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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46207
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I had a new kitchen fitted 6 weeks ago. This included the fitters

Resolved Question:

I had a new kitchen fitted 6 weeks ago. This included the fitters sawing a hole in a cupboard around the stop cock (when attached to the wall which worried me) and changing the plumbing under the sink.

A week ago we noticed a leak (heard water pouring) from the stop cock. Emergency plumber came in and repaired the problem saying the stop cock had been knocked as it wasn't dead straight and that it would have been leaking for weeks. Only reason we had only suddenly noticed it was because it was about to blow. He also expressed concern about the quality of the plumbing under the sink.

The firm I bought the kitchen from are saying they are not responsible for paying the £400 repair bill, and that we should claim from the fitters. We used their fitters and were not given a choice who to use! They also need to repair the hole in the cupboard the plumber had to make to do the repairs. And they won't come and finish the snagging either. Citizens advice website says they are liable.

Any advice greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you have a separate contract with the fitters or were they just 'part and parcel' with the purchase?

Customer:

They were part and parcel of the service. I had no contract with the fitters.

Ben Jones :

In this case your contractual rights would be against the supplier of the kitchen because they had provided the fitting service as part of the purchase agreement and you would only have one contract, which would be against them. In law you can only really pursue someone for breach of contract if you had a contract with them and in this case you did not have a separate contract with the fitters, you had just one contract with the supplier and the fitting service was part of that. So under consumer law and contract law you can pursue the supplier.


 


You may, however, also pursue the fitters directly under the law of negligence because they were in fact negligent in their actions and that caused you a loss. Therefore, you have a choice as to who you want to pursue and can try one of the first and move on to the next one if the first fails. You just can’t pursue them both for the same thing and get compensated twice for the same losses.

Customer:

Thank you Ben. Is the fact that they wont finish the snagging also a breach of contract?

Ben Jones :

yes if they have failed to do what they had initially promised to do, which was to correctly and safely install the kitchen

Customer:

I had to pay the kitchen fitters when they left (which I thought was odd at the time). My contract is still with the kitchen people I bought the kitchen from isnt it?

Ben Jones :

Yes it could be the case. Although a contract can be implied even if there was nothing in writing, so for example if you had negotiated directly with the fitters, instructed them on what to do and when to do it, dealt with them throughout and paid them directly…there could be an implied contract with them rather than through the supplier, but that is a matter for the courts to decide.


 

Customer:

Thanks. When I had problems with the fitters throughout the process, I always dealt with the firm I bought the kitchen from, who then dealt with the fitters. They had also scratched our new floor (after pleading with them to look after it in advance) and ruined our outside decking by not covering it up properly. The kitchen suppliers were the ones who dealt with those issues with the fitters. Now that I am asking for money back, the suppliers are saying we need to deal with the fitters...

Ben Jones :

yes that's convenient....it looks like the dealings and all contractual relations were with the suppliers so in the first instance I would pursue them, knowing you can always go after the fitters if it is officially found you actually had a contract with them

Customer:

Great, thanks for some peace of mind

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome

Customer:

I am trying to rate your service but seem unable to!

Ben Jones :

it's a glitch, you can just type it out instead and we will process manually later, thank you

Customer:

Very happy with the service from Ben. Thank you

Ben Jones :

Many thanks., noted

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46207
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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