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In brief -

 

We went to a local independent flooring company, wishing to purchase a wood floor.

The owner talked us through the various products, came to our house to look at the area it was for, measured up, checked the subfloor etc.

He then recommended a product for us, ordered it and arranged for "his team" to come out and fit. He arranged the day and time they were to come out and told us that we should pay them cash on the day. In the meantime, he took moisture readings, spoke to the manufacturer and also the manufacturer of the underfloor heating we'd had put down, to check what underlay might be needed.

 

The floor was fitted by "his team" - his brother and another man.

It subsequently failed 4 times in the course of a year. The first 2 attempts to remedy the problems were made by the fitters. After it went wrong the 3rd time, it came to light that the fitters and the company owner had parted company, so the company owner/supplier came out and attempted to repair it. The same thing happened again, and he came out again. At this point, the supplier offered us a replacement stair carpet for our trouble. We said that this was not necessary, but if the floor failed again, we would be seeking a refund.

 

When it failed again, we requested our money back. The supplier agreed, minus fitting costs. When we argued, he withdrew his offer and offered us a replacement floor instead. We expressed our concern that we had no confidence he had the neccesary skills and knowledge to fit a floor, given our experience thus far.

 

We then took advice from the CAB and wrote a letter before action, inviting the supplier to comment on what he believed to be the issue with the floor, and offering to go to mediation.

He responded, trying to lay the blame on us with various spurious claims, including that the contracting of the fitters had nothing to do with him - since the receipt he issued clearly stated "supply only."

We then wrote again, offering to have an expert inspection and report done on the floor, and asking that both parties share the cost in order to confirm what had caused the problems with the floor.

He refused, saying the cost was too great in relation to the value of the floor.

We once again gave him the opportunity to refund us, while warning him that he may be asked to pay the cost of the report, should we take our case to the small claims court and win.

 

In order to ascertain whether we had a case, we had the expert inspection done. It found that the fitting was to blame for the issues, including inadequate moisture and humidity readings taken by the supplier. The expert contacted the supplier to find out exactly what prep he had carried out and the supplier told him. The report also queried the suitability of the product for the conditions of our property.

 

Once again, we wrote to the supplier with details of the report's findings and requested a refund of both the flooring, fitting and cost of the report or we would have no choice but to take our case to the small claims.

 

The supplier has not responded.

 

We feel we have a strong case. However, our concern is that it may be thrown out on the basis that the receipt we were issued was for supply only. In the letters from the supplier, he does state that he tried to repair the floor on 2 occasions, hut says it was purely a good will gesture. However, he also states that he did the pre-fitting site visits and prep.

 

So, what is our legal position regarding his responsibility for the fitting of the floor?

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So as I understand it, you bought flooring from a supplier who then recommended his own brother as the fitter. The two brothers now don't talk to each other. Is that right?

 

If this is the basis then I would sue both of them sue them both independently as first defendant and second defendant. If they want to argue about it between themselves then they can apply to the court that the other makes a contribution to damages.

 

The supplier has recommended his own brother. By recommending a fitter he should be held liable for giving you advice as to an installer who clearly was not up to the job. This is a matter of negligence.

 

Who were you contracted to pay? The fitter or the supplier?

 

I would sue them jointly in contract and in negligence and let the court sort it out – if it ever gets to court. Incidentally, what is the value of the claim – including a modest figure for inconvenience and any other expenses of putting the matter right.


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So as I understand it, you bought flooring from a supplier who then recommended his own brother as the fitter. The two brothers now don't talk to each other. Is that right?

 

If this is the basis then I would sue both of them sue them both independently as first defendant and second defendant. If they want to argue about it between themselves then they can apply to the court that the other makes a contribution to damages.

 

The supplier has recommended his own brother. By recommending a fitter he should be held liable for giving you advice as to an installer who clearly was not up to the job. This is a matter of negligence.

 

Who were you contracted to pay? The fitter or the supplier?

 

I would sue them jointly in contract and in negligence and let the court sort it out – if it ever gets to court. Incidentally, what is the value of the claim – including a modest figure for inconvenience and any other expenses of putting the matter right.

 

Thanks very much for your response.

 

Almost right - there actually wasn't any suggestion that the fitting was not part of the package when we approached the supplier. We said we wanted a wood floor fitted and he never actually said, "I only supply, but I can recommend fitters." He simply talked us through the product selection, measured up the room etc and said he'd arrange for "his team" to fit - we had no contact with them until they turned up at the property.

We paid a deposit for the wood floor, he asked us to pay the fitters in cash (it would be cheaper) and only was it fitted did he ask for the balance for the materials.

 

The company website claims full fitting service, if that makes any difference.

 

The floor plus fitting cost £1400. The expert report cost £375. There is also a small possibility that the underfloor heating system could have been damaged at some point during their attempts to repair the floor - £600.

This has dragged on now for approaching 3 years, so interest on top, plus time etc I guess?

 

Really, we just want the original costs back - because it's clear neither the supplier nor the fitters had the skills or knowledge to fit the floor correctly.

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Thank you.

 

Yes, the claim that they have made on their website as to the full fitting service makes a big difference. I would sue the supplier in contract making him responsible for the whole thing. If it comes in question at all then I would start suggesting that his requirement that the fitters be paid cash directly was really some tax avoidance exercise by him – which you didn't appreciated the time, but on reflection you now think that that is probably why he wanted it that way.

 

In the alternative, allege that you relied on his negligent advice as to his fitting team.

 

I would also sue the fitting team anyway seeing as you are filling up court papers.

 

You say that you are only after costs but frankly as you are bringing the claim you might as well go for broke. The more you put in, then the more that you have to give away if you want to start negotiating and you feel that you want to reach some kind of compromise.

 

You need to make a very careful list of all the losses that you have suffered. Put into a spreadsheet make sure it is all very clear and that is something the judge can read quickly and understand. Also put down some modest losses in respect of the inconvenience and trouble that you have incurred. All of these are legitimate losses and available to be claimed. It won't hurt your case at all to include them nobody will accuse you of being greedy – they are more likely to consider that you are being naive by tried to give ground at this particular stage.

 

I notice that you sent a letter before action. Why on earth do you send a letter before action and then not follow it up? This amounts to a letter before inaction. It is precisely this kind of thing which causes people not to take you seriously because it amounts to a bluff letter and they get confidence from it.

 

You should never ever send a letter before action unless you intend to take action on the expiry of the deadline contained in the letter. Never bluff. It only weakens your position.

 

Three years is absurd.

 

I suggest that you sit down for a day and think out whether you want to go ahead with this and whether you have the resolve. If you do decide to go ahead then write a meaningful letter before action straightaway. Give them 14 days or you will sue. On the basis that now they don't take you seriously, spend the next 14 days reading this site and finding out how to take a small claim in the County Court. Prepare your court papers online using the MoneyClaim service and then on in the expiry of the 14th day issue the claim. If you're not going to go ahead then give up now.

 

Send your letter before action to both parties and make sure that you intend to sue them jointly.


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Incidentally, – suing them in the alternative, means that you alleged breach of contract and then you go on to say that if it is not a breach of contract then it is negligence. In other words you plead both possibilities in the same action.

 

If you start an action using MoneyClaim you have a very limited word count available but what you have will be enough to get it going.


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Thank you.

 

Yes, the claim that they have made on their website as to the full fitting service makes a big difference. I would sue the supplier in contract making him responsible for the whole thing. If it comes in question at all then I would start suggesting that his requirement that the fitters be paid cash directly was really some tax avoidance exercise by him – which you didn't appreciated the time, but on reflection you now think that that is probably why he wanted it that way.

 

In the alternative, allege that you relied on his negligent advice as to his fitting team.

 

I would also sue the fitting team anyway seeing as you are filling up court papers.

 

You say that you are only after costs but frankly as you are bringing the claim you might as well go for broke. The more you put in, then the more that you have to give away if you want to start negotiating and you feel that you want to reach some kind of compromise.

 

You need to make a very careful list of all the losses that you have suffered. Put into a spreadsheet make sure it is all very clear and that is something the judge can read quickly and understand. Also put down some modest losses in respect of the inconvenience and trouble that you have incurred. All of these are legitimate losses and available to be claimed. It won't hurt your case at all to include them nobody will accuse you of being greedy – they are more likely to consider that you are being naive by tried to give ground at this particular stage.

 

I notice that you sent a letter before action. Why on earth do you send a letter before action and then not follow it up? This amounts to a letter before inaction. It is precisely this kind of thing which causes people not to take you seriously because it amounts to a bluff letter and they get confidence from it.

 

You should never ever send a letter before action unless you intend to take action on the expiry of the deadline contained in the letter. Never bluff. It only weakens your position.

 

Three years is absurd.

 

I suggest that you sit down for a day and think out whether you want to go ahead with this and whether you have the resolve. If you do decide to go ahead then write a meaningful letter before action straightaway. Give them 14 days or you will sue. On the basis that now they don't take you seriously, spend the next 14 days reading this site and finding out how to take a small claim in the County Court. Prepare your court papers online using the MoneyClaim service and then on in the expiry of the 14th day issue the claim. If you're not going to go ahead then give up now.

 

Send your letter before action to both parties and make sure that you intend to sue them jointly.

 

 

Great advice there, thanks.

 

To be honest, the whole thing has become a nightmare.

The first year after fitting was spent trying to get the floor fixed. After that, we sent a letter to the supplier, which he ignored until the last day of our deadline and then he tested to say he hadn't had time to respond .

When he did respond, he made a load of false claims, which we then responsible responded to. We also tried to verify some of his claims with the flooring manufacturer, and seek help from trading standards.

We were told that the CAB would put us in touch with one of their offices, in order to assist us with filing a small claims case. When they eventually contacted , they said that we needed to get an experts report done first. We contacted an industry expert, who said that we needed to go back to the supplier and offer him the chance to share the cost of the report - a/ to seem reasonable by the judge, in the event of going to court, and b/ in the hope that the supplier would realise we were serious and would offer us a refund.

Obviously, we then had to wait for the supplier to respond and then go ahead with the inspection and report regardless.

 

When the report was issued, we again felt that we needed to be seen have done everything possible to avoid having go to court, by giving the supplier the chance to settle again.

 

We are fully resolved to take this to court, but want to get our MCOL absolutely right. For eg. I read somewhere that we should only get an inspection done if the judge requests it - so does that mean we shouldn't claim the costs for this in the first instance?

Also, the supplier tried to argue betterment in his original response - should we claim for the original cost of the floor in full at this point, regardless?

 

How much detail should we now put in our final letter before action now? Just simply state again that we want a full refund of the floor (plus report costs?)within 14 days or we will take action?

 

I'm sure we have been naive throughout, but we were trying to resolve this out of court, in case we were forced to go to court IYKWIM.

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I'm not surprised that it has been a nightmare – but I'm afraid that you will have to accept some responsibility for this having allowed it to continue in the way that you have.

 

You don't need to put a huge amount of detail in your letter before action – but you do need to lay out what you are claiming, a brief explanation as to why and also an explanation is how you come to this final calculation. Don't tell them your life history.

 

Getting the expert report is a good idea – and will be very helpful to you. You can recover all of these costs.

 

You need to be claiming for – the cost of any materials of any work done.

 

The cost of any expenses incurred dealing with the problem.

 

If you have to replace the floor then the cost of undoing their negligent work so that you are back to zero.

 

Any other expenses incurred such as photocopying, phone calls etc.

 

Cost of any inconvenience. – Make sure that this is modest and not a money-grab.

 

Also, you will add 8% interest from the date that any of these losses were incurred.

 

I still don't understand why you even took a year waiting for him to get it fixed. You should have forced them to do it with a court action. I'm very sorry but this is the only way. The CAB are decent enough – but well-intentioned is about the best you can say for them in most cases. They are much better with debt problems than dealing with supplier problems. Trading standards can be okay but they seem to be operating a bit cloak and dagger now days and they fancy themselves as MI7.

 

You need to be businesslike about this and stop mucking about.

 

I don't know where you might have read that you only get an inspection done if the judge requests it. It seems reasonable to me to get the inspection done first – and you seem to have done this. You should claim all costs. It is up to them if they want to argue them – and it is up to the judge that he wants to reject them. It won't be fatal to your case.

 

I think that you should now start taking control and the it is you who should start dictating the pace of events. Give them 14 days for a proper resolution. Make it clear to them that you're not interested in any further dialogue and any further negotiation and if the matter is not fully resolved at the end a 14 days then you will simply issue the court papers without any further notice. If you're going to let them mark you around again then don't bother.

 

Put a brief statement of claim in on the MoneyClaim application. Indicate that you will be supplying a fuller particulars of claim later on.

 

If you want you can post up your draft claim here and we will have a look at it before you send it off to MoneyClaim. We can then help you with a fuller particulars of claim and when they put in a defence then let us see it and we will advise you how to proceed.


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I'm not surprised that it has been a nightmare – but I'm afraid that you will have to accept some responsibility for this having allowed it to continue in the way that you have.

 

You don't need to put a huge amount of detail in your letter before action – but you do need to lay out what you are claiming, a brief explanation as to why and also an explanation is how you come to this final calculation. Don't tell them your life history.

 

Getting the expert report is a good idea – and will be very helpful to you. You can recover all of these costs.

 

You need to be claiming for – the cost of any materials of any work done.

 

The cost of any expenses incurred dealing with the problem.

 

If you have to replace the floor then the cost of undoing their negligent work so that you are back to zero.

 

Any other expenses incurred such as photocopying, phone calls etc.

 

Cost of any inconvenience. – Make sure that this is modest and not a money-grab.

 

Also, you will add 8% interest from the date that any of these losses were incurred.

 

I still don't understand why you even took a year waiting for him to get it fixed. You should have forced them to do it with a court action. I'm very sorry but this is the only way. The CAB are decent enough – but well-intentioned is about the best you can say for them in most cases. They are much better with debt problems than dealing with supplier problems. Trading standards can be okay but they seem to be operating a bit cloak and dagger now days and they fancy themselves as MI7.

 

You need to be businesslike about this and stop mucking about.

 

I don't know where you might have read that you only get an inspection done if the judge requests it. It seems reasonable to me to get the inspection done first – and you seem to have done this. You should claim all costs. It is up to them if they want to argue them – and it is up to the judge that he wants to reject them. It won't be fatal to your case.

 

I think that you should now start taking control and the it is you who should start dictating the pace of events. Give them 14 days for a proper resolution. Make it clear to them that you're not interested in any further dialogue and any further negotiation and if the matter is not fully resolved at the end a 14 days then you will simply issue the court papers without any further notice. If you're going to let them mark you around again then don't bother.

 

Put a brief statement of claim in on the MoneyClaim application. Indicate that you will be supplying a fuller particulars of claim later on.

 

If you want you can post up your draft claim here and we will have a look at it before you send it off to MoneyClaim. We can then help you with a fuller particulars of claim and when they put in a defence then let us see it and we will advise you how to proceed.

 

 

 

We took a year because each time the floor was repaired, it appeared to be ok. Then, when the weather/humidity changed, the floor failed again. We were told by both the supplier and the rep that this was to be expected with a natural product such as wood, and that we should wait for a complete year of seasons to allow the floor to settle.

What we didn't know until 9 months in was that the floor fitters had actually glued the expansion strips to the floor, and it was this that caused the failure. By the time this was rectified, the damage to the integrity of the floor was done and even with replacement boards, we were left with a gap along the entire length of the floor.

 

I have started drafting a claim on MCOL now.

 

Do I want to claim interest under the county court act, or some other act?

 

So far, I have listed:

 

Cost of floor materials

Cost of fitting

Cost of expert report

Postage costs of letters sent recorded delivery

Interest on all of the above.

 

In addition, I'm thinking

 

Time taken to write each letter

Time taken for expert to attend the property

Time taken to prepare the case for court

 

What would be a reasonable hourly rate? And how many hours would you allow for for case preparation?

 

I haven't actually included anything per se for inconvenience, though of course we've had to be in attendance on each occasion they tried to rectify the issue and things like moving furniture, being unable to replace skirting boards etc.

Any suggestions?

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You won't be up to claim anything for case preparation unless you are claiming more than £10,000.

 

In terms of the cost of writing letters etc., count up the number of letters but give a global figure. If you're talking about only one or two letters then don't bother. However if you are talking about 10 or 20 letters then probably talk about £1 per letter. If you have had to take a day off work or allocate time for attendance by an expert then certainly you should allow a modest days pay.

 

Detail the number of days you have had to be in attendance for attempted repairs. And once again allocate a reasonable days pay – or appropriate number of hours etc.

 

It must all look reasonable and logical and modest. In terms of inconvenience – you will have to explain how you have been inconvenienced and then claim a reasonable figure. Unfortunately, they would be in their rights to suggest that you have brought some of the inconvenience upon yourself by waiting for so long when you could probably have taken other steps to have repaired the damage beforehand. Still, put in some kind of claim.

 

If you feel unable or reluctant to argue these extra losses – then leave it. However, my own view is that you should begin aggressively about the claim and as I have said earlier – you then have something to sacrifice if it seems that a compromise might be available and they need to save face.

 

Don't be worried about letting them save face. You are only interested in the money. Don't get hung up on principle. It really isn't worth litigating on matters of principle


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Again, thank you so much for your very detailed advice.

 

Both my husband and myself are freelance workers, so all visits to repair were arranged around our free days - so technically no loss of earnings.

 

It's finding a balance between aggressive and unreasonable, isn't it?

I will pull together all the paperwork thus far and get something together for you to cast your eye over.

Thanks again

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So we're at the point of submitting the claim on line.

How much detail do we need to include as to the circumstances of the claim, eg do we simply state a list of costs, or do we need to go into a brief history of the actual flooring issues that have led us to claiming those costs?

Do we attach all correspondence between the flooring company and ourselves, plus the expert report at this point - or simply state that we will be doing this at a later date?

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You keep it short and succinct.

 

You don't attach correspondence. You don't attach the expert report. All of those documents will be disclosed in the pre-trial bundle.

 

In the initial particulars of claim I suggest that you don't include a detailed list of costs. You simply keep to the minimum but indicate that you will be sending a more detailed particulars of claim later. In that more detailed particulars of claim you can put a more detailed explanation of your losses. In your initial particulars of claim you should probably just put the total of the money that you are seeking to recover.

 

However, it would probably be best if you posted a draft of your particulars of claim here so that we can have a look.


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Great - just drafting something so will post it here before submitting shortly.

Where it says we can send detailed particulars to the defendant, do we need to?

And what additional documents would we be expected to serve on the defendant within 14 days?

Finally, I assume we want to claim interest under the County Court Act?

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Here's what we've drafted so far:

 

"In December 2011, I contracted xxxxxxxx to supply and fit a wood floor in my property.

Between January and December 2012, several issues arose with the floor which I believe to have been caused by incorrect fitting. Despite attempts to remedy the issues by xxxxx, the floor remains damaged and incorrectly fitted, and therefore not fit for purpose.

A report by an independent expert witness supports this belief."

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We are claiming cost of supply and fitting plus interest, and cost of expert report plus interest.

Presumably, court costs would be added to a successful claim automatically.

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what was the reason for the floor failing?... I was in the hardwood floor industry for 20 years..


WON lloyds walked away after second hearing £10,000 2014

 

WON Mbna after 3rd hearing £5,000, 2014

 

WON Barclaycard 1st hearing £2015, 4,500

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what was the reason for the floor failing?... I was in the hardwood floor industry for 20 years..

 

Where do I start?

The supplier/fitter didn't take sufficient moisture or humidity readings before the floor was laid.

When it was fitted, a dpm was put over the underfloor heating (which is on quarry tiles) but under the boards.

An inadequate expansion gap was left - on the board ends, the fitter decided that no expansion gap was needed.

The t bars at the door thresholds (3) and around the fireplace were apoxy resin-ed to the boards.

There was no break between the lounge and the hallway.

 

So, a week after fitting, the boards in front of the fireplace peaked up along the entire length.

Then, 5 months later, the same happened across 3 rows of board on the other side of the room.

 

Floor was trimmed back but it happened again. Only then did they realise the t bars were stuck down, so they took them up and registered them - but then a week later, gaps appeared between the length and width of every board that had previously peaked.

So the fitter took up those boards and fitted new ones - but within a week, a wide gap had appeared down the same length of boards and one row of boards had lifted above the next row. Basically, the click system had been under pressure so long, it failed.

 

Today, we have boards digging into the walls (skirting was removed before fitting and has never been refitted) and stop have the wide gap between the length of boards and one row higher than another.

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Where did your independent inspector say the moisture was coming from?


WON lloyds walked away after second hearing £10,000 2014

 

WON Mbna after 3rd hearing £5,000, 2014

 

WON Barclaycard 1st hearing £2015, 4,500

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The house is 1950s, so built before building regs required a DPM. (not sure if this is relevant to your question, but it's in the report.)

The expert suggests that the moisture content of the floor boards is too low for that of the room. According to fitting guidelines, the moisture reading should have been taken over 72 hours - it was only taken over 24 hours and only one reading recorded.

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Here's what we've drafted so far:

 

"In December 2011, I contracted xxxxxxxx to supply and fit a wood floor in my property.

Between January and December 2012, several issues arose with the floor which I believe to have been caused by incorrect fitting. Despite attempts to remedy the issues by xxxxx, the floor remains damaged and incorrectly fitted, and therefore not fit for purpose.

A report by an independent expert witness supports this belief."

 

  1. By a contract dated XXXX the defendant, a professional floor fitter agreed to fit a wooden floor for the claimant at a cost of £XX.
  2. The defendant failed to use reasonable care and skill in the fitting of the floor.
  3. As a result the floor started to lift up and became damaged.
  4. The floor is not fit for its purpose.
  5. The claimant seeks £XX to replace the floor and to compensate for the trouble and inconvenience and associated expenses going back over a period of three years.
  6. The claimant also seeks interest pursuant to section 69 of the County Courts act 1984

You should indicate that you will be sending fuller particulars of claim later – and you should start preparing this immediately.

 

Your fuller particulars of claim should roughly speaking follow the model but I have set above – in this it should be numbered paragraphs, very clearly broken down into chronological steps and brief. No need to tell your life story at this point. It really shouldn't be longer than one or two A4 pages at maximum.

 

You can refer to the expert report but you do not disclose it at this point because it will be included with all the other documents in your bundle. If the other side want to inspect the floor get their own expert report then you must allow them. In fact it would be prudent to write to the other side and invite him to do so at the earliest opportunity. Tell him that he is welcome to come accompanied by an expert of his choosing to compile a report and take photographs as he wishes. Give him 14 days to make the necessary arrangements.

 

In your fuller particulars of claim you should have a full breakdown of what you are claiming – including money paid so far, costs of removing and carting away the old floor and of replacing it with the equivalent of what you ordered in the first place. You should also list all the expenses to which you have been put including figures for letters, telephone calls, expert reports – etc.

 

You should also include a figure the compensation for inconvenience suffered – but you will have to itemise this carefully and make sure that the sums you are claiming are justified and are modest. This is not an opportunity to begin a gold rush.


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Can I just clarify - I should submit your version now, but indicate that we will be submitting a more detailed version at a later date (that version being in the same format as yours, but with greater detail).

 

We offered the contractor the chance to be involved with the expert report, ie share the cost and have the right to communicate with the inspector before the inspection was made. He refused, saying it was unnecessary, given the value of the floor. Do we need to offer again?

 

If we state as you have written that we intend to claim interest under the County court act, do we need to include it in the figures at this point - or simply list the basic costs we are claiming?

 

One potential issue we have is that one of the suggestions made by the expert is that it's possible the floor could be taken up, the damaged boards removed and replaced and the whole floor relaid. Without this actually being done, it's very difficult to know exactly what this will cost - there is no way of knowing how many boards are damaged, nor actually of knowing if another contractor would advise doing this (obviously, after nearly 3 years wear, the inspector did mention verbally that it would involve numbering every board, so that the boards that are ok can be put back in the same place - to allow for any noticeable marks to match up). We intend to simply claim back the entire cost of the original flood and fitting, in order to put us back to where we were before the floor was fitted - might a judge see this as unfair (betterment?), or actually, might we be selling ourselves short?

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You are obliged to take all reasonable steps to mitigate your losses. If you haven't decided yet what the appropriate remedy is yet, then you are not yet ready to start proceedings.

 

Do you have it in writing that he refused to get his own report?

 

In any event, offer him a further chance to get a report. Do this in writing. Do everything in writing. In your letter to him point out that although he has already refused your invitation to get his own report, you offering him a further chance - and also a chance of have the floor examined so that he can get his own independent estimate for the cost of correcting it - whether that is repair or replacement.


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We want the floor taken up totally and replaced, fitted by someone qualified to do the job.

Is it reasonable to request that by claiming the full cost of the floor and fitting at this point? While the expert made a suggestion of what might be possible, he also stated that the suitability of the floor we had laid (as recommended by the contractor) was in question - and our view point is that we want to be put back to the position we were in before we got involved with the contractor.

 

Yes, I have a letter from the contractor stating that an expert report is unnecessary in his opinion, and thus refusing our offer.

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You should get two or three independent reports which identify the problem and propose a solution. You should get to independent quotes for each of the solutions and then choose the cheaper one and sue for that. The quotes and the reports can be made by the same people.

 

You would then be advised to send the other side your favoured report plus the quote and give him seven days to respond to it. At that point ask if he objects and if so what are his objections and invite him in that case to bring along his own independent assessor to assess the work needed and also the cost of that work. You can point out to hidden that by doing this, you will not take this as an admission but you are simply being prudent and trying to work with him to get the best result. Point out to him that if he is not prepared to get involved in this process that you will point that out to the court if you have to take legal action.

 

I really would go through this process now because it will make it very much easier later on if it is clear to the judge that you have been scrupulously fair and that you have given every opportunity to make sure that the other side is fully informed and had an opportunity to take part in some kind of sensible negotiation – and that litigation was truly the last resort.

 

Any expenses incurred in this process will be recoverable from the other side in the event that you win your case.


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The independent inspection and report we had done cost nearly £400 - there's no way we can afford to get one or 2 more done, I don't think.

I guess we could get a quote for remedial work by a different firm - however, as I said previously, there is no way of knowing how much of the floor needs replacing or exactly what that would entail simply by looking at it. I'm not even sure the current spec of the floor is the same as when we bought it. ie whether new could be fitted alongside old.

 

Thanks very much for all your help, though. I guess we'll have to give it up as a lost cause.

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