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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3772
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I own a conservatory and double glazing company which myself

Resolved Question:

I own a conservatory and double glazing company which myself and my family have run for almost 30 years. We have never walked away from a problem, and we have always (at our cost) looked after our customers when there has been a problem with any work we have carried out.
I currently have a customer who had a conservatory built by is in 2003, and just before the ten year warranty was due to run out in 2013, they reported some movement of the concrete base, with some small cracks showing on the exterior brickwork. Even though they had had the conservatory for ten years, we returned to carry out underpinning of the base, as due to ground conditions, the base had sunk by a few milimetres. We did this work at our own cost, and with minimal inconvenience to the customer. Now almost three years later, the customer is calling me to say that we never completed the work, as their internal tiled floor has shown movement and there are gaps arond the perimeter on the inside of the conservatory and they want to know when we will be returning to renew their tiled floor. This would cost my company approximately £600, which I dont feel is fair as the customer has had ten years use out of what was originally supplied, and I dont think that the cost of a complete new floor should be borne by me.
Could I ask if the law would allow me to refuse to cover the full cost of a new floor, taking into account the customer has has full use of the conservatory for ten years - which is the extent of our warranty?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Has the tiling moved as a result of the action you took to fix the flooring? Have you inspected the property yourself and are you satisfied that the movement in the flooring is not as a result of the work you have done? Do all the tiles actually need to be replaced?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The concrete floor, which the tiles are laid upon, moved with the foundations of the conservatory when the warranty was about to expire. The area has soft ground, and although our foundations were more than adeqaute for their purpose, we were unaware of the ground conditions alot further below the structure.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thank you. Did the tile damage occur during your warranty period? Kind regards AJ
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Technically speaking under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 there is an implied term that goods supplied are fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality (i.e your materials) and services are provided with reasonable care and skill (i.e your labour). This is a essentially treated as an implied contractual term - the time limit on bringing a contractual term is 6 years under the Limitation Act 1980 - so really by law your guarantee probably need only last for 6 years. As it stands you offered an additional guarantee to 10 years (presumably from the date of installation) - if this damage has arisen outside the guarantee and is not attributable to some fault caused by the remedial work you carried out three years ago, I would say you would not be obliged to provide any further work under the guarantee. Before you refused I would recommend that you go and inspect the property yourself, (if possible take some photos) and satisfy yourself that the damage is not caused as a result of work carried out by you and has only arises after the ten year guarantee expired. At least then if you refuse to pay out for the tiles and the customer sues you, you will have evidence to support any defense that the conservatory lasted for as long as you guaranteed. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards AJ
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