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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71055
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Good afternoon. I have a small cleaning business. Two of

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Good afternoon.

I have a small cleaning business.
Two of my employed cleaners attended a residential home on a scheduled cleaning visit.
Following the visit there was a scratch on the lounge floor.
The occupier is claiming full cost of repair, which they have already completed without consultation.

The cleaning schedule was based on a carpeted floor.
On the day of the visit the carpet had been replaced by wooden flooring. We were not notified of this, I was unable to risk assess and change the cleaning specification.

The occupier instructed the cleaners to move the sofa to clean underneath.

Am I liable for the cost of the repair?

Thank you

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

Do you deny causing the scratch?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



We are not denying that we caused the scratch.

This is based on the fact we moved the sofa, and my cleaners do not recall seeing the scratch before they moved it.


However, there were other scratches on this newly laid floor which we assume were caused when the furniture was replaced. We are not being accused of causing these other scratches..


I do not know who replaced the furniture. Whether it was the floor fitter or the occupier?


Thank you




Regardless of the fact that you were not told of the change of floor, if your staff caused the scratch then your business is responsible for the cost of the repair.

However if there are lots of similar scratches it may be that they have singled your scratch out as one they can identify as to where it came from in order to pay for the cost of dealing with all the scratches.

Before paying anything I would want an invoice from whoever repaired the scratches or a letter from whoever repaired the scratches confirming that it was just that one scratch.

Cost of £265 for repairing your single scratch seems completely disproportionate although it would depend on the nature of the scratch.

If you are prepared to stick with your offer of £130, it is always better if you send a cheque because a cheque in the hand is a powerful incentive to cash it.

If you are sending a cheque in full and final settlement without admitting any liability make sure that you send it with a covering letter saying that it is sent in full and final liability of all claims in respect of this issue. I would also tell them that if they do not accept it they should return it to you.

In order to prevent them cashing the cheque and then claiming it is a part payment the cheque should come from a third party and not the company. If your business is a limited company the cheque would be fine coming from you personally although it could come from your solicitor or your accountant or just a friend who is not party to the business. Just make sure that the cheque does not come from the business.

The legal reason for that is that the cheque must be in respect of a debt which has been taken over by the third party and if the third party has discharged a debt the courts will find it unconscionable to go back and allow the creditor to sue for the full amount if they have already accepted a part payment.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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