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Solar Panels may have been fitted incorrectly and letting in rain water


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Hi Guys, 

 

We moved into a Persimmons new build around 26/02/2018, and like any other new builds we had plenty of snags to deal with. Persimmons we’re actually pretty good and rectified them all and did their best with all their available trades. During this time we had a 2 year warranty to help us rectify anything. 
 

Now forward to a few months ago, we have spotted brown patches on our 4th bedroom ceiling, right below where the solar panels are fitted on the exterior of our front roof. I went up to the left a few months ago and was able to see exactly where the water was coming in from, we lay an old car boot liner on the insulation to catch any further drops of water during rain spells. 
 

We’ve been told a few other people have had their Solar Panels checked and apparently either the panels were fitted incorrectly or the flashing was fitted upside down. 
 

I immediately got the ball rolling and contacted Persimmons, but they have turned us away, saying the 2 year warranty ended 26/02/2020, and directed us to the 10 year building warranty,  we don’t want to touch that because ‘Premier’ want a £1000 excess to be paid first, but why should we when it’s not our fault. 
 

I presume the first things first and find out if the panels are indeed fitted incorrectly, if this is proven, do we have a leg to stand on and get Persimmons to rectify the issues as the fault lies when it was fitted on build date? Any companies who do independent surveys on solar panels? 

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Yes potentially you have an action either for breach of contract or for negligence. You have six years to bring your claim from the date that the breaches discovered or could reasonably have been discovered. You are well within time.

You say that other people have been similarly affected. Are you in contact with them? You might want to bring them here and we can discuss all of the cases and they can all take similar actions.

This is not a situation where you could bring a group action – but frankly a number of fairly small simultaneous actions would be much more effective because it would have a scatter/guerilla approach which would discomfort them even more.
It is typical of companies to try and avoid their customer statutory rights by pointing to a warranty which offers far less than the statutory rights. It diverts people away from their statutory rights and makes them think that after the warranty is up that they have no further redress.

This is completely wrong.

We can help you.

The first thing we would need to know is whether you have had a formal independent assessment of the problem and a quote for addressing the defects and putting them right.
 

 

Incidentally, even if the panels have been fitted correctly the fact that they admit water within two years with mean in any event that they would not be fit for purpose.

Of course it will help enormously if you can show that they were not fitted correctly – but let's see what your assessments find.

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As always, thank you BankFodder for your reply.

 

Ok so from a new build we have 6 years to report an issue, and that 2 years which Persimmons offer, isn’t worth the paper it’s written on? 
 

The other people in the estate aren’t on here, but I will convey anything which we have talked about to them. Yes I have also thought that due to other people having the same issue then it’s better in numbers because it’s not a “one off” so to speak, but you say a more scatter approach would be better?

 

Are my statutory rights the same as buying a TV for example, if the TV develops a fault after 2 years then it’s not fit for purpose as it should in theory last a much longer?

 

I have not had an independent survey done, I’m going to find out who once I’ve heard back from Persimmons
 

 

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Whether a guarantee is worth much depends apart from anything else if it should be quibble free and there may be something in the guarantee that is different from your statutory rights – for instance it might be transferable to a new owner but by and large the defects in the works et cetera which are contained within the guarantee are going to be the same as your statutory rights – unless it also covers you for accidental damage.

Group actions are very misunderstood and they take a lot of organising and generally speaking there are only worthwhile if there are very substantial damages at stake so things like pharmaceutical negligence are not a bad candidate.

Something like this which is pretty small scale and probably only a handful of claimants is not at all suited for a group action so don't even think about it. The logistics are horrific – apart from anything else getting everybody rounded up and pointed in the same direction.

The best thing to do is everybody acts independently but broadly following the same path. If it comes to a court claim then postman I can be far more rattled to receive a dozen individual claims for the post then one representative group claim.

I suspect it might be a bit like trying to fight tribal groups in Afghanistan and as you know, it tends to be the little guys who win against the big guys.

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I spoke with one of the guys who had an issue on their panel, and this was his reply 

 

“We had moved into the house and some weeks later there were guys installing the roof and solar panels on the new build across the road. I saw one of the solar installers looking over at our roof shaking his head. At his lunch break he came to my door and told me the flashing kit for the solar panels had been installed upside down with the upper section overlap going under rather than over the lower part. I called persimmons and in a first the site manager came straight down and the roofer showed him what was wrong. They came back days later and ripped out the old flashing and installed a new one, the correct way around”

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Can you get that in writing?

 

Is that what is wrong with your roof?

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It’s in writing what another household just sent me, we have a Facebook Page for our new build site. I spoke with one of the guys who previously spoke about an issue a roofer noticed.
 

it looks to me like it may be what is wrong, it the flashing is fitted under and not over, I presume this is where the water is getting in.

 

 

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Well you need to get it independently inspected and get a proper report.

Then we can start to help you.

 

You should also suggest to the people on your Facebook page that they should come here to start taking some real action.

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Seems we have around 4-5 people now with the same issues.

 

Going to contact the company on Monday morning who fitted the Panels, and take it from there.

 

See if we can get them back to do a survey :) 

 

I’ll update here once I’ve found out 

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I would not contact the installers of these panels.

You may find that they go on the defensive and they may even inform Persimmon 

At this stage you will be making a big mistake to do this. I suggested already that you need an independent assessment and if you don't take this advice then I'm not sure how else we can help you

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I expect these thing to do will be to start with a roofer and then see where that takes you.

You need to make sure that the group of people are not acting on their own initiative and contacting the installer or Persimmon.

I wouldn't start announcing any kind of challenge until you have got the complete picture for yourself from independent sources.

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  • 4 weeks later...

 I had word back from Persimmons. 

 

They have changed their tune and decided to send a roofer around, who has now confirmed it's not them who are at fault 

 

Reason:

Due to the Solar Panel being a different type, and because we moved into Phase 1, the panels have since changed and Persimmons roofers fit them 

 

the Roofer has now reported back to Persimmons, and they in turn have got in touch with the Solar company, and we are now waiting on the next step 

 

I think the Email which I sent them had kicked them into gear...

 

I sent 'if there was to be a fire in the loft (water and elec don't mix) and an investigation team find its the way the panels were fitted, then it's not going to look good for them!

Edited by dx100uk
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Thanks for this update. Very nice touch in your email to them.

However, if persons instructed the solar company then it is still persons who are responsible.

Also I still think that you need to get your own independent assessment – especially as to the remedies.

It's entirely possible that everybody will be trying to do some kind of remedial job whose objective is to save costs rather than to do a proper job.

I think you need your own independent assessment of the remedies needed and also you eventually need to see the report on the proposal from the solar company and then make comparisons as to what is being suggested by persimmon and what is being suggested by somebody who is operating independently and in your best interests

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