusal to consent to the earlier request for an adjournment was unreasonable. The claimant was therefore ordered to pay the wasted costs between 16.02.13 and 26.02.13.

    The moral of the story is try to be as reasonable as possible when dealing with the representatives on the other side of your case and make a detailed note of all conversations between you and them.  Don't do this and you could end up with an expensive costs order against you.

    This is for information purposes only
    Deborah Aloba 
    Affordable Law For You Limied

    We have warned about the consequences of being dishonest in personal claim matters on various occasions but thought you could be aware that Insurers are not messing around and they are now bring committal proceedings pursuant to the new CPR 81  against Claimants who they believe have been dishonest.
    In the case of RSA v Kosky (2013) QBD (Sir Raymond Jack) 07.03.13 the first application of its kind made pursuant to the new CPR Part 81, the applicant insurer applied for permission to commence committal proceedings for contempt of court against the respondent because she  caused her solicitors to sign a statement of truth in the Particulars of Claim knowing that it contained false statements (made by her). The particulars of claim did not reveal the respondent's relevant medical history. Further, the Schedule of Loss included claims for items that the respondent had already been compensated for in a previous claim arising from a previous injury.  Though in this instance the Insurers were refused permission to bring the committal proceedings the Court did express its view that the case demonstrated the need for an applicant to identify precisely the allegedly false statements upon which reliance was placed and state in what way the statements were said to be untrue.
    The Insurers are not going to allow this to lie and I am sure will ensure that next time they do identify precisely the allegedly false statements upon which reliance was placed before bringing  a similar application before the Court. So Claimants BEWARE, if you lie, and it can be proved and the insurers can identify precisely the alleged false statements made by you, an application for a committal hearing could be successful, and, you might be facing imprisonment

    This article is for information purposes only
    Deborah Aloba - Affordable Law For You Limited