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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3472
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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Our house was purchased as a new build 4 years ago next

Customer Question

Hi - Our house was purchased as a new build 4 years ago next month. We have a biomass style heating and hot water system with a selection of pipes in the garage which the company, Hobesco, call the HIU. This has been faulty since moving in as it was piped in wrongly. We have had numerous call out to fix many many leaks from the system into the garage. Some dripping leaks some spraying from a variety of joints and connections. I am in the process of putting the house on the market and am worried this is going to affect the sale. As this has been faulty from the start is there anything I can do legally to get some kind of compensation for lost hours at work and the huge stress this has caused? Thank you, ***** *****
Submitted: 19 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 19 days ago.

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Has the problem now been fixed? Have you ever had someone independent from the installer come and assess the problem? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
No - there is another leak today following a worse leak 2 days ago. It is always the same company Bancon Specialist Works that come to fix it and they do not currently charge.
Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Hello Alex J btw
Expert:  Alex J. replied 19 days ago.

Hi, Thank you. In order to establish liability for the loss you need to prove that there is an issue with how the system was installed. What I suggest you do is write to them and say that for the last four years the same issue has arisen, they have failed to properly fix and it is time now to consider reinstalling the system. Say to them that if they do not propose proper action to permanently fix the issue, you reserve the right to appoint an independent specialist and charge them for the cost. Do they actually know how to fix bio mass systems? Also in relation to your losses, can you actually quantify these in terms of lost work etc? Did you put them on notice of the time spent? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Hello,I do have photographs of the error with installment and they have accepted "verbally" that they are at fault initially. We have the unit 'repiped' to an extent but waited years for this to happen and was constantly fobbed off with empty untruths about waiting for 'parts' to be ordered, engineers to redesign the pipework, specialists to come and look at it and so on. I have recent emails but prior to that it was all telephone calls.
Customer: replied 19 days ago.
ps, I work freelance from home so it is just a few hours here and there. But the stress of it today is making me feel quite unwell.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 19 days ago.

Hi, Thank you. I am afraid you cannot claim in the county court for stress (I appreciate this is frustrating in itself), unfortunately a court will only allow claims for quantifiable loss. You could start by asking for compensation and seeing what their response, you could threaten a court claim on the basis that they have not carried out the service with reasonable care and skill? What I would also do is ensure that any warranty or guarantee for future repairs is assignable to the purchaser of the property.

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
What ff the part of the system (which although in the house is owned by Hobesco) affects the value/sale of the house due to the survey (happening tomorrow) picking up on the leaks?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 19 days ago.

Hi, Thank you. The worse case scenarios is the whole system has to be replaced. If this affects the value of the house (bare it is not going cause it drop by some massive percentage) then ask the company to install a new system? Or ask them to assign a repair warranty to the buyer. This does happen all the time, some buys a house where not everything is perfect - as long as there is no major subsistence or something that prevents the property from being mortgages - then this issue will not stop the buyer from going through with the purchase.

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