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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47417
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We have a conservatory which was built in 2007. There have

Customer Question

We have a conservatory which was built in 2007. There have been several occasions when considerable amount of rainwater has leaked into the conservatory through the roof. On some occasions this has caused surface damage to a table in the conservatory.
The supplier has attempted on each occasion to fix the leak, usually after a long delay, and in very reluctant way. This has happened on about 5-6 occasions, most recently in March.
Article 14 of our contract says......"that the company guarantee to repair or replace free of charge for labour and materials any products which develop a fault due to defective materials or workmanship within 10 years of the date of the contract.".
Your advice please to reach a long-term solution.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is there a solution to the problems, are they actually fixable?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There must be some technical solution. It is a standard conservatory roof, and most conservatories don't leak. My thinking is to give this guy one more chance. If that does not work I would like to go to another company to fix the leak long term and pass the bill over to the original supplier. I have lost faith in this company to do a good job.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What the present supplier should do is not make patch up work each time, but obtain from the manufacturer a replacement to that part of the roof. It is the middle steep part of the roof, under which is a long light fitting with 3 bulbs. Also, due to the continuous rain problem. these bugs often fail.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I meant bulbs, not bugs
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you want any more info?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
No thank you I will reply on here shortly
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure where to look for your answer
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
It will be on this same page
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
As a consumer you would usually have certain consumer rights where you have legal remedies if goods or services are not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose. However, at this stage it would be too late to rely on these and your rights will be limited to any contractual obligations the tradesman has. In this case there is a contractual guarantee that any faults will be repaired and faulty materials replaced within the initial 10 years after installation. You are still within this period so they would be contractually obliged to repair such issues. They have already tried to do so but without success. You can give them one last opportunity if you wanted to but considering they have already had several chances and it has not fixed the issue, you could consider going to a different trader and asking them to repair them. You could then hold the original tradesman liable for the costs and pursue them for it. I suspect they may be reluctant to reimburse you so you may have to consider the small claims court rote to try and get these back. Alternatively, you could give them a last chance and request that instead of patch up job this is done properly and if they cannot do that or refuse to, you will go elsewhere and hold them liable for the repair costs. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you find yourself in a position where you have to recover these costs from them, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I may well end up with going to the small claims court to get that payment for a proper repair done by another company.
Will I incur costs by going to the small-claims costs. What are my estimated chances of winning such a case. Can I claim any costs back from the other party if I win the case? How long could all that take ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far. I cannot discuss prospects of success with you unfortunately as I only have basic details so I can only tell you what your right are and how you can apply them, but cannot tell you if you will likely win or not. You will have to pay claim and hearing fees to issue the claim but will get these back if you win. You cannot claim legal fees though. As to times, it will likely take a few months for the full case to go through the system.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK Thanks.
Could you please put a rough figure on claim and hearing fees, as well as legal fees.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
It depends on the value of your claim, do you know what it would be?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know.
The original contract for the conservatory was £21000. We are talking here about a part of the roof only - all plastic materials, I believe. I would make a rough guess at replacing these parts and ensuring all is water-tight at about: £2000-3000.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
For a claim up to £3,000, the claim fee is £105 if submitted online, the hearing fee is £170. Legal fees can vary considerably depending on how much involvement you want from the solicitors. It could be several hundred for basic support to a couple of thousand for more involved assistance
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK Is there anything else I should know at this stage ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Your rights are really as discussed above, I can't think anything specific to add at this stage, you have to see how the steps turn out and what happens but in general the above summarises your options in full
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK Let's close now
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
OK thank you