Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 28 Mar 2017
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council causing damage to his property and his request for costs. Mr X has a legal remedy.
- Mr X complains the Council damaged his back garden wall and fence. He says the Council has agreed to pay for a replacement but has refused his claim for £125 to cover his time and trouble.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The law says we cannot normally investigate a complaint when someone could take the matter to court. However, we may decide to investigate if we consider it would be unreasonable to expect the person to go to court. (Local Government Act 1974, section 26(6)(c), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered Mr X’s information, comments and response to my draft decision statement. The information includes the Council’s response to his claim.
What I found
- The Council agreed to pay for its contractor causing damage to Mr X’s property. Mr X claimed £125 for his time and trouble including getting two quotes.
- I will not investigate this complaint for the following reasons:
- The complaint is outside the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction because Mr X has a legal remedy (see paragraph 2 above) if he wants to pursue a claim for costs.
- I consider it reasonable for Mr X to use his legal remedy because a court has the power to decide such a dispute.
- I will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council causing damage to his property and his request for costs. Mr X has a legal remedy.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman