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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I had a solar hot water system installed six years ago. In

Resolved Question:

I had a solar hot water system installed six years ago. In february 2013 the installing company serviced the system. Since then their lead flashing on the roof is leaking and staining my ceiling and the glycol circulating fluid has broken down and is leaking stick black fluid from one of the valves and rendering part of my airing cupboard unusable. The company expect me to pay for them to rectify their poor servicing and poor installation. Can I get them to rectify the situation at their expense? regards, XXXXX XXXXX DT10 1NS
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

may I askif you have asked a third party contractor to inspect the problem to identify the cause - in particular whether the cause was the original companies servicing work or something else please?

Customer:

The cause was the installing company's poor installation of the lead slate and the beak down of the new circulating glycol they put into the system during the service. I do not know why the valve is leaking.

Joshua :

Thanks. which should be prepared to ask a third party contractor to attend to provide a quotation for repairing the issues and identifying the causes - I appreciate you already believe you have identified the cause of at least part of the issue?

Customer:

I have had a quotation for rectifying the faults in the system by an independent as £2142.25 plus VAT and the cost of a roofer.

Joshua :

Thanks. Did they specify the cause of the issues in their quotation report?

Customer:

Yes, wrongly installed system as far as I can establish from their quote

Joshua :

Thanks - does it say as much on the quote?

Customer:

The original installer will fix the faults but will charge me £46 an hour plus parts.

Joshua :

Sorry to be clear, does your quote specify that the system has been wrongly installed?

Customer:

No, it just says to carry out works to already installed solar thermal installation

Joshua :

Thanks. So to be sure you do not have quote or report which states the fault that has been identified?

Customer:

No

Joshua :

thank you. You have some extensive rights as a consumer in this respect however in order to ensure that you have the best chance of exercising those rights, the first step is to obtain a third party quotation or report which identifies the defects and faults of the work that is being carried out. From what you say, I note that you have asked a third party contractor to attend to quote for repair works required however that quotation is silent in respect of identifying the issues that require correcting. If you were to ultimately proceed to court, such a document would be of little use and therefore ideally, you would ask that contractor to provide a new quotation which specifically identifies the issues that require repair. alternatively, you could ask another contractor to attend in order to provide you with such a quotation which includes this information

Customer:

Thank you for your advice, I will continue on those lines. Regards XXXXX XXXXX

Joshua :

As referred to above, you have a considerable set of rights by virtue of your contract with the original contractor which carried out the work. This set of rights are implied into your contract by virtue of the Supply of Goods and Services Act that the work carried out must be satisfactory and fit for purpose and as agreed and any materials supplied in the course of their work must be of satisfactory quality. During the first six months, any faults are automatically assumed to be inherent as opposed to having been caused by damage or otherwise under the provisions of the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002. After the first six months, the burden of proof switches to you to show that any faults are inherent as opposed to having been caused by damage.

Joshua :

Under these rights if you can show that the original work was faulty (as above using a third-party contractors quotation and report) you can insist upon a repair or replacement of any faulty workmanship or materials the contractor has supplied at the contractors's discretion. This right last for up to six years under the Limitation Act against the contractor though will be limited to what is reasonable given the life expectancy of the work carried out. You are required to give the contractor reasonable opportunity to repair or replace. There is no specific prescribed number of times that you must must not allow them the opportunity to do so however if they have failed to repair the same more than two-three times or refuse to repair the same this would usually be held to be satisfactory opportunity to do so and you would be within your rights to instruct an alternative contractor to quote to remedy the matter and look to the original contractor for the cost.

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