AUSTIN LAFFERTY - laying down the law

I AM writing for your advice regarding a new roof which we had installed at our home in April of this year.

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The work was given to a company subcontracted to another company.

I was not happy with the work and now, despite a 10-year deal, water has begun to come in. The subcontractors say they are owed so much by the main contractors that they would have to charge us for any further work.

We are a couple in our 70s and would find it difficult to have another roofer charge for repairs.

SADLY you may need to take legal action against the main contractors if that is who you signed up with.

That may mean either seeking a court order to get them to do the repairs, or you pay for the work by another firm, and claim that back from the company.

It might be that a lawyer's letter is enough to jog them into action and prevent a court case. Also, speak to your local authority trading standards people.

MY EMPLOYER is making noises about sacking me due to long-term absence from work.

I have been ill with a chronic back problem over nearly a year. But surely I cannot be sacked for this?

EMPLOYERS have a right to expect staff to come to work, and if that is not practical, to dismiss - eventually.

The employer must not act impulsively, and must inquire as to whether the employee will recover in reasonable time, if there is any alternative work, and that proper medical evidence is available to help a fair decision being reached.

I was a bus passenger and was thrown from my seat when the driver braked suddenly. He said an old lady had walked into the path of the vehicle and that he had no choice but to stop quickly to avoid hitting her. I have tried to make a claim but the bus company's insurance says it was not the driver's fault.

BUS drivers have a duty to drive with due care and attention for ALL affected by their driving including you, and it is reasonably foreseeable that sharp braking will cause passengers to lose balance if there are no seat belts.

Was he driving too fast? Was he not paying sufficient attention to the possibility of pedestrians in a built-up area?

I think more investigation is needed.

WE MOVED into our four-year old house two years ago and noticed a defect on part of a wall.

We contacted the builder who said that as it is over two years old, the repair is nothing to do with them.

I have found out the seller complained about this before. Is it too late to do anything?

Unless the right to claim repairs was incorporated in your purchase missives, you don't have an automatic right. If the firm is NHBC registered visit www.nhbc.co.uk

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