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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3843
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I am currently in a New Build property with a 5

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I am currently in a New Build property with a 5 year fixtures and fittings warranty, we have been here for three years next month and had nothing but issues, in the three years I have taken off over 40 days work for their negligence and incompetence. The recent stint is a troubled ensuite problem which has meant we had been without our shower for six months. All problems are due to the fault of the builder, this alone I have had to take 13 days off. I am a self employed chiropodist so am losing out on a large sum of money due to them. I calculated my loss of earnings due to the ensuite problem which came to a sum totalling over £2500, and sent them a letter regarding this. I thought fair recompense for our ordeal would be instead of charging them the full amount, I asked for a couple of items for the kitchen and fitting of them. (We have a range cooker in the garage requiring fitting but needs two new units). The total for the works would be £1500 for myself, builders would be able to source cheaper. So I felt it was fair as it was over a £1000 in their favour. They refused this and have offered a good will gesture of £750 which I feel is very unfair considering the hassle we have endured. I stated this fact and said I was considering a small claims action against them for the full sum of £2500 for the loss of earnings, however I still stated my initial request would stand if they chose to. They refused again leaving the £750 on the table stating that I had no grounds to take it further as all work was now completed, they also state they "Without wishing to cause any offence as mentioned before we have taken advice from external advisors, our solicitors on this matter and any claim in respect of the problems you have encountered is likely to be limited. Legally we are only obliged to rectify any faulty workmanship or materials and reimburse actual out of pocket expenses. This is also our official company policy."
I have photographic evidence of every stage of neglect by the builders (damage to goods, causing flooding from the shower, poor workmanship on tiling and joinery etc which resulted in a two day job taking six months). These are so called reputable builders with a "5 Star" rating. Should I pursue this further or would I be facing a brick wall.
Thank you in advance
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Being totally frank I would take £750 and not bother with a court claim for the following reasons:
- Any claim will be in the small claims court, therefore costs are fixed and you would have to represent yourself - this would equate to more lost time and potentially earnings - if you used a solicitor you would be unlikely to get all the fees back;
- You would need an expert report (likely from another builder) to say that the original installation was fundamentally faulty - again this will likely be another expense and probably disruption to the use of your shower;
- The builders will likely use the fact that 3 years have passed to say that fair ware and tear has occurred and it would be difficult to prove direct causation over the three years to their workmanship.
I would personally just take the £750 and draw a line under it - if you want it may be worth saying to them you have taken advice and are considering obtaining a expert opinion to under pin your claim. However in the interest of drawing a line under this you will accept £1,000. You might be able to get a little bit more from them.
Issuing proceedings will doubtless put pressure on them - but from your perspective if you can actually draw a line under this by getting the shower fixed and some compensation it is not worth the lost time and expense of going to court.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
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