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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75168
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Recently I had a PV solar installation to my property, the

Customer Question

Hello, recently I had a PV solar installation to my property, the installers unfortunately damaged the roof but are demanding payment before they resolve the problem.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: oxford
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: contacted the installer providing a report from a roofer stating there is damage, permitting a visit to come repair the damage (which they did not fully resolve.)
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: having spoken to the MCS accreditation company, they have advised I need to allow the company to rectify the problem.
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
sure
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

What reason, if any, have they provided for wanting full payment before they repair the roof? and how long ago was the work done?

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
the work started about a month ago, it took them about 4 weeks to finish the install due to them bringing the wrong hardware, sourcing replacements, not bringing enough equipment to finish the install and fitting faulty equiptment.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

There is nothing specific in law which states whether you should pay them first for the work they did, before they rectify the issue. I appreciate you would feel a bit exposed legally if you do that, but it won’t change your legal rights and they would still have an obligation to fix the issues or compensate you for them.

To avoid a standoff, where the issues are not resolved because they refuse to do so until they get paid, you may wish to consider paying them, with the knowledge that you can always take further action if needed, in the event they do not fix the problems they caused.

If it comes to it, when a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can potentially do so by making a court claim. However, as legal action should only be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need to involve the courts. It is therefore recommended that the following steps are taken in order to try and resolve this:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time – 14 days is reasonable. They should be advised that if they fail to make contact to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for compensation. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this without the need for legal action. There are numerous templates available online for such letters and a simple search will bring up a list of useful results.

3. If the letter before action is also ignored, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome. There will be a fee payable, which depends on the amount that is claimed. The other side will eventually get a copy of the claim and they will have a limited time to answer it. They could accept it and pay what is owed, they could accept it only in part and defend the rest, or they could outright reject it. They could also completely ignore it, in which case judgment will eventually be entered automatically against them. Also, it is worth noting that the simple act of submitting a claim could show the other side that this is being taken seriously and prompt them to consider negotiating a potential solution to stop the claim progressing further, such as offering full or partial payment of the amount sought in the claim.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hello, following my main response above, I just wanted to check that everything was clear. If you have any further queries about this issue, you can reply to me at any time on this portal and I will be happy to help. Thank you.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** update. Having spoken to the equipment manufacturer that was used for the installation, they informed me the equipment used was totally inappropriate for the installation done.
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I understand what you have told me too, thank-you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best