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Simple Procedure - Uninsured cleaner

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  • Simple Procedure - Uninsured cleaner


    I am in the early stages of the Simple Procedure process raising a claim of damages against a cleaning business advertised as "Fully insured".

    During cleaning of the cooker and hood, the cooker hood has been pulled from the wall which has smashed the ceramic glass top on the range cooker below and cost me 350 to repair.

    The cleaner is refusing liability, she admitted, in tears, that she is not in insured, despite her website and business facebook page advertising as Fully Insured. I contacted Trading Standards and raised a formal complaint. She has responded saying the cooker hood installation was poor and asking for photographs of the fixtures.

    The cooker hood was installed in 2017, its been used daily since, its been cleaned regularly since. It weighs 5.5kg and is installed into a plaster board wall using 4 x metal self drilling rawl plugs that are spec'd to safely support 8kg per fixing. No matter what fixings were used, it is a plasterboard wall, an item that is only fixed at the back with excessive force or weight applied at the front of the unit will always cause some form of damage.

    The cleaner stepped onto a plastic collapsible step, placed directly onto the lino floor which was greasy and wet, she had failed to put any covering down during the cleaning of the oven and the soles of her shoes have left greasy foot prints on the lino, showing they were also greasy and wet. I believe her unsafe work practices have caused her to slip and she's grabbed the hood to prevent a fall ripping it from the wall in the process. I do have photographs of all of this.

    Just looking for opinions on if this is a clear cut case or I will be challenged on the quality of the cooker hood installation.

    Thank you
    Tags: None

  • #2
    I mean, you will be asked to provide photographs as evidence anyway. It will be up to the Sheriff as to who wins, all you can do is provide your side and they shall provide theirs.

    Out of interest, was the cleaner acting as a sole trader or do they have a limited company?
    ----- DISCLAIMER -----

    I am a former trainee Sheriff Officer who became disillusioned with the Scottish legal system so left the industry. I will offer insights from my first-hand experience, but *I am not a legal professional and you should always seek independent legal advice before acting on anything I say*.


    • #3
      Thanks. I thought the same, however the cleaner is saying it'll cost me a fortune to take her to court, the burden of proof is on me and she doesn't have to prove anything and pretty much wished me luck in trying to ever prove that on that specific day at that specific time the hood was installed correctly and not weekend in any way.

      It's a business but it is not a Limited Company as i have since searched Company House. There is a lot of "we" do this "we" do that on the businesses Facebook page, Google business page and the businesses website however in reality it is just her.

      She is advertising as a Fully Insured business when she does not have any insurance in place. She has said that is not relevant to my case and if she had insurance or not she would be disputing my claim.

      I completely understand that she did not intend to cause any damage at all and that sometimes accidents happen however I believed I was hiring a professional, fully insured cleaner.

      I haven't paid her anything but before the damage occurred I asked if she would be leaving an invoice and she told me it was cash or bank transfer straight after the job before she leaves the property.

      I am already hundreds of pounds out of pocket, however it doesn't sit right with me that she just shrugs and walks away from this and moves on to the next cash in hand Job.

      Kicking myself for not digging deeper beforehand.


      • #4
        I wonder why she claims it will cost you a fortune.
        Simple Procedure costs are limited, and IF you should lose expenses awarded to the other party are capped at 150 for claims upto 1500


        • #5
          Trying to scare me into dropping it I think.

          I don't feel I should.


          • #6

            She claims it fell off the wall as she wiped it. I claim shes slipped on the foldable, plastic step which was placed on a greasy wet floor and had greasy wet footprints on the footplate.

            Whilst I cannot prove the cooker hood just fell off the wall as she wiped it. My claim is based on the following:

            The hood was installed by an Accredited, Registered Company in 2017. I have emails arranging the installation and an invoice for work carried out.

            I have photos of the the kitchen when the incident occured, showing the foldable plastic stool, the greasy marks on it, the greasy footprints and pooling water on the lino around it.

            I have screen grabs and links to her business pages advertising a fully insured service.

            I have a recording of a phone call where she suggests to me I phone my house insurance and say I just found it like that one day to try and claim from them.

            I have just looked up the expenses. I am only currently trying to claim 259 as I believed it to be reasonable she was paid the 80 quoted for cleaning the range cooker as she did clean it so knocked this off the 339 cost of repair. I flit between thinking that I'm being too reasonable to it's fair enough a million times!!

            So expenses on either side cant be claimed for if value is less than 300. I think that's made my mind up for me. I am going to pursue this.


            • #7
              Well good luck with the claim.

              In case you haven't been there before here's a quick guide to the process (https://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/taking...-disputed-case).

              if you get the chance it may be useful to include the bit where she suggest you make a fraudulent claim against your insurers as it might throw doubt on her basic honesty and credibility


              • #8
                Thank you, I have bookmarked and will read through the info on the link.

                I will include the bit where she suggests I make a fraudulent claim along with how she told me in the kitchen after this damage happened that she cannot afford to pay for it and she had cancelled her insurance, despite her business advertising as Fully Insured.


                • #9
                  she has a big big problem - health/safety etc etc false advertising, does she own her own properties???? need background info


                  • #10
                    I'm not aware of her owing properties. I wrote a formal complaint letter stating my consumer rights and provided photos of the damage, her unsafe work practices eg the step, the grease, the wet floor and screen grabs from her buiness pages advertising as fully insured as well as the copy of the 339 bill it has cost me to repair the hood and cooker. She has responded to my formal complaint today requesting the following:

                    Name of company who fitted the cooker hood in 2017
                    The make and model of the cooker hood
                    close up photographs of the fixtures and holes in the wall from the damage

                    I have also seen on her personal Facebook page she is asking for opinions on which fixings should be used in the mounting of a cooker hood with an image of the ones similar to used in mine and then another toggle type. So I'm guessing that will be the source of her information!

                    I havent yet responded, I plan to, reiterating I have already provided all the information I feel is relevant. She is proven to be fraudulent and dishonest and I am not willing to share any more details about myself or my property.


                    • #11
                      I forgot to add. When I.paid a fitter to reinstall the cooker hood (which he was doing above the smashed cooker as it had not yet been repaired) he said to me, blimey what did you do swing from it. I told him what had happened with the cleaner, he was shocked and said whilst there are stronger fittings out there the ones on the back of the hood that had been used were more than adequate for the weight of the hood and excessive force must have been applied to cause all four fittings to fail simultaneously. Hes very kindly added a signed letter in with his invoice stating this.


                      • #12
                        If she is requesting pertinent information such as listed in your post 10, you should respond with it, as it could settle the claim without going to court.
                        The courts expect both parties to do their best to settle out of court, and for you it will be less stressful.


                        • #13
                          Okay thank you, I didnt take close up photos of the wall or fixings and the wall was patched up within an hour and the hood was reinstalled the morning after.

                          I took photos of the room as a whole showing the hood off the wall and on the cooker top and her unsafe work practices and close up photos of the damage to the cooker.

                          I will send the make and model of the hood and the report from the fitter who did the reinstallation.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MIKE770 View Post
                            she has a big big problem - health/safety etc etc false advertising, does she own her own properties???? need background info
                            Although this isn't really pertinent at this stage, it does bring up a valid point. Just because you obtain a decision in your favour, does not mean that you automatically get your money back. The reason I asked previously whether she was a limited company is because if she is not, and is carrying out business as a sole trader then you can pursue her as an individual under Scottish law. This increases the likelihood of recovering monies owed and also opens up some avenues of recovery previously closed off.

                            It does also give her the option of sequestrating herself, which, if she doesn't run a limited company, own her home/vehicles outright and have a decent wodge of cash in the bank (which it doesn't sound like she does) then she might just do that. I've seen it happen before (I used to work in civil law enforcement in Scotland) and it can leave you out of pocket.

                            It might be worth doing some digging about her to see if your chances of recovery are good before throwing good money after bad.
                            ----- DISCLAIMER -----

                            I am a former trainee Sheriff Officer who became disillusioned with the Scottish legal system so left the industry. I will offer insights from my first-hand experience, but *I am not a legal professional and you should always seek independent legal advice before acting on anything I say*.


                            • #15
                              Thank you. Thats really helpful.

                              I dont know much about her apart from the business is not listed on Company House and she has referred to herself in some correspondence as a Solo Trader.

                              She does have a vehicle and her business page shows her home address that I know she definitely stays in.

                              Unfortunately, i have asked in a public domain for others experiences with this business and I am in a queue of people seeking damages and or refunds for shoddy work (at least 2 ahead of me).

                              Customers are not being left receipts or invoices and it appears I've fallen victim of a rogue trader.

                              I wish I had noticed her Facebook business page reviews were switched off and her Yell reviews are dire.


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