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An interior designer’s revamp has resulted in a costly litigation battle following shoddy workmanship on a £3 million apartment in West London.
It has been widely reported that the court ordered Olivia Walton to pay £114,000 (inclusive of damages) after her basement extension project caused almost 4 years of problems for her neighbour.
Michele Napp, the owner of the flat above, accused Miss Walton’s builders of damaging the 2-storey flat above. Mrs Napp said that “for the first six months as they excavated underground the dust and pollution was extreme”. In addition, Mrs Napp claimed the building work left her floors and walls cracked, eventually creating a subsided window. Subsequently, the works also caused Mrs Napp’s tenant to leave.
Mrs Napp brought a claim under the Party Wall Act 1996, and despite her success in court, has said that her losses are actually “more than £750,000”. Mrs Napp also further commented that the amount awarded fails to cover the “real issue of where the floors have moved as well as the windows and doors”.
To make matters worse, Miss Walton still hasn’t paid any proportion of the debt. The Judge was informed that Mrs Walton has instead offered to pay £1,500 a month to Mrs Napp.
Mrs Napp’s barrister has said Edward Blakeney told the court that this proposed figure “would take 6.3 years to pay off. Miss Walton rents out the property for £8,000 a month. The defendant has ample assets by which she can satisfy this debt.”
Mrs Napp’s legal team are continuing to take action to try and enforce this debt.
If you would like to speak to someone about what your obligations to neighbours are, or alternatively what you can do if a neighbour’s property works are affecting your property, please call 0161 941 4000 and ask to speak to a member of our property litigation team.