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Not being charged for a service - where do I stand legally ?

(6 Posts)
EllyGee85 Thu 27-Aug-15 19:47:39

We bought our house of an investor who had skimmed all the ceilings. I had an asbestos company round because I was concerned the investor may have concealed artex and we have done and may need to do work to the ceilings. Man from the company said that he could tell from the light fitting that there was not another ceiling under there which concealed artex and wrote a letter to us on the company's headed paper to confirm this. Having not received an invoice, I chased it up. He has told me there is no charge for his site visit and letter. If it turns out that he is wrong and there was asbestos containing artex there, would he be liable for giving misinformation as he hasn't charged us or would the fact that we haven't paid mean no contact took place?

wowfudge Thu 27-Aug-15 22:22:29

Ask him to provide you with a written report confirming his verbal report for a fee.

EllyGee85 Thu 27-Aug-15 23:15:47

He has done a written letter. But not charged...

Collaborate Fri 28-Aug-15 07:34:00

Whether or not you were charged, you are still owed a duty of care. The firm is only as good for any damages if their assets would cover it, or if their insurance policy would.

This is not uncommon. They are effectively offering a free quote, and that includes an appraisal of whether or not the work is necessary. I had it, oh, 20 years ago with a house I bought. The damp contractor levied a small charge as they were fed up with giving advice for free. My wife, a few years earlier, got the same company to give the same advice for free.

Only difference was that she didn't need any work doing but I did!

wowfudge Fri 28-Aug-15 07:45:05

I've just re-read your OP and I don't think he has answered your query anyway as no testing has been carried out. But, his experience may tell him that based on the age of the property the artex will not contain asbestos.

SacredHeart Fri 28-Aug-15 07:50:29

You cannot guarantee anything by sight alone with asbestos, what he has done is an educated (well educated) guess.

If you really are worried ask for a full asbestos report with checks and that you are willing to pay for this for peace of mind. But be aware that can involve disturbing the asbestos as he would need to drill/scrape etc to get to the previous ceiling.

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