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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I recently had a new roof fitted on my house (turned stone

Resolved Question:

I recently had a new roof fitted on my house (turned stone slates). The roof leaks where it joins the chimney stack. Initially, the roofer blamed the poor state of the chimney. I said it was his responsibility or the roofer to have pointed that out to me before he started work, and while the scaffolding was up.
I have since written to him asking him for a plan of action to resolve the leaks within 14 days, or I will seek legal advice. He is now saying that he did point out that the chimney was in a poor state and that I instructed him to go head. What can I do?
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 :

Am I correct to presume that his claim is false please and that he made no such indication before carrying out the work?

Joshua :

Did he provide you with a written quote?

Joshua :

When was the work carried out roughly and how did you pay him?

Joshua :

Would you like to continue?

Customer:

His claim is false. There was no mention of a faulty chimney stack until I complained 4months later. I paid by cheque. The work was carried out last March/April. yes I had a a writtedn quote


Sender Account
Rubbersole 906588
Depot
29
MLKS
Rubbersole
Unit 5
Express park
Rushden
Northamptonshire
NN10 6GL
RETURN Collection Date Route
18/03/2014 13RH
Reference Packs: 1 of 1
SREIGIJBE Weight: 8 Kg Service
RTN Collect+ Customer Name
Clarke Richard
SREIGIJBE
8KPJ000011406 - 029


chimney stack u

Joshua :

Thanks.

Joshua :

Was any form of warranty included?

Customer:

He said at the time his good name was his warranty. I pressed him for a warranty but never recieved one

Joshua :

Did he in deed! Thank you. Finally do you have any written evidence of your communications with him to date?

Customer:

Only my letter/email giving him 14 days to respond and his responce today

Customer:

Sorry. I did email him some months ago asking him for a plan of action and suggesting that i would seek legal advice if he didn't

Joshua :

Thanks. One last point to look at before I respond: was the agreement made at your home when the contractor visited you or was it made by post or online?

Customer:

The quote was via email so was my reply

Joshua :

Was this following a visit to your home to give a quote?

Customer:

Yes.

Joshua :

Thanks. OK on that basis the Doorstep selling regulations would not apply so there is no right to cancel - this was the reason I asked. However you still have considerable rights as follows

Joshua :

As you will be aware. the position here is that you have two differing sets of rights. The first set of rights you have under any warranty from the contractor but from what you say he has not given a warranty in any particular form. I will leave this here though because of what follows.


Joshua :

You have a another set of rights by virtue of your contract with the contractor which carried out the work. This set of rights are much more extensive as terms 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 you can insist upon a repair or replacement of any faulty workmanship or materials the contractor has supplied at the dealer'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.

Joshua :

In terms of how you may consider proceeding. You may wish to write to the contractor one further time by email and/or letter or fax referring them to your previous correspondence which you are disappointed has not been responded to and reminding them of their obligations under the above legislation. and that as you have given them more than reasonable opportunity both verbally and in writing to attend to remedy the matter you propose to instruct a third party contractor to identify the faults and quote for the repair and look to them for the costs. You will also wish to deny his claim that he made a comment regarding the chimney and put him to strict proof on the matter.

Joshua :

At that point they may become more cooperative and you may allow them to attend to remedy at that stage. If not consider a third party contractor for a quote (if you can obtain two and use the cheaper) and demand the sum from the original contractor company.

Joshua :

This can be done before or after the work is carried out.

Joshua :

If they do not respond you can issue proceedings against them for breach of contract using www.moneclaim.gov.uk.

Joshua :

If you are forced to do this you can claim back your court costs and interest at the rate of 8% per annum on any money you pay out to a replacement contractor. In addition if the leaking has caused any damage to your property you may have a claim for such damage as well.

Customer:

Thank you. The roofer made no reference to the faulty chimney originally, Should he have pointed out this in the quote?

Joshua :

The faulty chimney is to some extent a red herring if the water is coming in via the join with the chimney and roof. You asked him I resume to re-roof your house. On this basis it is reasonable to expect that the new roof would be sound. Unless therefore you both agreed a specific provision that he could not confirm there would be no leaks from the join with the chimney unless you did additional work to it then he must attend to fix the leaks. The burden of proof would be on him to demonstrate such a term and his claim that this was mentioned to you would be insufficient. A specific term would need to be highlighted in the terms agreed and due to the term being so unusual he would need to show you had accepted the term - e.g. by initialing it. I do not consider this is a basis for him to avoid liability on the above basis.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

Not yet!

Customer:

Not yet! However, while the scaffolding was up I had a lining put down the chimney and had a tile broken in the consequence. The roofer maintains I had work done after he had finished. But after the was finished and the chimney men concluded their work he made a final check of the roof before the scaffolding came down. And repaired a broken tile which I paid forfor. He did the final checks before the scaffolding came down. Never noticing that the chimney was faulty....nor did the chimney men!

Joshua :

If there is any element of doubt you can issue proceedings against both the roofer and the chimney person in the same application as joint defendants and leave it for a judge to decide who is responsible and in what proportion.

Joshua :

is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer:

No. Thank you.

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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