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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71136
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I recently bought a static caravan for £14k. I subsequently

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I recently bought a static caravan for £14k. I subsequently found, when cleaning the van, hundreds of dead flys in places which were not obvious on my initial inspection. I put this down to the van having been unoccupied for some time & the park owner not having cleaned it thoroughly before I viewed it. Since then, whenever I visit the van, I am greeted by literally hundreds of live flys inside the van. It's horrible!! I have cleaned the van thoroughly several time but it has made no difference. I believe that the flys are breeding inside the van, perhaps within the wall cavity. I have reported matters to the site owner but she does not seem bothered. Am I within my rights to ask for return of the purchase price or, at least, to ask the site owner to clear the infestation at her expense?

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this. When did you make the purchase?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I purchased the van in June 2015. It is the fact that I found hundreds of dead flys when I first stayed in it that leads me to believe that, whatever the problem is, it was present at that time. The owner would have cleaned the van before I viewed it and must have cleared flys away from all the obvious places.

I presume this was a private seller?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The purchase price was paid to a Limited Company.

Well, yes, but are they dealers? What is their normal business?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The lady owns the static caravan park. There are about 100 static caravans on the site. When someone leaves the site, she purchases their van, then advertises it for sale & sells it on. I would think this makes her a "dealer." So far as I am aware she has no other line of business & although she seems to spend a lot of time on site, she employes a site manager & others to work on the site.

Ok. That is going to mean the SGA applies.
How quickly did you find the flies?
Had you used the caravan?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As stated earlier, we discovered a lot of dead flies when we cleaned the van during our first stay. We just assumed that the van had not been properly cleaned after a lengthy period without occupation. When we first viewed the van we checked for signs of damp & damage however the dead flies were not apparent then as they were out of sight. It was on subsequent visits that we were confronted by live flies & realised that there may be a problem.

So how quick was that?
When did you buy and when did you use?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Straight away. We handed over our Banker's Draft & stayed in the van that night. We cleaned the van next day & noticed the dead flies. This was about a week after we first saw the van & agreed to purchase it.

That is clearly nothing to do with you. Normally flies arise because of the manner of occupation not the structure of a living space even a mobile one. Flies do lay eggs in cavity areas but usually only because there is something of interest to feed upon.
To be wholly honest though, it is not likely that you would recover full retail price on this basis. This is something that can be resolved by fumigation and, in fact, the life cycle of flies is not long anyway.
It is reasonable that you don't want to wait for the life cycle to end and wish to have the caravan fumigated and given that it was so soon after purchase I don't foresee any problems with a court accepting that she is liable.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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