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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44880
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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we had our central heating updated by warmfront over two years

Customer Question

we had our central heating updated by warmfront over two years ago, but it has never worked properly since. it was working before. we have called them back on a few occasions during this time, but never with a satisfying result. they now say it is out of warranty and refuse to correct it. an indipendent heating engineer told us that because it was designed wrongly it will never be right. what rights if any do we have?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Who designed the system - was it the people who installed it?

JACUSTOMER-nhd1fh8y- :

warmfront engineer

JACUSTOMER-nhd1fh8y- :

we do not have any dates when someone came back, and they say they have no record of anyone coming back apart from servicing it, when they did the servicing they could not get it to work properly at any time.

Ben Jones :

When you have entered into a contract for work and materials, where the main focus is labour and skill, the law says that the work must be:

  • Carried out with reasonable care and skill – i.e. to a proper standard of workmanship;
  • Finished within a reasonable time (unless a specific time has been agreed); and
  • Provided at a reasonable cost (unless a specific price has been agreed).

In addition, any materials provided as part of the work must:

  • Match their description
  • Be of satisfactory quality

If there are problems with the standard of work, or the materials used, you will have certain rights.

If there has been some breach of contract by the other side, you would usually be expected to give them the opportunity to rectify the problem. However, if you can justify why they should not be given such an opportunity, for example, if work has been left in a dangerous condition or their work is obviously below-par, you could refuse to do so.

In terms of potential compensation, you may be entitled to that in the following circumstances:

  • The work was not carried out with reasonable care and skill, or finished within a reasonable time;
  • The tradesman has been negligent in their work;
  • You have accepted a repair, which turns out to be unsatisfactory;
  • The services are unsafe and someone has suffered injury
  • You have incurred additional expenses or suffered inconvenience because of the tradesman’s breach of contract.

In order to resolve any problems that have arisen, it is generally accepted that you follow the following steps:

  1. Collect all documents relating to the works (e.g. estimate, contract, correspondence, etc.).
  2. Contact the tradesman and explain your problem. Ask for a refund, a repair, or compensation and set a reasonable time limit for them to respond (usually 7-14 days).
  3. If you are still dissatisfied, find out whether the tradesman is a member of a trade association with a mediation service that can help resolve your complaint. If they are not, you may wish to obtain an expert opinion from an independent tradesman to back up your claim.
  4. If the matter is still not resolved, write to the tradesman repeating your complaint and the steps you have taken. Say you are giving them a final 7 day time limit to resolve the problem or you will ask another tradesman to carry out the work and you intend to recover their costs from them. Advise them that you will not hesitate to issue legal proceedings to seek compensation.
  5. If the tradesman makes an alternative offer, you can either accept or continue to negotiate. Be reasonable and realistic in what you will accept. You may not get an improved offer by going to court.
  6. If the tradesman fails to respond or refuses to resolve the problem, you can get a different tradesman to complete the work and consider suing the original tradesman for part of these extra costs. Remember that court is your last resort and you will need sufficient evidence to prove your claim. In particular, you will have to show that the tradesman is responsible for the problem and you may have to provide expert evidence.

Finally, make sure that you send all correspondence by recorded delivery and keep copies.

JACUSTOMER-nhd1fh8y- :

does the time factor count as we have not officially complained during the last two years? whist it was under guarentee

Ben Jones :

The above rights are in addition to the guarantee. The guarantee is a contractual right and expires once the guarantee period finishes. The above are your statutory rights and are in addition to any guarantee you may have had. You can still make a claim within 6 years under legislation

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your query or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

Ben Jones :

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you are unhappy for some reason with the advice - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you very much

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