30 July, 2020
During the previous months of lockdown we have understandably noticed a delay in the progression of tree root related subsidence claims. However, as we come out of the lockdown and head towards the autumnal months we would expect to see an increase in claims activity. Historically, the dryer late Spring/Summer months and growing season of trees results in reduced moisture levels in clay soils, loss of support of property foundations, and in some cases a downward movement of the property. This in turn can lead to a wide range of property damage, from relatively minor plaster cracking requiring cosmetic restoration, to full elevation remedial works and potentially underpinning repairs.
Early indications are that although 2020 is unlikely to be considered an event year, such as 2018, there will inevitably be an upturn in claims activity in the Autumn period following the easing of lockdown restrictions. In addition, as a general point, we believe that with increased development in or near to sites which historically contain trees, it is inevitable that Home Insurers will look to recover their outlay from adjoining landowners, where applicable.
With this in mind, Forbes are able to offer a full advisory service from initial informal complaint/Letter of Claim to settlement agreements and/or Trial, including a full costs/risk review as the claim progresses. We are mindful of the often emotive views felt by Local Authority Client Departments in dealing with trees and associated issues. We are also aware that these types of cases are often complex in relation to the cause of the property movement, are normally lengthy in duration from initial notification to a settlement agreement or Trial, and that the terminology is often confusing and less than straightforward. However, utilising a very much hands on approach and detailed input where required we feel we are well placed to advise not only in relation to the issues in the case in plain and straightforward language but also provide details of likely costs. We are also able to offer access to leading industry Experts and specialist Counsel, should the need arise.