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Neighbours son damaged car again

(10 Posts)
Thornykate Tue 31-May-11 08:23:26

My next door neighbours have a 6yr old boy. There is a lot of space to play on our estate but he does prefer playing on other peoples drives which isn't a huge issue as it's quite open plan but he has a history of damaging stuff.

He rode his tractor into one of my cars & cracked the front grill but the car is old so for the sake of peace & harmony I told the boys dad it was ok & not worth fixing.

He crashed his bike into another neighbours car & ran off. The neighbour found out where he lived & the boys dad begrudgingly agreed to have the damage fixed but argued that their car was partially parked on pavement so it was their own fault. Boys dad is a 2nd hand car dealer so took their car away to a contact of his to be fixed.

Another neighbour saw same boy come onto our drive & smash up my watering can (?!) & although I don't know if it was him all the plastic brick vents have been kicked in & smashed recently too, but I am only explaining all this for the purpose of giving background not because I am looking to rectify minor things like that.

My problem now is that the boy has set up his bmx ramp on my drive in front of my car (despite being asked not to play near my cars) & crashed off his bike & slid across the bonnet. My own younger son saw this & called me. When I got outside the boy had run into his own house so I knocked & explained what had happened & asked was the boy ok & was told he was fine. I explained that my car looked damaged & showed them the scratches & dents across the bonnet & a side panel. The stepdad (dad has recently left) said he would get the boys dad to come & see me about it.

In the meantime I got my own 2 quotes, one from reputable independent body shop (£550 aprox) & 1 from the dealer (£1050).

The bonnet had actually been replaced by dealer 3 months ago following an accident so was pristine.

Didn't hear from boys dad within 2 wks so went to see the mum with the quotes & she said I need to see the dad about it as she wasn't going to deal with it hmm

The dad came round & said the quotes are extortionate.

But I want it fixing properly which I know involves stripping panels & respraying. He says he will take it to garage he knows and they only charge £200. I know that this means they are just going to fill the bumps and use masking tape which will be visible go the trained eye.

We are at a stalemate now as I think he should pay for the car to be fixed properly at the garage that is quoting £550 or if he wants to then the dealers.

Where can I go legally with this?

Thanks in advance.

Bucharest Tue 31-May-11 08:25:56

Tbh,after all this, and on your own private property I'd be inclined to call the police!

The family sounds charming.

Good luck.

Thornykate Tue 31-May-11 08:55:20

Thanks for the reply; It has crossed my mind to report it but with the boy only being 6 I'm not sure if the parents actually have legal responsibility for the damage he does in the same way as if they had done it themselves IYSWIM?

catonlap Tue 31-May-11 09:24:31

I think it would be worth discussing with the police. How much they will be able to help in terms of getting your car sorted I am not sure, but this repeated damage has been noted not just by you but by other neighbours. Maybe community support officer would be able to offer some input thinking of the longer term and reducing further incidents?

About pursuing the current damage to your car I guess you could contact your own insurance company for advice. Do you have legal cover on your car insurance? Beware though that insurance company could possibly then see this as an increased risk and a reason to put up your premium. I am not someone with insurance knowledge (there must be people on here who know more) but just from my experience I think that is how it works.

trikster Tue 31-May-11 09:39:25

I had a very similar issue except my neighbour's son was over 18 and since he had cause dextensive damage (£3000) to my car by falling on it whilst drunk, we called the police. My insurance company said they would not cover (i'm fully comp) even though the car was parked in my drive, however, i could press criminal charges and claim through the court. The police adviced that if we should if we can can sort it out amicably. Our neighbour inisted that the quotes we had were too pricy and that they would prefer to get the car repaired through thier own contacts - we we were not going to allow at any cost. It turned out that their home content insurance could cover the damage. We informed our insurance company and they were happy to take this rtoute and we got the car repaired through our own contacts

Thornykate Tue 31-May-11 09:48:54

Thanks for the replies.

trikster so was it ultimately settled by your car insurers pursuing a claim through his home insurance? That sounds preferable to going through the small claims court which I was thinking may be an option.

My own car ins excess is £500 so its not worth me claiming to be out of pocket even if they would cover.

Thornykate Wed 06-Jul-11 14:32:35

just updating this & having a bit of a vent angry

The boy's dad (Neighbours ex husband) agreed to pay for car to be fixed then a week or so later he texed me & said that the kids mum had actually now agreed to pay & would come round soon hmm

No further contact from either of them until 2 weeks ago when the dad came round & apologised for not being in touch sooner & for ignoring my messages but said he was v sorry but had no money to pay for the car as the boys mum had cleared his savings account when they seperated.

In the meantime whilst I was in hospital the same kid has put a huge (over a foot) hole in wooden fence panel. I know it was him as he keeps going back & doing more; I have caught him once & his own stepdad caught him doing it too. I came outside as stepdad was shouting at the boy & calmly said that this wasnt the 1st time he had damaged the fence; the stepdad made a 'talk to the hand' gesture & said "yeh" & went back in the house!

I contacted the council anti social behaviour officer who attended last week & took statement from me & said she would visit next door.

The outcome? Anti social behaviour council officer said that neighbours are now denying it was only their son involved & say I should track down the other kids (a blatant lie as my son saw the incident) & that I have been v unreasonable & have screamed & shouted at the neighbours!! Whats upset me most is that by the tone of the council woman today I think she believes them?!

I have reported the damage to the police today & will get a call back & have made an appt with CAB in 11 days time.

And breathe.....

uninspired Wed 06-Jul-11 14:36:34

God kate that's horrible for you - no advice I'm afraid

sneezecakesmum Thu 07-Jul-11 17:12:09

I suggest cctv camera focused on your property only (illegal otherwise) It worked a treat for us!

CQrrrneee Wed 13-Jul-11 10:05:30

can you get ther other neighbours to confirm that he's been going around wrecking the place? The council person may be taking the easiest option - especially if she's intimidated by them herself. They sound charming hmm

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