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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47337
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We've recently had some work done on the roof of our

Customer Question

Hello. We've recently had some work done on the roof of our home which involved a deep clean. The package also included maintenance and cleaning of our existing solar panels which were fitted/installed in 2011 by a company called Sun Renewables Ltd,***** Dromore, Co Down, BT25 1JH.On inspection of the solar panels, the workman had to down tools as they were not happy with the fitting of the panels. They explained to me that the incorrect screws had been used, and the brackets which keep the solar panels are secured to the roof were only fixed to the slate and not the wooden rafters beneath. In short and as explained by the service team, we have been living with a ticking time bomb where at any time the panels could've fallen off and its a miracle with inclement weather that this did not happen. Worse still, directly below where the panels would fall is our conservatory that has been converted into our kitchen and dining area where my family naturally use on a daily basis.The service company also stated that this was the worse fitting they had ever witnessed and were happy to provide a report. They also showed me evidence in the form of pictures taken by mobile phone cameras which I have attached. They also showed me the screws used by the original fitting company which was 30mm & 40 mm. They then showed the screws they were using which should've been used the first time around which measure at 80mm. This screw is fitted through the slate and into the rafter where the 30 & 40 mm would only go through the slate. Also, the 80mm is stainless steel, the ones used previously were not and at risk of corrosion.I have been in touch with Sun Renewables and spoken to one of the directors. I advised her that I was seriously considering legal action. She informed that she was only a director for a year. She requested photo's which I have provided and so far I've received nothing back.As were having repairs done to the roof and scaffolding was already erected but on a strict time scale, we had repairs done, and the brackets have now been fitted correctly by a reputable solar panel company. They also advised me about reporting Sun Renewables to the MCS who are the awarding and governing body.So, where do I stand regarding legal action and seeking some form of rebate or compensation?Thanking you in advance for your time and adviceWarm regardsLee Horton
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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hi there. What kind of warranty did the initial installation come with? Please could you briefly outline details of the warrant if you still have it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello BenThank you for your prompt reply. Typically I'm having some trouble in locating the warranty.. Will this affect my rights as I'm not complaining about the product but the fixing and serious safety concerns? Actually, one postive out of all this is that the panels and inverter provided are the best on the market...Many thanksLee
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hi Lee. Thank you for your response. Based on this, I will go ahead and review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. When you have entered into a contract for work and materials, where the main focus is labour and skill, the law says that the work must be carried out with reasonable care and skill (to the same standard as any reasonably competent person in that trade or profession).

In this case it appears that the work was not carried out to a reasonable standard and you could consider taking the matter further. Unfortunately the law does not provide compensation for what could have happened and you can only get compensated for actual losses suffered. The set up may have been dangerous but nothing happened and no one was injured so you cannot claim for that. Your only losses here are the costs you had to pay to remedy the initial poor workmanship. So in the circumstances you would be looking at claiming the cost of the repairs back and this would generally be all you can pursue them for.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow in order to progress this matter formally, 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, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. 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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you BenTo confirm, legally I can only request costs already paid in repairs?I really appreciate your helpWarm regardsLee
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello Lee, it is not just costs already paid in repairs but also costs that will be needed to fully rectify the issues. So you may not have paid the full amount yet but have an estimate for the remainder of the works and that could be claimed too. In effect your claim is for rectifying the poor work they did and bringing it to an acceptable standard