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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Consumer product: Underfloor Heating Good evening: Fire damage

Customer Question

Consumer product: Underfloor Heating
Good evening: Fire damage to domestic property.
Time of Incident: Monday 11 Jan 2006 Time: 09.10am
Place: Home
Circumstances: Purchased an electric underfloor heating system for laminate flooring only (foil type thin wiring system) from one of the online large u/f specialist outlet, followed the instruction laid the floor matting and connected ourselves for the time being for the past 8 weeks.
However last weekend I took two my sofa bed cushion type (square form type) to the new house we are renovating (for the past 13 month and nearly to completion). left on Friday even (as I went over everyday or every other day after works to do some more DIY). Electrician was there on Sunday to finishing other connections no problem.
Monday morning my neighbour rang me left me a voice mail advised they can see thick smoke filled with the house and they reported the incident to the fire brigade, which to their credit they turned up in 5 minutes before I turned around on the motor way came home.
After the fire brigade extinguished the fire and make safe the house with smoke level I was allowed in, and been advised the cause of fire was due to the under floor heating system, and one of my sofa bed cushion was already burnt to cinders. It appeared the underfloor heating was overheated and went down melted the poly insulation boards, then extended to the T&G chipboard and went down to the void, which was the reason neighbour can smell and see the thick smoke. By the time fire brigade attended the fire was just came through the surface and about the engulf.
Complications: Due to the time took for our renovation works (commenced from 13 January 2015) we couldn't get any normal household building or content insurance cover, But just before Christmas I managed to take out a house content cover as I was so worried that something bad could happen! But no building cover.
When the fire was extinguished I contacted my content insurance company made a claim, they advised me if its not live in then more than likely it will be classified as unoccupied, and pending for a loss adjusters visit.
I also contacted the underfloor heating online supplier, initially they just blankly advised me that if it was ourselves connected the heating system, all guarantee will be void, although I argued although we connected the system ourselves but it was fully functional until the furniture started to arrive.
As it is the cost to put back where I was I have rough estimated at around £15,000.00; this including the initial fire restoration cleaning services (£2500.00), the cost of the underfloor heating system and insulation boards £2,767.00, cost of emergency cleaning works done on the day of the fire and redecoration required to the building and repair (some of the double glazing units were heat damaged and no longer insulate I was advised by the fire restoration company).
Bot***** *****ne £15,000.00 costs incurred and to put back where I was.
After the underfloor heating company's independent assessor attended this afternoon, I have received a voice mail from the underfloor heating company that they are willing to replace the matting for me, but I was not sure whether they meant the remaining unused matting or the whole lot (as the poly insulation boards are totally beyond economical salvage due to the fire burning residual particles have gone into the fibre.
Forgot the key information: during their independent electrical assessor's visit to our property, he took one look straightway he advised both myself and the content loss adjuster that the cause of fire was due to Mass blockage from the surface, and there fore the underfloor heating matting over heated and went downwards. The assessor then pointed out to us that they booklet advised not to install any heavy furniture, this and that, which in the nutshell they would like you to have an empty room. Which in my opinion its than not a consumer user friendly product is it?
Please advise what is my legal position?
Do I have any chance of recover of my loss against the online retailer of their product?
I do have any high hope for the contents insurance company to cover me as its an unoccupied building
Please help.
Many Thanks for your time.
Mrs Sutton
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
When did you purchase the product please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Alex, looking forward to your answers.

Regards

Mrs Sutton

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
When did you purchase the product please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

16/11/2015

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You can claim from the retailer for breach of contract yes.
You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk  or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Dear Alex

Thank you for your advice, however what you did not advise me is that on what grounds that I can claim back the cost, not just the purchase of the u/f heating system, but also the associated cost of cleaning, restoration and reinstatement works.

Also the cost will be exceeding £10k to £15,000.00, so what you are saying is if I to go through small claims court proceeding but limit my claim to £10k or less?

Thanks

Hong

Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You can claim back anything that puts you back into the position you would have been in before the breach occurred. You have rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
If its not a small claim you will need legal representation but you can limit your claim to £10,000 if you wish to keep it a small claim.
Does that help Hong?
Alex
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Alex

However I have been advised by the online retailer that it was me not following their instruction on what to or not to placed on top of the laminate floor with the under floor heating matting, therefore its me that not following their usage advice, so where do I stand on this one?

Sorry Alex, I really need to get it right before I to formally advise the seller.

Many thanks for your help

(I now realised the benefit I paid for an unlimited question subscription)

Kind Regards

Hong

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

You replied



12 January 2016 21:23 (GMT/GMT)




Thanks Alex

However I have been advised by the online retailer that it was me not following their instruction on what to or not to placed on top of the laminate floor with the under floor heating matting, therefore its me that not following their usage advice, so where do I stand on this one?

Sorry Alex, I really need to get it right before I to formally advise the seller.

Many thanks for your help


Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If you didnt follow instructions you cant claim. So you need to check to see what the instructions were. If you followed them and the instructions were wrong, you can claim.
If it was your mistake - you can't claim.
Alex