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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69997
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My daughter bought a flat last July and had a Homebuyers Report

Customer Question

My daughter bought a flat last July and had a Homebuyers Report carried out by Halifax. It mentioned evidence of damp. We arranged for a Structural Report to be carried out but were persuaded by the selling Agent that this was unnecessary and he would arrange for a Damp Inspection to be carried out as time was of the essence. This was duly carried out and an estimate received. He was commissioned to carry out the work and was paid £1100. In September after the flat had been totally redecorated and recarpeted evidence of damp permeated the walls. Damp contractor recalled. He advised that the only way to totally ensure that damp would not penetrate was to silicone inject. A further £120 was paid.
Water continues to drip into flank and back wall. An emergency electrician was called as fuse kept tripping (on damp wall).

Contacted Selling Agent who advised that he spoke to both the Damp Contractor and our Solicitor and that this issue could be resolved.

Have had independent surveyor (23rd December 2013). His Report indicates that work required and should have been done in the first place will cost in the region of £4-£5,000 plus internal walls will have to be stripped back and the total cost for both internal and external works would probably be in the region of £10-£12,000.

Were we just naive at the outset or is there a case to answer. We have now reached stalemate.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

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

how can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do I have recourse from the Selling Agent or the Damp Contractor?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
What work exactly was carried out for the £1100?

What exactly did the damp inspection report recommend was done?

Did the work come with any kind of guarantee?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Removal of areas of rendering on outside walls.


 


We did not receive a Damp Inspection Report - the Selling Agent set up the arrangement with the Damp Contractor and assured us he came with high recommendations.


 


A Guarantee was issued (one page, very standard) guaranteeing the work he had completed.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Area of rendering removed from external walls, repatched and filled in. No painting.


 


We did not have access to a Damp Inspection Report - the Selling Agent recommended the Damp Contractor and said he was the best in the area.


 


A guarantee was issued by the Damp Contractor guaranteeing the work he had done (a single standard page).

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Have you received my response?


 


In case you haven't it was as follows:-


Removal of areas of rendering on outside walls - no painting


 


We did not receive a Damp Inspection Report - the Selling Agent set up the arrangement with the Damp Contractor and assured us he came with high recommenations.


A Guarantee was issued (one page, very standard) guaranteeing the work he had comleted


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

If your daughter is a first time buyer she has more chance of bringing a successful claim than if she were a seasoned buyer.

It appears that the agent, played down the problem to make sure they got the sale. It could well backfire on them. There is therefore a potential claim against the agent because it was the agent that provided the opinion that your daughter relied on.

There is then a similar issue with the damp man, who might have guaranteed the work that he did, but it would depend whether she said that the work that he was going to do would resolve the problem.

If he did say that, she is entitled to rely on that representation and sue him for the cost of putting the job right.

It really depends on what he said in his estimate. If he said words to the effect of, "this is what is wrong, this is what it needs to fix it, this is what it will cost”, and that is not what was wrong and that did not fix it, he is in breach of the provisions of the Supply of Goods and Services Act of failing to carry out the job with reasonable care and skill and your daughter is entitled to damages.

As you are probably beginning to gather, this is not going to be straightforward and your daughter might want to see a solicitor, certainly to send off the initial letters.

It is unlikely that either the damp contract or the agent will pay for this, unless court proceedings are issued.

Your daughter does have a potential claim against both the damp man and the agent, but it is going to require a lot of experts evidence and would not be risk-free

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69997
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/

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