Problem with services of tradesperson

Yan23 Forumite Posts: 14
Eighth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
Hi all, We recently got our bathroom tiled and got the details of the tiler through Checkatrade. At the time I was happy with his work although I did raise some concern for support of the basin (he loosened it in order to tile behind and then tightened back up when finished). 

Last week we started to notice a mouldy smell from the cupboard in the room directly behind the basin. Today i’ve investigated by removing the contents of the cupboard to find that water escapes through a crack in the waste pipe which I would say is very likely a result of his work.

It is just over 4 months since he did the work. Can anybody advise on my consumer rights and in particular the relevant timescales that would apply.

Thanks in advance.


  • born_again
    born_again Forumite Posts: 11,690
    10,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    I think you are going to have to prove, the crack is due to them.
    Given the cost of a wate pipe, may be easier to simply change it yourself.
    Life in the slow lane
  • Yan23
    Yan23 Forumite Posts: 14
    Eighth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Thanks born_again, I’m not sure how I can prove it but the facts are that the basin was not secured properly it still moves now and it is clearly associated with that. What else could’ve caused the crack in the waste pipe?

    Again, I’d be very grateful for advice re consumer rights and timescales.
  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head Forumite Posts: 6,506
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    edited 31 July at 8:43PM
    Hello OP

    There isn't any timeframes as such and there isn't anything about burden of proof for services, the legislation simply details what you are entitled to if the service does not conform (in terms of due care and skill in this instance). 

    You have the right to repeat performance and the right to a price reduction if repeat performance(s) do not make the service conform within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience. 

    Two options really, go back to the fitter and request they put it right at no cost (as per your rights) and if they don't put it right see if you can find another tradesperson to perform the fix and seek that cost as a price reduction rom the original fitter.

    Other option would be to pop over to the DIY board with some clear pictures of the problem and see if anyone can advise on whether a (proper) fix is easy and cheap and might save the headache of arguing with the fitter :)
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Forumite Posts: 2,164
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    What else could’ve caused the crack in the waste pipe?

    Lots of things could in the 4 months since the tiler's visit. Only you knows what goes on in your cupboard.

    I agree with born_again. 32mm polypropylene pipe is £1 a metre. Even a flexible connector is a fiver from Screwfix
  • Gavin83
    Gavin83 Forumite Posts: 8,569
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Could you add a photo of the damage?
  • RefluentBeans
    RefluentBeans Forumite Posts: 425
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    Have you contacted the trader? They may be more responsive than you think - if you explain it to them. Given that you had a good experience with them, I think it’s worth a punt of just asking for help before going in all guns blazing with ‘I know my rights’. Obviously if they don’t, then absolutely go in stating the rights. 

    You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. And I think the first interaction you should allow them to do the right thing off their own back before going in shouting your rights 
  • Yan23
    Yan23 Forumite Posts: 14
    Eighth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    This is the basin in question. It appeared to be supported by the bottle trap during the works and even now can move up and down slightly if I apply pressure.

    This is the cracked elbow waste directly behind the bottle trap.

    This is the damage caused in the cupboard as a result. I have had to remove the contents which included a water damaged ikea unit, the carpet, underlay, carpet grippers and plywood which was installed over the floorboards.  If these were not there or if left undiscovered for longer I expects the damage could of affected floor joists and the ceiling below.

    I am a reasonable person and have started friendly discussions with the trader. I’m not expecting him to do anything about the damage as I’ve now sorted it.  It is clearly his error and I’d like him to acknowledge that and potentially replace the waste elbow (I understand this is cheap and easy but not something I’m comfortable doing myself) or contribute for a plumber to repair. I’d also like him to tighten the basin properly to put this right.

    This is not our primary bathroom and so isn’t used all that much. The leak has genuinely only become apparent to us recently because of the smell and small patch on mould on the top of the carpet.  The traders first reaction was ‘I tiled the bathroom 4 months ago and you never mentioned any problems in all that time’ which I don’t think is reasonable. Am I expected to check for potential problems after he finished?
  • RefluentBeans
    RefluentBeans Forumite Posts: 425
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    I think being clear on what you want from him will have the best results. I don’t think you’re expected to ‘check his work’ after he’s done - other than leaving the site in an acceptable condition for yourself. If you had the knowledge to determine the technical quality of the work you probably would’ve done the work yourself. 

    You stated that you hired him under Checkatrade. I’m not sure if you’ve seen this page: 

    You should try and resolve it with the trader first. But if you booked through Checkatrade they say they guarantee the work for 12 months. I would imagine being kicked from their site would lose the trader sales leads. 

    I agree that it won’t always be evident of the fault - especially if it’s a room that you don’t use often like a secondary bathroom. The 4 months doesn’t seem that long in all honesty. But legally speaking there are no ‘timeframes’ as such. Largely because it depends on the work, the quality of resources etc. So I think if you wanted to claim via the CRA, and the trader is being obtuse, then I think it’d be a case of asking the bank to step in (if the payment was via credit) or taking to small claims court. 

    The easier way would be to go through Checkatrade. Good luck and hope it gets sorted! 
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 338.8K Banking & Borrowing
  • 248.6K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 447.5K Spending & Discounts
  • 230.7K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 600.7K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 171K Life & Family
  • 243.9K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards