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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am trying to claim compensation from a builder for faulty

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I am trying to claim compensation from a builder for faulty workmanship on my new build house that I rent out. We had a flood , with 5 inches of water throughout the downstairs in February which was caused by a badly fitted pipe under the sink in the kitchen. Luckily at the time I had no tenant but I was not covered by insurance. The builder accepted liability and covered minimal costs and got his plumber to fix the problem. As we understood , it had been fixed. This January the same thing happened again. The builder this time claimed it was nothing to do with him and never came to see the flood and its the fault.On looking at the fault, two plumbers have said that it was mended but not fixed. this time I had a tenant with two children under 5 years with two inches of water throughout the downstairs. My landlords insurance have covered some of the expenses but I am still two thousand pounds out of pocket. I have tried to claim from the builders insurance but they say that as it was leading to an outside tap although they can see there was a fault, their insurance does not cover this. Aviva who are my insurers are trying to claim from the builders as they say it was bad workmanship. Do I have a chance of redeeming money by going through the small claims court.
Wendy Walpole

I'm not sure why they say they are not liable?

Why did an outside tap cause a flood?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

A compression joint under the sink inside the house supplying water to the outside tap, failed. The builder said it was an issue of freezing outside but it is clearly obvious the joint had not been properly assembled in the correct manner. Plumbers have said that had the joint been correctly assembled, the joint would not have failed. In a modern house, an outside tap should not cause a freezing issue inside the house if plumbed correctly.


A report from the technical services from Premier Insurance stated that it appears that the water leak was caused as a result of the failure of the compression fitting on the pipe leading to the outside but it is not covered by their insurance.

Is the builder liable?




Why are you £2500 out of pocket? What are the losses?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

My landlord insurance did not cover my tenants having to live in accomodation for three nights, meals etc for her and her two children. Employing two people to remove water and remove carpet s as no-one would accept liabilty for nearly a week. Compensation to tenant for inconvenience of an industrial de humidifyer and three fans 24 hours a day for three weeks. Electricity and water. As a duty of care for my tenant, she has been living for over a month in considerable inconvenience as a result and I am bound to re-emburse her a months rent of £675.00.

Due to the builders incompetence I have to pay £100 excess and my premium goes up by 26%.






Give me 10 mins to type out an answer. I'm on the ipad so things are really slow!
You certainly do have a claim against the builders if there is evidence that the repair was conducted negligently. The contract that you had with contains an implied term that he will perform any work with reasonable care and skill and that includes remedial work.

The difficulty here is that you are seeking to claim consequential losses. You can do that sometimes under breach of contract claims. However, you have to show it was within the reasonable contemplation of the parties at the time of contracting that a breach may cause this loss.

The insurance increase and maybe the price hike are to be expected.

You will struggle to claim for the costs of compensating the tenant. A lot of what you paid out to her I can see immediately a court may not have ordered. I do understand why you wanted to put it to bed in the interests of good business but the builder isn’t liable for that I’m afraid.

The cost of employing others to put this right is easily claimed though as thats a direct loss.

Im sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please remember to rate my service either OK SERVICE or above and then I will give you related information for free.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for info. So what you are saying is I do have a case but for less compensation? Is that correct?


Yes, effectively.

You can claim for everything if the facts are as you say but be prepared for some claims to be disallowed.