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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19566
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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I bought a new build 3 years ago and repeatedly complained

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I bought a new build 3 years ago and repeatedly complained to them I thought there was damp coming from somewhere downstairs. The only inspection was the removal of a small piece of skirting which showed a bit of damp but they put it down to having just been built, they inspected by just looking on other occasions but said it was fine. I had to call a plumber in approx3 months ago who discovered the internal down pipe from the upstairs bathroom had been leaking at the bottom as the pipe didn't fit properly. The flooring was mouldy the skirting was wet through and the insulation was dripping. The wet looks to have spread through most of the downstairs explaining many issues raised including problems with flooring throughout. The builder is saying It is not their fault and do not have to repay monies I paid to the plumber to have it fixed. I am disabled and struggling to deal with this matter. Do I have any legal rights? Thank you for your time.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to help you with this today. Please bear with me if I ask for more information.

How much will it cost to fix everything that is wrong?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
It cos £680 for all the work including the replacement of the downstairs toilet flooring.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
It cost £680 including the replacement flooring.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 8 months ago.


Of
course, the builder is going to say that this is not his fault and he will
probably blame whoever put the pipe in.

However,
the situation is quite simply that whoever installed all this was his contractor/
agent and the builder is responsible within the first six years after
completion.



The
responsibility comes under the contract for the building of the house and the
sale of it, and also under statute in the form of the Supply of Goods and
Services Act in that he must carry out the job with reasonable care and skill
and under the Sale of Goods Act in that the goods (the house) must be fit for
purpose and satisfactory quality.



I
would tell the builder that unless he pays the cost of fixing this, you will
get it done yourself and you will sue him in the Small Claims Court.



It
really is as simple as that.



You
can take into Small Claims Court based upon just estimates and not receipted
bill, but he can then deny that the work was essential and it is a more
powerful claim if the work has actually been done and you have a letter from
whoever did the repair/fix, stating why it was needed.



Does
that answer the question?



Can I
answer any specific points?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I have had the work done, I had to as the waste water had forced its way over the flooring seal and the smell was vile. The plumber wrote "Problem: ground floor toilet water on floor mildew on floor and behind plasterboard. All above removed pictures taken and attached found 4" drain in boxed section of toilet incorrect fitting found to be leaking repair and replace flooring and make I good + labour". The builder says this isn't enough for a judge to accept as it doesn't say what was replaced. I have told them over an over but they won't accept it. Would it be acceptable in court do you know? Sorry to take more of your time.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 8 months ago.
Please do not worry at all about taking my time. You have paid for an answer and you are quite entitled to ask as much information as you like until you are happy.
Yes, from the fact that you have given, I think you have enough to go to court.
You can actually issue court proceedings here quite easily online

www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

although there is a small fee which you will get back if you are successful in court.
Because this is small claims court (under £10,000) you will not get solicitor’s costs back even if you win, and nor will the builder so don’t bother with solicitors.
As you have discovered, you can tell the builder over and over until you are blue in the face and if he simply ignores it, (as he is doing) the job will never get done, unless you take control. This is certainly one that I would let the judge decide the issue.
More?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Would the judge accept the plumber's invoice as proof. of the situation and do you think I could claim for the flooring that is still down that has problems I.e. Laminate edges coming up, wool carpet very patchy colouring over a period of time. If I can do I need to do it all together as one claim or should I claim for the other flooring separately as I have no quote for the replacement of these as I can't afford to replace them myself. Thank you again.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 8 months ago.



I
think the judge would accept the plumbers invoice as proof that the work had
been done, but if you can get a letter from the plumber explaining exactly what
had happened and why, that is even better.

Put
the whole lot together as one claim and explain to the judge that you have
estimates for the flooring but could not afford to replace it yourself, but had
to replace the leaking pipework because it was smelly and therefore you had no
option but to dig into your savings for that.



There
is no problem in having the receipted bill for part of the work and estimates
for the other part, provided you explain to the judge (if it gets that far)
exactly why it is part receipted invoice and part estimates.



Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19566
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
Stuart J and 2 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you so much for your help and time. I shall get quotes for the flooring and then I shall proceed with the matter through the court.

I am very grateful for your assistance in this matter.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 8 months ago.
I am glad to help. I hope that you get it sorted.
Regards

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