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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50157
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I need some advice on what to do in this situation. My girlfriend

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Hi I need some advice on what to do in this situation. My girlfriend went to visit her cousin yesterday and there was a roofer who had come round to do some work at the house. During this the roofer let some debri fall off the roof and it hit the car on the bonnet and cause a small scratch and dent. It was definitely from the debri from the roof as there were debri on the floor and at first when my girlfriend told him and said you will have to pay for it, he agreed. After which he provided us with his contact details (house number, post code and mobile number) they went round to two bodyshops in Manchester and received quotes of £350 and £360. I also spoke to him on the phone and he was saying he thought it would be cheaper, like £60-£80 which is why he didn't mind paying it at first, but not to the extent of the quotes from the bodyshop. He also told my girlfriend that his insurance would cost him at least £250. Since then he said he wanted to make a few calls to get cheaper quotes but then did not get back to us. My girlfriend has been trying to call him and he has then started saying how he isn't taking liability for it anymore. We have then asked him to provide the contact details of his public liability insurer (advice from my car insurance provider, Aviva) as apparently by law he should be able to provide this, but he refuses to give this information. My girlfriend managed to speak with him now and he is saying he is denying liability and tried to claim he wasn't even working, ie he was "doing them a favour" on the roof. My girlfriends response was that they had a receipt and paid him in cash.
I want to know what our position is now as clearly he does not want to be civil about this and is being quite difficult. Even if he does not pay, then as a tax paying citizen working as an accountant, I want to make sure that he is at least reporting his earnings (he charged £200 for the job, cash in hand) and at least provide us with his public liability insurer's name. Please advise.
Kind regards
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you and hope you can advise.
Hi there. Please can you tell me if you have any correspondence from the roofer relating to the damage that he agreed to pay for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you mean if he had signed a document agreeing he would pay for it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, sorry can you clarify what you meant by your statement?
Hi there. I am unable to speak at the moment. I am referring to emails or text or anything that you may have from the roofer in relation to the matter, which would be useful.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately I do not have e-mails or texts. It was all phone conversations which were not recorded or conversations between my girlfriend and the roofer. They did drive round the city to the bodyshops to get quotes.Legally it feels like its our word against theirs, what I'm trying to understand is legally, as a roofer would he have to get any form of insurance by law prior to commencing any work?
OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Many thanks for your patience. Whether he was working there or not he will still have liability assuming it was his negligence that caused this. In effect it can’t be something out of his control, like strong wind blowing away debris which were properly secured/stored. If he was just negligent in what he did and let the debris fall, then he will likely be liable for the damage caused. You also have to consider whether there could be any contributory negligence on your girlfriend’s part, such as if she had herself been negligent in parking the car underneath a working builder with potential of debris falling. However, if she was not in such close proximity or if she was already parked there and he started working afterwards, it is unlikely she would be found to have contributed to this. So in the circumstances you can consider pursuing him for the damage caused and this is something you can do in the small claims court. Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far. I will call in the morning to discuss all of the above with you and answer any questions you may have. Thank you
Hi there, it looks like we may miss each other today - I will be driving between 4.20 and 4.50 and then I am engaged for the rest of the day so unless that is convenient for you we can try tomorrow morning instead?