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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69359
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a self employed builder but around 3 years ago i did an

Customer Question

I am a self employed builder but around 3 years ago i did an upgrade to a flat in bristol which when i did this i had a ltd company which did the project but this company no longer runs.
Since it was done they have had a problem with damp and i have been round to look at this a few times and came to the conclusion it was something to do with the fibre glass roof and that the scaffolding had damaged it when the project was being done.
On the 28th march i recevied a letter from a suvayour they have instructed and many things have come back from his point of view not to a very good standard.
I am writting a letter back as i feel he has been given the wrong informations as to why these things have come about as they wanted to save lots of money so things were left out but all the work was past with the building inspectors.
I would like some advice as to weather this letter is ok to send back
Please see underneath the letter im sending back

I am writing this as a confirmation letter after receiving a letter from Hong your surveyor on the 28th March 2013, on the same day I came to investigate the problem written in the letter
A few things have been high lighted as problems by Hong and accusations have been made by him about the work, which I feel have been made in a rude manor to which I feel he has not been given the correct information about.
These points made are as follows:-
1. A bell cast was put on top of the lead
2. The parapit wall not being raised
3. No Extractor fan in the kitchen
4. Cracks in the fibre glass
5. No enough ventilation to the roof
6. The lead flashings not going round the corner
I would like the opportunity to give my view on the points made
1.I would never put a bell cast on top of existing render as I am fully aware it will crack off in a few years, if I had hacked off some render there would still be a weak spot between the old and the new render, what I had done was chased the lead into the wall and sealed it, this was the best way and it still looks like new. This good practice and has been passed by the building inspector so nothing will be changed to this
2.The job was decided to be done as an upgrade to an existing dwelling rather than a new extension, Which meant it did not have to meet building regulations to be passed, this was decided by the client and agreed by the architect and building control, I had voiced my disapproval before work had startedAll these decisions were made to keep cost down as much as possible which meant alterations to the parapet wall and putting in a much needed extractor fan where to be left out to keep the cost down, so nothing will be done to these without further costs to the client
3.There are some cracks in the fibre glass, I phoned the flat roofer who did the job when I visited on the 28th March 2013 and he agreed to come round the next morning and resolve the problem there as there is an agreed 15 year guarantee
4.With the ventilation to the roof even though it has been passed off by the building inspector I do think it needs more ventilation. The water could be caused by condensation as there is a problem with condensation in the house, there is enough water from the kitchen and bathroom with not having an extractor fan in to cause a build up of water on the window seals, which in turn has to be wiped down daily or a pool of water appears on the seals. This can be corrected by having an extractor fan fitted, but I would also reccomend a dehumidifier for a month which will extract a lot of the water quicker. The other issue is the heat hitting the cold surface where the insulation finishes water condensates at this point which indicates there needs to be more ventilation. To do this I would recommend taking off the fasica and put a 20mm continuous vent all the way along the fasica up under the over hanging fiberglass drip, as this would not get any driving rain through. The old round vents need taking off and new fasica put on and the old gutter to go back on, the fasica will be 20ml shorter but this bit will be under the fibre glass so you would not even notice.
5.The new lead on the corner is in good condition and is fully chased in to the wall and sealed, it extends past the end of the building and around the corner.
At this point I would like to express that DMB Builders LTD is no longer running and has been closed for the past 2 years so there is no legal obligation to deal with these problems but for my own personal reputation I am happy to discuss and hopefully resolve the issues I feel I should do. which is to come and put more ventilation in the fasica to help with the reduction of condensation which will be about £400 worth of work which I am willing to do for free, but you will need to put an extractor fan in to get the water out of the flat
If you would like me to come do the ventilation I would like an acknowledgment of this letter and a note that you are happy with what I have mentioned and that you agree
Kind Regards
Dan
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
HI.

Thank you for your question . My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

How can I help with this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi, i just want to know if i can say i dont want to do some of the work stated in there letter which they say is wrong as it all was pasted by the building inspector but the Work i feel does need attention i will do but when this work was done i was the director oc dmb builders ltd which no longer runs so should i be doing the work or just say the company no longer exists? Who liable now i guess
thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Ok
Sorry if I'm missing the point but I just need to ascertain whether or not you accept there are faults?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hello


I am agreeing there are faults but only one of mine which is the ventilations needs to be done but the rest that they have pointed out arent


 


But do i need to do this as the company no longer exists


 


Thank you

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Its never quite that simple Im afraid.

Obviously neither you or the company are liable for faults that are not of your creation.

However, they have a contractual claim against the company under the Sale of Goods and Services Act. If this is a limited company which has gone under then the claim will die with it. Limited companies protect their directors unless something like fraud can be shown.

If they are intent though then they also have a claim against you in negligence. The law of negligence does give them fewer rights than the Sale of Goods and Services Act its fair to say but it still exists.

If you did the work then they could try to argue that you have acted negligently. Its a higher test than showing breach of contract. They have to show that you owed them a duty of care which you plainly did if you did work there, that it was breached which might be the case, and that they have suffered loss.

Whether they would bother or not is another matter in practice though. Its very easy to threaten legal action and a lot harder to take it.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.

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