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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70416
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Removed and replaced whole roof on property - rebuilt new

Customer Question

removed and replaced whole roof on property - rebuilt new chimney stack back of property as old existing chimney that nothing was requested to be done however - 4 months later the stack starts leaking on several visits there is nothing wrong with the slates felt ridges we provided and all evidence leads to joint chimney stack - but client will not have it we have offered to remove it but they are adamant it our works and stating Supply of Good and Services Act 1982
professional negligence and failed in your duty of care
I have offered to take it down for both owners free of charge when I have the team available after xmas holidays which is about 30 odd days and this as made them really angry I don't know what to say next
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

What would you like to know about this please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Supply of Good and Services Act 1982 professional negligence and failed in your duty of care --- they keep stating to me and I have been more than willing to carry out the works by taking the troubled chimney stack down but I clearly want to state it is not our responsibility and were doing it as a good will gesture and I just need to know the law for something I have worked on but being told Supply of Good and Services Act 1982 professional negligence and failed in your duty of care which as really annoyed me
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry meant to say not been requested to ever work on chimney not received any payments for works on chimney either
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they not long moved into the property they did not know any history of the existing chimney stack there was nothing on home owner buyers report - client never asked us to carry out works on this chimney either - we carried out works to whole hose to high standards at all times - this just unfortunate that was overlooked and obvious needs attention now
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What advice can you give us Jo : please I want to know the law and want to be polite and I want to resolve the matter if possible
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

I can offer a phone call but you might want to ascertain whether this is my area first.

What is the cause of the leaking?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the cause of leak is existing chimney above bricks are perished and been covered up many years ago by previous owners this now seems to be breaking down its all unfortunate and its shared between to owners ----- I just wanted to know the law as the contractor where I stand as they have been really nasty and I have offered to take down and cover costs as a reputable builder but wont accept the problem was caused by ourselves at any given time
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Well, it depends.

Was the problem worsened or exposed by your actions?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there was nothing wrong with our works below chimney - and for four months of rain no problem but when high winds heavy rain storms appeared so did the problem occur with the existing chimney stack - but on checking not related to anything we carried out that could of made it worse than it may already of been before we started
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Why do they say it is anything to do with your work?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Ok. But why do they say it is down to you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am not saying its down to me -
far from it
im saying it clearly is not our work -
the client is one saying and stating law states that we
Supply of Good and Services Act 1982 professional negligence and failed in your duty of care
( we did not know anything about stack or history how can it be negligence)
I just want to know what law is on my side please
even thou I have offered to remove it and cover the costs
but they expect me to drop it straight away and I have told them a da te of 14th January 2016 after xmas and new year
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am very stressed out over this matter to be honest - all they need to do is wait until we can be available
this is what they just sent meThere is nothing more to be said from our end.
We have described the situation and, for the reasons outlined many times by Catherine, we believe you are in breach of contract under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, and that you have demonstrated professional negligence and a lack of duty of care.
There is considerable water ingress and the longer this situation continues, the more damage is being caused, and the costs to repair increase.
I've asked you for clarification of whether you are prepared to carry out the work within a reasonable time frame.
Please let me know within the next 24 hours, as previously requested by email, your response to this question.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, but what I need to know is what is their account for this? Why are they saying it is down to you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
because we were employed in February 2015 to replace roofs front and rear and lean too - which we did to a high standard they are now saying we are at fault for not telling them that the existing stack was faulty back in February even thou we was not aware of any faults with the chimney ourselves back then - and we was never asked to make a report or address this - its bizarre that we find ourselves in this situation after trying our best to help at every given opportunity -
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
just looking at one of their emails --------
you have breached the contract by not supplying a watertight roof and, in addition, you have shown professional negligence and failed in your duty of care if - as you maintain - the stack is in such a poor condition it needs to be removed. You failed when you did not advise us of this.
Therefore you are responsible for all costs.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Well, that isn't really true.

She may well have formed the view that you are liable but that doesn't mean you actually are.

It is difficult to tell what she is alleging here. However, if there are no faults with your work and the only faults lie with the pre existing roof then the only negligence could be in failing to tell her.

You do have a duty to advise of things like that if they are ones that the reasonable tradesmen would have seen and noted.

Then a court would turn to the issue of whether or not you could reasonably have done so. That would turn on industry accepted practice.

For future reference, try not to get involved with victims in any manifestation. People who can't pay their bills are usually the most trouble. There are exceptions - e.g those who run dog homes and the like. If this is just a normal householder who can't pay her bills then send her to somebody else.

Can I clarify anything for you?