Property subsidence is never good news, but recent experience shows that the issue has impacted a number of local households.
A resident made a Freedom of Information request to Milton Keynes Council. Please see both the request and the response received from MKC;
1. How many solicitors does MK council have employed in-house?
2. Does MK council employ in-house currently any solicitors whose speciality according to the Law society is listed as insurance?
3. Has MK council EVER paid compensation to a homeowner /leaseholder for a residential or commercial property for damage to their property proved caused by council negligence?
4. Is Milton Keynes insured against claims from homeowners/leaseholders whose property has been damaged by council negligence?
5. Does damage mentioned in question 3 or 4 include subsidence?
Answer: Yes the Council is provided with an indemnity by its liability insurers for claims in negligence arising from subsidence damage to a third party property. I can also confirm that where the Council provides property insurance in respect of a leasehold property it insured in respect of subsidence by the buildings insurer.
6. IS MK council liable in the event that a privately or commercially owned property suffers subsidence and proved subsidence caused by council owned land or council owned trees?
Answer: Not necessarily, each individual case would turn on its own facts there may be defences available to the Council arising from the management of any tree stock that caused damage to a third party property.
Please note that the Parish Council is not in a position to give advice on subsidence, but would advise homeowners who find themselves affected by the issue to seek independent professional advice at an appropriate point should the need arise.