Sunday 19 January 2020

Workmen broke my kitchen counter

Q Brian purchased a kitchen for €9,800. He removed the old granite worktop, having already sold it for €300 and stored it in his kitchen.

However during the installation of the new kitchen the workmen moved the stored granite and cracked it.

He advised the company and "after several phone conversations it was agreed that they would deduct €200 from the final instalment I owed them".

But after paying the final instalment, Brian says he received a letter from them stating he owed €200 and that his warranty wouldn't be in place until he paid it.

He writes "when I rung them to discuss this, the manager I spoke to admitted this deduction had been agreed but pointed out that I had nothing in writing."

Brian asks, "do I have any rights?"

AThe company damaged Brian's property carrying out their service. They are now liable.

Under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980 it says that a service (ie kitchen fitting) has to be carried out with necessary skill and due care and diligence and all parts should be of merchantable quality.

The 'due care and diligence' part covers this in that due care was not taken in handling his property.

The fact that Brian doesn't have their acceptance of liability in writing shouldn't matter as legally speaking a verbal agreement has as much standing as a written one.

It's difficult to prove a verbal agreement, but the company accepted they were at fault, the damage caused is evident, and they are required to provide a remedy.

If they don't comply, Brian should complain in writing, and the small claims procedure is his last resort.

Irish Independent

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