How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ash Your Own Question

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

I employed a roofer to replace a flat roof on my

Customer Question

Hello, I employed a roofer to replace a flat roof on my kitchen in August last year, local roofer, good reputation, evidenced his work, insured etc. Half way through the job he became ill (subsequently died) and left my roof exposed to the elements. He sub-contracted to another roofer who took the job on. This roofer, also insured, is 'believed' to have set fire to my neighbours property. Fire Report is not 100% conclusive but Letter of Claim from neighbours insurance says on 'balance of probabilities' he was at fault. Fire caused damage to my house as well. My insurers are paying for damage to my house but neighbours are suiting me for upwards of £300k for their damage citing Balfour v Barty King and Ryland v Fletcher. My insurers are now telling me they will not handle this claim under my Building Insurance as it falls under Occupiers Liability insurance which should be covered under my contents insurance. Unfortunately, I had no contents insurance in place at the time. (Since been rectified). Everyone seems to be suing the sub-contractors insurers so is this the route I need to go down. I'm obviously horrified at the thought I'm being held responsible for a sub-contractor who I had no decision on appointing and what this could mean to me. My insurers (ESURE) have a clause under my Buildings Policy which states "Your liability as the owner of your home £2,000,000" which I believed would cover me. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
What is it you would like to know please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I am trying to understand where I stand on this issue. Is it correct that I am responsible for the fire damage because I engaged the contractor? I am unsure as to why I have received the letter of claim and threat of legal action and not the contractor. I'm also unsure why I am not covered under the insurance for the buildings and am being told this falls under the contents insurance 'Occupiers Liability' insurance which as explained above I didn't have in place.

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
What do your terms say about Occupiers Liability?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I understand that the Buildings insurance (liability section) covers mefor Property Owners Liability - for instance a slate falls from your property and injures someone.

Contents insurance (liability section) covers me for negligent acts or omissions I commit as the occupier of the property. This bit would include escape of fire etc.

The claim against me from my neighbours and their insurer is stating the fire was caused by the roofers breaches of duty to take reasonable steps to avoid causing damage and that I owe the Claimants a non delegable duty of care in negligence to see that the works were carried out with reasonable care and skill. Quoting Balfour v Barty King as I mentioned above.

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
That case is slightly different as it involved a fire which was started deliberate. That does not apply here I assume. In any event you would counter sue the roofer and would not end up being liable.
This is because it was not your fault, if it was not your fault then you can't be held liable. At worst you would counter sue.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.

I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?

If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.

If you need more help please click reply.


What Customers are Saying:

  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther

Meet The Experts:

  • Jo C.

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
< Previous | Next >
  • Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
  • Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • Buachaill's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Barrister 17 years experience
  • Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry


    Satisfied Customers:

    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • UK_Lawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • Kasare's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • Joshua's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice