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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71132
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a contract with HomeServe cover. I had

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I have a contract with HomeServe for emergency cover. I had a water leak at the beginning of December in the bathroom underneath the bath. The engineer who attended could not find the source of the leak. At the end of December 2014 I had a further leak but this time it was more severe and the water ran down the wall and damaged the ceiling in the hallway. The engineer who attended repaired the overflow pipe. However, this was obviously not the source of the leak because the only person that had used the bath was my 3 year old granddaughter and we would certainly not have filled the bath to that degree. I was told to contact my house insurers regarding the damage to the ceiling. I did not do it straight away because I knew the source of the leak had not been located. In April this year we again had a leak in the bathroom and on this occasion the leak caused the ceiling in the hallway to cave in bringing all the plaster down. This vindicated me not contacting the home insurance company regarding the previous leak. HomeServe sent another engineer who could not find the source of the leak. After discussions with him I suggested it could possibly be a leak on the pipework as the bath was a spa bath. We filled the bath and it transpired that this was the cause of the problem. HomeServe would not repair it as they stated it was not not covered by the contract. I had to pay in excess of £250 on my house insurance and I have requested that they reimburse me and also to offer me some sort of compensation for the damage caused to the ceiling as a result of their inability to find the source of the leak at the onset. They have refused to compensate me in any way and I have written to the Ombudsman at their request but the Ombudsman has stated it does not come within their remit.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What further information do you require?

I need to know what you wanted to know about this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Where do we stand legally with regard to getting compensation as the leak which eventually brought down our ceiling was a a result of them not being ab le to source the leak. Where the leak eventually turned out to be does not seem relevant to us.

It comes down really to whether or not you can prove negligence.
Not being able to source a leak is not necessarily negligence. Any person can be wrong. It doesn't mean they have been negligent. It would turn upon whether or not their mistake was a reasonable one in all the circumstances and that would depend on industry accepted practice.
In truth, if you went to court and they dug their heels in and contested this there is a chance you would probably lose.
However, for £250 they are very unlikely to resist your claim. It is just plain not worth the manpower of doing so.
If the insurers replaced the damage though then you only have a claim for the excess on the policy.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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