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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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After painting the outside of a Victorian/Edwardian house last

Resolved Question:

After painting the outside of a Victorian/Edwardian house last summer the lady owner duly paid me by cheque a week later, several weeks after this she called to say i had scratched some of her windows and that she had only just noticed them, I met with the lady and her daughter in January who showed me several panes of glass that had scratches but in know way did i accept liability but agreed as a good will gesture i would buy new panes of glass and fit them myself and that it would be done in the spring as and when i had time.
A few weeks ago the daughter called me to say that her mother didnt want me to do the glass but wanted me to pay for a glacier to do the work, the lady has sent me a letter with two glacier quotes saying that as i accepted liability i should pay for the work, i did not accept liability but did accept that several panes of glass did not look good.
Also the daughter has been talking to my clients in the village where i do a lot of work accusing me of the damage and that they should check their windows too.
I would like to know where i stand,if you can help i would appreciate it Mark
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
My name isXXXXX and I'm happy to help with your question today. I need to ask you some preliminary questions to be able to help you.

How much are the glaziers quoting? And as a result of what they have said to other people have you lost business?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Alex, The two quotes are for £900 & £800 to replace 30 small panes of glass. I would have noticed at once if i scratched a window by mistake and stopped and replaced it...


The daughter told me she has spoken to my clients and that now they have looked closely at their windows they too can see scratches but i have not contacted them yet

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
Thanks. I will need a few minutes to type an answer so please bear with me.
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your patience.

Your customer could sue for breach of contract on the grounds that you failed to exercise reasonable skill and car when doing the work.

She could also sue for negligence on the basis that your workmanship fell below the standards of the ordinary reasonable painter in your situation.

Your customer has to prove that you were in breach and/or negligent and as a result she has sustained some loss. If she cannot prove that you caused the damage then she will not have a claim against you.

As you deny liability your first step should be to write to your customer stating: a) that you deny liability for the damage b) you exercised reasonable skill and car and c) you only agreed to replace the window panes as a gesture of goodwill not because you admit liability.

In your letter you can reiterate that, without any admission of liability, you will replace the window panes but you are not willing to pay the money quoted by the glaziers.

If you want to just pay for the window panes without replacing them yourself you can find out how much they cost and send a cheque with a covering letter 'in full and final settlement'. If the customer banks the cheque that is the end of the matter.

Just because you agreed to do something does not mean you accept responsibility. And this is the point you need to make.

If the customer accepts your offer then that should be the end of the matter. If she doesn't then she could take you to court for the full sum.

As far as making comments about you to other customers is concerned - everybody has the right to express a fair and truthful opinion about another person. But if the comments are derogatory or untrue you could sue for defamation and I think you need to make this point in your letter also.

I hope this assists - happy to discuss further if needed.

Alex

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