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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75915
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Can a legal action for disrepair be taken against a

Customer Question

Hi. Can a legal action for disrepair be taken against a manufacturer of boiler when they failed to send an engineer within reasonable time to repair boiler under warranty (lack of warm water and heating) in private owned property (no tenants).
JA: Where are they? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Company headquarters are based in East Yorkshire, England. I am based in London
JA: What steps have they taken so far?
Customer: we've reported the issue on brand new boiler on Saturday, they've offered "emergency " engineer to come in on 29.11. After intervention they moved the appointment to tomorrow 23.11. Including the installation tomorrow will be day 6 without heating and warer
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I'm not sure. I'm asking out of curiosity as I know that if I was a tenant I could take legal action but I'm not sure what is the situation when I am a homeowner.
Submitted: 5 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

How long ago did you buy the boiler? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
It is brand new one, bought last week, installation started on Thursday and the boiler failed within 2 hours of completed installation - on Friday evening. On Saturday 20.11 the accredited installer contacted manufacturer as the repair was beyond his scope of practice and already fell under warranty.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. Did you buy the boiler from the manufacturer direct, or from a third party supplier?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
third party supplier - accredited Ideal Heating installer
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about this situation and any associated issues.

A warranty is a discretionary benefit offered by the manufacturer and does not always guarantee to be performed within a specific time, only for the issues which it covers to be fixed. In other words, they are not obliged to send someone out as a matter of urgency and will be working based on their availability at the time.

You would instead have separate rights against the seller, which you bought the boiler from and could rely on those instead.

When a private consumer makes a purchase from a business seller, they have certain 'statutory' rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If you wanted to refer to the legislation directly, please follow this link:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents/enacted

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 specifically states that there is an expectation that goods must be:

- of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged

- as described – they must match any description given at the time of purchase

- fit for purpose – they should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for

If they do not meet the above requirements, the consumer will have certain legal remedies against the seller. Any rights against the manufacturer will only be under a manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee that came with the goods, which is entirely separate. It is, however, important to note that there is no protection against fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage.

If the goods do not meet any of the above criteria, the consumer’s rights against the seller are:

1. Reject the goods and request a refund – this is known as the ‘short-term right to reject’ and must be applied within 30 days of purchase or, if later, delivery.

2. Repair or replacement – this is still an option in the first 30 days, if the consumer does not want a refund and becomes the standard options after the 30 days have passed. It is the consumer’s choice as to whether they choose a repair or a replacement. If a repair is chosen, the seller is given one opportunity to provide a satisfactory repair, meaning that if it fails, the goods can still be rejected for a refund, even after the initial 30 days have passed. Alternatively, if the consumer wants to keep the goods, they can ask for a price reduction, based on what is wrong with them. That is something to be negotiated with the seller.

An important aspect of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 is that there is an assumption that any issues complained of, which have become obvious or developed within the first 6 months of buying the goods, were present at the time of purchase. If the seller disagrees that his was the case, it would be up to them to prove otherwise, if challenged in court. On the other hand, any issues which develop more than 6 months after purchase, are assumed not to have originated at the point of sale and it is for the buyer to prove otherwise if challenged in court.

Once a decision has been made on which of the above rights to pursue, the seller should be contacted, preferably in writing, to discuss that with them. If they refuse to discharge their legal obligations under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, a formal letter before action should be sent, asking for the desired resolution and making it clear that legal action could follow through the courts.

In the event this matters needs to be taken further, the following are the relevant links:

A report to Trading Standards can be submitted first: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms

Afterwards, a claim can be pursued in The County Court: https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 days ago.

I trust that everything has now been dealt with to your satisfaction and your original question has been resolved. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.