I received an unsolicited letter from Carricks & Co., saying that I could be eligible to compensation for some overhead power lines that I have running over my property. The prospect of free money intrigued me, although it did seem to me to be in the same category as those notorious “ambulance chasers” that you hear so much about. In my mind, these vultures, ultimately, end up taking money away from public services in order to fund litigation, and/or end up pushing up the costs for everyone else, in the form of higher bills, premiums etc. However, as my father used to say, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained…”, so I thought that, rather than just dismissing it, out of hand, and putting the letter straight into the recycling bin, I would look into it further.
Carricks stated that they charge 15% + VAT commission, upon any compensation that I would receive, which didn’t seem excessive. However, I thought that it would be wise to check. Looking up this company, in relation to overhead power line compensation, led me to the article, Overhead power line compensation, on Money Saving Expert.
From that thread, this post states
The best 3 in terms of speed and efficiency are Knightsbridge – www.thepowerlinegroup.co.uk (10% inc VAT), Thomas Broadbent – www.broadbent.co.uk (15% + VAT) and PCC – www.propertycompensationconsultants.co.uk(20% + VAT).
However, The Power Line group state that, at the time of writing they are no longer dealing with Low Voltage (LV) or High Voltage (HV) claims.
Going to the distributor themselves, directly, visit Distribution Network Operator (DNO) Companies to find your local distributor. Once you have determined your provider, then their website will have a postcode checker to verify this.
Its NOT the solicitors that take a commission, they just charge a fee to advise you but that fee is ALWAYS covered by the electric company. You would never be out of pocket for legal fees so long as you win, and it never gets to legal stage unless the electric co make a firm offer to settle.
Its the agency (basically a surveyor) that submit your claim and negotiate the value of your claim who take a commission. Solicitors are not qualified to VALUE the claim – they are not surveyors, they only get involved once the surveyor has got you a good amount of compo.
You don’t need to appoint an agency/surveyor to negotiate for you – you are free to contact the network yourself, tell them you want compo and ask them what they will pay. They will make you an offer (usually below market value as they know that you have no basis on which to negotiate as you don’t have professional advice, comparable evidence and aren’t in any way ‘qualified’ to tell them what the claim is worth).
Or, you can just hire a surveyor to do it for you, and pay his fees upfront (usually around £600). He will not then be entitled to any commission.
Or you can take the no risk option but pay commission on what you get. No surveyor will offer no win no fee and also not receive any commission. They only offer a no win no fee approach because the wins payout more than normal due to the commission.
I know of agents that do it for 10% flat with no VAT, it is more than worth it for the no win no fee approach and the fact they always get more than unrepresented home owners who go it alone. Usually more than 10% more too
How do I know this – I am the guy at the law firm acting for one of the electric companies who handles the claims when they get to the legal stage.
If you want more info, feel free to PM me. Based on the value of your house I can tell you what sort of payout to expect and thus which option may be best for you.