12:00 PM, 18th January 2019, About 2 years ago 7
I’m hoping someone may be able to provide some guidance. I purchased a newly converted ground floor flat over a year ago. It was previously a large Victorian house that has been split into a number of flats. Shortly after moving in I noticed a gap between the flooring and skirting board alongside one wall (this isn’t noticeable in other rooms). One neighbour (on first floor) also commented he had the same. When I pointed this out to the freeholder she sent the builder round who said it needs to wait a year for the movement to settle.
It has now been a year and the gap is almost an inch! The builder came round again and said the insurance on his building work no longer applies as it’s been a year. He said that the gap was caused by the timber joists shrinking and best solution is to lower the skirting board to hide the gap and repaint the area. Having spoken to several professionals (timber specialists, carpenter and an architect) they said it is not normal for a gap that large to appear and it could be a structural defect/shoddy workmanship. They advised I should get a structural engineer to take a look.
I also have another issue with one of the window panes. I spoke to the lease advisory service and they said I have no come back as I bought the property as is. The freeholder did not take out NHBC but they are not required to for conversions.
My question is what are my rights? If I pay for the structural engineer and they say there is a defective is the freeholder responsible? I’d like to think I have a good relationship with the FH, but at the same time I know she doesn’t want the hassle of these issues and has been passing me off to the builder. However, I don’t feel I should be the one trying to sort this out with the builder as my contract is with the FH. Also she has retained 3 of the flats and I’m guessing she might have this issue in her flats too. I paid a significant premium for the flat which was advertised as “luxury” so I’m not expecting to see gaps in the flooring!
Before I contact the FH I’d like to know where I stand so if anyone has some legal knowledge I would be very much appreciative for some guidance!
Thanks so much in advance!
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