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House gardens now a swamp

Bought a house in April last and it was sold with landscaped gardens. However recent weather has turned the garden into a swamp. What can the caller do? Donal in Galway.

Hi Donal.   This depends on whether or not it was a new or second-hand house.  If it was second-hand, then the rule “caveat emptor” – let the buyer beware – applied and you probably have no recourse.

 

If it was a new house, then you are entitled to have had the development completed in a workmanlike manner and that includes the garden properly drained so as to preserve the landscaped gardens.  You will probably need to get a surveyor’s report to test whether or not that drainage was properly installed and if it is sub-standard you may have a right to sue the builder for compensation.

 

However, there has been exceptionally bad weather and the builder may be able to defend the case on the basis that no reasonable developer could have foreseen such weather conditions and that the drainage provided was fair and reasonable for what might ordinarily be expected.

 

Your surveyor should advise you on this aspect and then you can go to a solicitor with the surveyor's report to issue court proceedings. 

 

Before you go into any expensive litigation, however, I would suggest you make sure that the builder is still solvent because there is no point in winning a court case and having a judgment that can’t be collected.

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