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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71037
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was sub-contracting on a roof job last June2013,This February2014,the

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I was sub-contracting on a roof job last June2013,This February2014,the customer contacted my colleague who i was sub-contracting for and said he wanted his money back because the chimney was leaking again.We had both explained before we undertook the work that we could not guarantee it would stop the leak as his whole roof area was in such bad state of repair.So there was no written guarantee either.
Now he is threatening legal action unless we pay him £500.
Could you please tell me how i stand.
I should like to add it's not just the money but the principle i feel i have done nothing wrong.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Are you asking if you have to pay?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes am i liable if there was no guarantee?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The invoice amount was for £904 and the customer says he wants £500.

Invoiced the customer for the total amount because my colleague whose job it was owed me for other work so he asked me to invoice the customer to save him paying vat.

I should like to add that i was only being payed £216.00 for this job.


There is no contract (called privity of contract) between you and the house owner and therefore you have no liability to the house owner.

If the house owner wants to take anyone to court, it will have to be the main contractor who you say was your colleague and if your colleague believes that the work is defective, he will have to bring you in as second defendant or sue you separately.

Whether there is a guarantee or not is immaterial because your colleague is liable under the Supply of Goods and Services Act to the house owner to carry out the job with reasonable care and skill. You have the same duty to your colleague.

Whether the claim by the house owner against your colleague and your colleague against you is successful would depend on whether the judge accepts that you had explained before you undertook the work that this would not necessarily fix the leak because of the state of the roof.

If the judge accepts that, and accepts that the work was carried out satisfactorily with reasonable care and skill but that even reasonable care and skill would not satisfy the leak, then the house owners claim fails.

Probably the best analogy I can give you is that if a car is rusty and full of holes, the best applied paintwork in the world will not make the car right. The situation with the roof is exactly the same if no amount of reasonable care and skill could have prevented this.

The problem you have and this is a lesson for the future is to make sure that any qualification like this is put in writing and the house owner signs accepting that.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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