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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70631
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been a self employed builder for 30 years all my work

Resolved Question:

I have been a self employed builder for 30 years all my work coming from recomendation,
I renewed all the lead flashings on a chimney in march 2012. Shortly after completion the customer phoned to say that the wall arround the chimney still appeared to be damp, after inspecting the chimney from inside the loft and externally I could find no leakage. I then informed the customer of my findings and told her that because the stone walls are some 3feet thick that they may still be drying out.
I said that if they did not see any improvement in the next few weeks to call me.
The customer never called back so I asumed that all was well.
Then in January of 2013 I recieved a letter stating that the chimney was leeking during the very bad storms and that they have employed another builder to put this right and are demanding there money back.
I feel that I have not been given an opporunity to put this right.
This has never happend to me in the past and I had been recomended to this customer by several of there friends.
How do I stand.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Hi

Are you asking if you are liable?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes am I liable and do I have to refund the monies

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

They don’t have the right to their money back. What they may have a claim for is the cost of putting right any fault.

In short though, you do have a challenge here.

Proceeding on the basis that there are faults, obviously there should not be. You are under an obligation under statute and the common law to act with reasonable care and skill. You probably wouldn’t dispute that.

However, you are entitled to an opportunity to put things right. They will argue that the call a short time after completion amounts to such opportunity but your case would be that there was no fault at that time. That is an issue that would turn upon the evidence. If the Court finds that there was something you should have noticed then probably you would lose. If the Court finds in your favour then this is not an opportunity to put things right.

There is one exception to the requirement to let you put things right and that is where a consumer can argue that they have lost faith in your ability. That is much misused. People think it applies to very minor faults. In fact, there has to be a really substantially reason to believe that you cannot be trusted to continue with reasonable skill.

Hope this helps. Please remember to rate my service either OK SERVICE or above and then I will give you related information for free.
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