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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My Wolf heating system is conidered 'over-complicated'

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My Wolf heating system is conidered 'over-complicated' by all my local/London area 'specialist' heating engineers. The only UK 'specialist' capable of servicing it is based in Cornwall and needs to charge £600+ VAT just to come and inspect it (i.e prior to carrying out any work and, if he has to return to fit a new part there is a further £600+ VAT to pay). It is out of Warranty. My German house-builder who installed it denies responsibility for any lack of 'fitness for purpose/servicing'. Is he correct?
Is this 'fair and reasonable' and is there any recourse to compensation?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, any progress to report?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.When was it installed please?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** official Handover date was 19/1/2010, but the complex heating system was handed over by the their sub-contractor at a later, 'unknown' date (they left me no paperwork!). Soon after, the main contractor dismissed their 'incompetent' sub-contractor following 'safety installation issues' and carried out corrective work only last year at their own cost.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
P.S. My corrective work was carried out by the main contractor's current UK 'specialist' (he who lives in Cornwall) the now the only engineer, both 'best-able' to understand and 'available' to deal with my 'complicated' Wolf system - and this is confirmed by Wolf's UK representative.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
PPS. We have had no central heating and no hot water in our large Hanse Haus since 16 February!
Does it have a warranty and if so, when to?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, a 3-year warranty, presumably starting from the 'unknown' date when the 'incompetent' sub-contractor got around to finishing off installing the heatiing system.
So you dont know when it was installed? Not when you were there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was there, but do not recall the exact date (possibly a couple of weeks later). I recall the Handover was rushed and rather inadequate. I must have signed some Handover paperwork. They took it away leaving me no copy. They should have sent me my copy, but Hanse Haus was in the process of getting rid of them because of their general inefficiency. Having decided to use another sub-contractor, they also stopped using the Wolf system
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
PS. Only the boiler and radiators were installed and operating prior to the main Handover (otherwise we would not have accepted the main Handover). The Handover of the whole heating system did not occur until the whole system was complete.
In short it was in 2010, it's faulty and you want to make a claim?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No. That was not my original question. (please re-read it). In summary, I want to know if a main contractor has a legal responsibility if he provides a domestic heating system that cannot be serviced, when it is out of warranty, at a 'fair and reasonable cost'?
Yes I read your question several times.It was installed in 2010 is that right?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
PS. If Hanse Haus believe the Wolf product is no longer 'fit for purpose' in the building industry, does this not apply for their customers also?
Yes I read your question several times.It was installed in 2010 is that right?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes (again).
Do you know the date the contract was complete in January - this is important?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The contract completion (Handover?), for the House, was 19 January 2010, and I am now doing a 'deep search' for any info relating to the later Handover of the Heating system;- will get back to you shortly. If it is so important, I could also try asking Hanse Haus to provide me with this info (or ask their sub-contractor direct)?
Ok. In short I need to know because you only have six years from date of contract completion to bring a claim. You see why it's important?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** My diary shows we moved in on 16 March 2010, and on 19 March I met with a 'HH' person to 'check boiler/taps, radiators, etc'. This MAY have been their written-promised handover of the heating, i.e. 'the appliance will be pressure tested for leaks, inspected, calibrated and then handed over to the client'. I have no other record.
Notwithstanding, what kind of claim may be possible?
You need to write and set out your losses and request compensation within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.If they do not compensate you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.Remember you only have six years to make a claim.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. However, I have not incurred any loss yet. Please clarify the basis of any claim I could make:- So far, they have rejected liability for the specialist's potential travel costs which, if agreed, would recur over the life of the boiler. Alternatively, I have said they could replace the boiler to something more 'fit for purpose'. (I have suggested I pay a 'fair and reasonable cost' towards this),. They have ignored that suggestion. Therefore, do I have to spend money before making a claim, or can I make a claim in anticipation of spending money?. PS. My wife says I have to get out more - so we are now going out for a walk in the sun.
You need to get quotes for putting it all right, that is your loss. You can claim a future loss not necessarily a past loss.Does that help?Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It does help, thank you, Alex.Have a good weekend. Regards, Gordon
Good luck Gordon. Have a good weekend tooAlex
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Alex. Further to your message today, I have a further question. Please see the the final sentence of the letter I posted yesterday: - 'Please note, you are required to make a decision and reply within 14 days with a payment of £10,000, or an agreement to replace the existing Wolf boiler as suggested'. For some reason, I did not mention 'court proceedings' if they failed to reply within 14 days. Can I still correct this and, if so, how?
no that's ok. Its clear
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Alex. Thanks, ***** *****
Happy to help Gordon
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Alex.
Because Hanse Haus has NOT responded to my letter (see below), I wished to start proceedings as per your suggestion. However, MCOL say I cannot use their service a), because Hanse Haus has no 'UK address' and b) I am not just asking to reclaim money (I would prefer a replacement, 'serviceable' boiler), What do you sugest as the best route to making a 'paper' claim?
Regards, Gordon
c. letter below
'Attention of Ditzel Maike
Ludwig-Weber-Strasse 18
D-07789 Oberleichtersbach
RECORDED DELIVERY 14 March 2016HH Wilson No. 14372 Heizung/ Wartung – Claim in relation to: 'High Maintenance - cost and time expenses'Dear Sirs,Further to Ditzel Maike's e-mail of 10 March 2016, and my response the same day, I regret having to submit this Claim against Hanse Haus for my costs relating to the maintenance of the installed Wolf heating system.From correspondence, you will know this claim is based on the “over-complicated” installed heating system, as reported by 'specialist' heating engineers in my area, including those who deal with 'commercial' installations. This was shown last year when Darren had to reverse several 'costly' wrong decisions made by one such company (An-Elec Services Ltd). Also, 'regular' heating engineers who have previously worked on the system are now 'frightened' to touch it. There is no 'free choice' to appoint a local heating company' as you allege. You should have checked their availability before installation. Even now, you cannot find one.If Hanse Haus can now place a customer in such a difficult financial position, the standard has dropped since Bruno reassured me this could never happen.. Also, your current standard does not meet the listed 'Haus standard' of - 'Low maintenance - cost and time savings', stated in the document:- Advantage HANSE HAUS - Your German Construction Partner.From the estimate already provided, my additional maintenance costs will be £720 (£600 +VAT) per 'specialist' visit over the maintenance life of the relevant parts, i.e. the Wolf boiler and its 'integral' other parts. Assuming a 10-year life, with 1 call-out per year, plus a few return visits to fit parts ordered, a realistic ADDITIONAL cost I face is £10,000. Alternatively, because I have no prospect of getting a local, competitive estimate to replace the boiler (due to the highly complex nature of its installation), Hanse Haus should now arrange an equivalent, 'serviceable', replacement boiler, 'integrally' linked to the existing system, at a date to be agreed.This Claim is submitted within 6 years of the handover of the Heating system. My records show this date was Friday 19 March 2010, the date when the contract obligations:- 'The (heating) appliance will be pressure tested for leaks, inspected, calibrated and the handed over to the client', were fulfilled by GWI. (At the House handover on 19 January 2010, GWI had not yet finished their work). This is a 'without prejudice' claim, currently excluding the additional 'cost and time expenses' already incurred as a result of the installed Wolf system not being 'fit for purpose/ serviceable'. Please note, you are required to make a decision and reply within 14 days with a payment of £10,000, or an agreement to replace the existing Wolf boiler as suggested.Yours faithfully,Gor***** *****'