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    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2018
     
    My sister bought a house off plan and moved in in 2014 less that 4 yrs ago. A flat roof over a bedroom is leaking and from the photos the roof has not been done to specification as laid down in the building control plans. The LABC signed off the house and there is a LABC warranty insurance in place. However when she made the claim the insurers have calculated she needs to make a contribution as calculated under policy excess, of over £1000. It seems grossly unfair to have the problem never mind been asked to pay a good sum towards the repair. Would there be any come back against building control in that they were negligent in that they signed off something that was done properly. It is very evident that it is not to specification as the chippings dressing has not been put on, the roof does not slope properly and a builder friend has stated that the felt is of a type that you would put on a shed not a dwelling.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2018
     
    Unlikely but the builder should be liable
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2018
     
    Is there an NHBC guarantee?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2018
     
    That won't cover it, they run away from everything and only major structural is covered and even then only with a fight.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2018
     
    As Tony said, it's the builder who is liable, not building control or any other contractor. Your sister made a contract with the builder, so he's the person to take to court to recover the excess. If there's a realistic chance of suing him, the LABC insurance might just be interested in a chance to recover the money too.

    See e.g.:
    https://www.footanstey.com/updates-a-publications/1079-can-you-sue-building-control-if-they-fail-to-spot-defective-work
    http://www.probyn-miers.com/perspective/2017/02/but-it-was-approved-building-control-and-design-responsibility/
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2018
     
    Thanks djh for the links they are very useful. Will be interesting to see the outcome of the Grenfell fire enquiry and BC role in that. I am concerned that I myself have trusted my BCO to inspect my build particularly important stuff like the foundation trench before the concrete pour. Surely if I am paying the local authority for such a service they should exercise reasonable care and skill in doing this and be answerable if they get it wrong. I have personally paid for this service so in that respect they are contracted to me. They are the final arbiter on whether the trench is deep enough not the contractor who excavated it.

    The builder in question is difficult to trace he avoided doing the snagging list that had been prepared by a surveyor. He had a building company set up in 2006 and dissolved in Feb 2012 via a compulsory strike off (what ever that means) and receivers were appointed. He built a block of 4 houses (one of which my sister bought) presumably in his own name and in 2014 set up a new company under a different name. How you can be a director of a company that is compulsory struck off in 2012 and set up another one in 2014 I do not know.

    There is a further issue in that the first roofer (a good one she used on a previous house) came around to do a survey and take some photos but has refused to comment on the work or offer a quote because he knows the roofer that was subcontracted on the build. Being in a semi rural area in N Wales it is difficult to get quotes for work and even harder to get them to do the work.

    At the end oft he day I guess she will have to cough up and try to get some redress in the small claims court if the builder can be traced.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd 2018
     
    Posted By: revorI am concerned that I myself have trusted my BCO to inspect my build particularly important stuff like the foundation trench before the concrete pour. Surely if I am paying the local authority for such a service they should exercise reasonable care and skill in doing this and be answerable if they get it wrong. I have personally paid for this service so in that respect they are contracted to me. They are the final arbiter on whether the trench is deep enough not the contractor who excavated it.

    The architect is ultimately responsible for the depth of the trench, and the clerk of works for whether it was built according to the design. Now who took those roles on your project may be different people or different labels, but neither of them is building control.

    AIUI, it's exactly the difference between 'exercise reasonable care and skill' and 'be answerable if they get it wrong' that is the issue in those links. It's all about what happens if there are mistakes.
  1.  
    IMO the roof problem could be a bag of worms, as the law as I understand it is less than clear about where the liability between main and sub contractor lie. E.G. who supplied the roofing felt for the roof, what does the build contract say (if anything) about sub-contractor liability.

    What I would do here, if it went to court, is to sue both the main and the sub contractor and their respective solicitors would have to argue the responsibilities with the last man standing carrying the can - but of course its different over there.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2018
     
    Posted By: revorHowever when she made the claim the insurers have calculated she needs to make a contribution as calculated under policy excess, of over £1000.
    Small Claims Court is the route I would go.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2018
     
    Make sure you get a copy of the Warranty and check what is covered and what it says about the excess. Does it mention an excess?

    As I understand it warranty companies are usually liable for things that degrade or fail but wriggle out of anything that could be considered a quality issue with the original workmanship. They are likely to argue the original workmanship was fine because it didn't leak when she moved in!

    In short I suspect you might get further arguing the roofing felt has failed prematurely rather than arguing the original build quality was inadequate.

    I am concerned that I myself have trusted my BCO to inspect my build particularly important stuff like the foundation trench before the concrete pour.


    https://www.barrellison.co.uk/legal-news-and-views/building-control

    Extracts...

    Can I bring a claim against Building Control?

    The answer is ‘no’, save in limited circumstances. The recent decision of R (Gresty and another) v Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council confirms this.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2018
     
    Small Claims Court is the route I would go.


    Against who? Builder can't be traced.

    You could try taking the LABC warranty provider to court but they appear to have agreed the claim subject to the excess.
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