1. My insurer accepted liability but the cash offer they made me, based on the scope of work they produced, was £15,000 - £20,000 less than quotes from local builders. The offer was less than half what other people on my street have settled for. Therefore, as I could not accept this offer, they employed one of their 'approved' contractors to carry out the work. This, as it turned out, a company based ‘over the border’. Though some of the people who have worked on the house are from ‘over the border’, the work is mainly being carried out by builders from a ‘big city in Lancashire’.
Throughout the process, much of the work has been shambolic, unprofessional, unethical and incompetent.
The plaster work is poor, the new kitchen is damaged, the floor has been fitted incorrectly, the door frames and doors have not been replaced and the tiling / paintwork is poor. The house has been neglected, never cleaned or sanitised and is still filthy. I have tried to get resolution but they have not reacted well and it is clear that my complaints are falling on deaf ears. It has got to the stage where I actually feel intimidated in my own house.
The insurer has one standard response, which is that I have to wait until the work is complete, take some pictures and send them in. They actually appear to be condoning the work and certainly are not treating me fairly.
I am now having to employ a chartered surveyor to carry out a post work investigation, which will I hope strengthen my formal complaints. I also have other witnesses on board. Of course I have been told that the builders will wave paper in front of me next week for me to sign, in which I have to state that I am satisfied with the work. I have been told by a number of reliable people that I must not sign anything and to be prepared to resist, even if the situation becomes threatening.
My battle is not over for fairness and justice. This battle could rage on for another few months as I struggle with the insurers and the builders to get a fair deal. I fully expect to have to go to the Financial Ombudsman which will be a time consuming and stressful process. If not I will have to fund a reinstatement of the reinstatement, a process which will eat up my life savings.
Will I ever get my life back on track? My house, my life, my health will never be the same again after this. We are damaged goods, prey to unscrupulous insurers and cowboy builders. If this happens again, I will not and can not go through this again.
We need help as our voice is not heard.