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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71147
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We had rain coming into the garage, running across the joists

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We had rain coming into the garage, running across the joists then pouring in to the garage. Water came through just above the boiler going in to that and causing it to short. We were without hot water and central heating for two weeks as we had to wait for the weather to improve before the problem could be dealt with. The water ingression was at the bottom and to one the side of the dormer window of our bedroom. We contacted the builder and NHBC. The builder decided to send his site manager to inspect property with NHBC inspector. The garage ceiling is now covered with mould and will have to be replaced as will the plaster board on the back wall. Unfortunately NHBC have said as they have no proof even though they are sure where the water ingression took place they will not pay out as they were not happy as we had it repaired. We explained that we had to as our youngest son, who has learning disabilities, had just come out of hospital and because it was February when we contacted them, we couldn't possibly wait until 21st March without any heating or hot water. When the inspector was here he said that he understood and that was fine. Please can you offer any advice. We are senior cirizens.

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

How old is the house?

How much did it cost to repair the boiler?

Have they agreed to repair the ceiling?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The house is 6years old. It cost us just under £200 for boiler repair as insurance company said it wasn't covered. No they haven't agreed to repair the ceiling.


I assume that this was not caused by any kind of storm damage such as, for example, a tile blowing off the main roof and damaging the garage roof or some other kind of storm damage to the garage roof.

After six years you are out of time to sue the developer either under the Sale of Goods Act, Supply of Goods to Consumer Regulations, or common law contract as the Limitation Act limits claims to a 6 year period.

You therefore are faced with relying on NHBC guarantee which might not cover this if it is not classed as structural.

They may be annoyed about you having the work done yourself but in my opinion you did absolutely the right thing. You are under a duty to mitigate your loss and to prevent further damage.

Unless they can come up with a term in the NHBC guarantee which explains exactly why this is not covered, and if they refuse to pay out, you are faced with having all the work done, paying for it yourself and then suing them in the Small Claims Court.

Here is the link to the Small Claims Court for you

The process is relatively straightforward to follow.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We have had another problem with the house. Water ingression through the front wall, causing rain to come in above the joist in the kitchen at the front of the house. NHBC have said they will pay for that as they can see where it came through and why. The vents have to be moved as does the extractor for the cooker. When the NHBC inspector was here I asked him about the repair to the garage ceiling etc and he said they would cover it yet when we received email from him yesterday he said they would repay the money we have already pai to the builder we had as we had to have scaffolding erected,plus £250 as a good will gesture, but they will not pay for anything else. He said he hasn't enough proof even though he is sure where water ingression is coming through.

I think he is simply trying to minimise his loss.

Water does not come through a ceiling or a roof if there is nothing wrong with the roof! The fact that there is not a big hole in it for him to peer into is immaterial.

It doesn't change my previous answer although you may want to let them finish all the work that they are going to do before taking them to court.

Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Jo we have other problems to with dampness in the bedroom. The inspector looked at the walls and tested the wall to see what the temperature was. He said it was far to cold and that probably had little or no insulation and that needed to be rectified. What we cannot understand is when we contacted the builder he said that it was signed off by NHBC so what did he pay them for if the roof was defective. Surely it proves that they did not do there job properly.

I will agree with you. The inspection must have been defective however provided they agree to put right everything that has been shown to be incorrect, you have suffered no loss apart from some inconvenience.