A family forced to spend a year in a caravan outside their flood-damaged home are being sued by their next door neighbours who claim it ruined the view and intruded on their privacy.But, you ask, weren’t they in the same boat as a result of this flood? Yes. Yes, they were. They had to move out too while repairs were made, while the Tysons stayed put, albeit in a caravan.
But that didn’t stop them chancing their arm to gain from the situation:
Steve and Michelle Tyson have received notice of a claim for £4,830 in compensation lodged with the county court by Michael Burton and Sarah Jagger.So, what’s their beef?
Mr Burton and Miss Jagger had to leave their house in Willerby Road, Hull while repairs were carried out over nine months.Ah, I think I see the problem. Instead of approaching this in a neighbourly fashion, they saw a way to make money out of the deal.
The Tysons moved into a caravan, provided by their insurers in the November, with their children Sarah, 22, Sam, 19, Robyn, 17, and Alan, 16, while work costing £50,000 was undertaken on their home.
Mr Burton and Miss Jagger gave permission for a boundary fence to be removed so the four-berth caravan could be sited in their neighbours garden.
They allege the Tysons agreed to pay them £138 a week through their insurers, Nationwide, to compensate for the interference to their views, light and privacy.
They say the caravan, which was not removed until the Tysons moved back into their home last November, encroached on their land.
Because everyone knows money that comes from ‘insurers’ isn’t real money, don’t they?
However, Mrs Tyson and her husband, a 46 year old machine operator, deny that any agreement was in place and intend contesting the action.Good luck to them! As long as there was no such agreement (and surely such would have been in writing?) they should have no problems proving their case, though I dare say they’d rather not have the hassle…
But the neighbours are still having problems understanding quite what’s so bad about this:
Papers lodged with Hull county court state that Mr Burton and Miss Jagger were deprived of the use of their front garden and names Mr and Mrs Tyson as the defendants.No, just greedy. And opportunistic. And, dare I say it, downright un-neighbourly….
But Miss Jagger said: "The claim is against their insurance company, not them. They have been kept fully informed. This is not personal, we are not nasty people."
And it won’t stop here:
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said if the case was successful it could lead to similar claims being made by others.Of course. They are giving away free money, aren’t they? Why should anyone get upset at that?
But who pays, when all’s said and done? The Tysons premiums will go up. And so will the premiums for everyone else, including those of the Burton/Jagger household, as insurance companies rightly start to guard against this kind of claim in future. And everyone will need to read even more small print to find out what their policy does or does not cover in future, because I bet insurance companies will be scrambling to insert a ‘greedy neighbour’ clause if they win.
So, the statement that this is only going to affect ‘the insurance company’ isn’t quite right, is it? But then, we seem to have raised a generation of people who regard money coming from an insurance company as somehow disconnected from real people…