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Important News Update

Due to the unexpected volume of claims we have been experiencing we have had no alternative but to have our computer systems upgraded, to enable us to categorise the claims into 4 sectors. We anticipate this will be completed on 26th June 2016.

All existing and new clients signed up before this date will be notified on the 26th june 2016 as to which category they will fall into. new clients after this date will be notified 45 days after submission of claims.

If any existing clients wish to withdraw from the contract before 26th June 2016 this will not affect your legal rights and the contract terms will be withdrawn.

We sincerely hope you decide to stay with us, as we feel we are best placed in this claim sector to ensure your potential property claim will be resolved depending on the category you fall into.

There are 4 categories of claims as such.

  1. Category 1 claims: 3 – 6 months handling period
  2. Category 2 claims: 6 – 12 months handling period
  3. Category 3 claims: 12 -18 months handling period
  4. Category 4 claims: 18+ Months

Please note: Claim applications are computer managed until categorized and this process takes approximately 45 days to complete following which you will firstly notified by email and then be contacted by a member of our team to begin the claim process.

 

regards

Tony Mulligan

Managing Director

 

 

 

3 Million Homes Could Be Affected By Faulty Cavity Wall Insulation

Poorly insulated homes are likely to lose heat through the walls.

Jeff Howell of the Telegraph has been ever vigilant in his campaign against cavity wall insulation and has just recently received a letter from Amber Rudd, who promised to review the workings of the cavity wall insulation (CWI) industry and implement changes. Howell reports that she has failed to do so and instead wrote a letter to the Telegraph, berating him for “failing to recognise that the vast majority of CWI installations (over 99 per cent) go ahead without any problems”.

There are, however, no official figures to back this claim up, as the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) states only two in 1000 installations are affected by problems (around 12000 of the six million homes covered by CIGA), while the figure stated by Rudd would be equal to around 54000 homes that have experienced problems. There has been a lack of independent studies to validate either claim properly.

It is also the case that CWI defects may not be attributed to the insulation, as they often occur a few years later. They are never investigated and will thus go unreported as having any problems, even when the home is damp. Alternatively, there may be no physical signs of damp but the homeowner has not noticed any reductions in heating costs since the insulation has been installed, or their home may even be colder.

There are also those whose homes have become damp and they have reported this, only to be ignored completely, or told the damp is not the fault of the installer or CIGA. None of these complaints are registered and thus go unreported by CIGA and the government.

IRT Surveys Ltd has conducted a study of 250,000 UK homes, and has found that half of the cavity-walled homes it investigated have damp, slumped or missing insulation. If this figure is true for the rest of the properties that have CWI installed, it would be the case that 3 million homes are affected by cavity wall insulation problems. If all three million were to claim, CIGA could only give £6 to each guarantee holder.

Read the full article via The Daily Telegraph.

Could Cavity Wall Insulation Become The Next Big Blunder?

Jeff Howell of the Telegraph has often campaigned about the dangers of cavity wall insulation. In an editorial, he outlines why it is often ill suited for most cavity walls and what he has done to raise the issue to parliament.

More and more people are coming forward about their issues with cavity wall insulation damp.

He united three Telegraph readers, who formed the Cavity Wall Insulation Victims Alliance after their installations went wrong. They have since been unstinting in their attempts to make their voices heard about the dangers of cavity wall insulation. They have succeeded in gaining a parliamentary debate, secured by John Denham MP. We covered this in more depth in a previous article.

MPs described victim’s cases, with common features in each case. They all included the presence of cold-calling salesmen advertising cavity wall insulation, describing insulation as “Government-funded”, which was not the case. In fact, most operations were funded by the major energy suppliers, with fines applied to the installation companies if they did not meet insulation targets.

Another feature in common was the role of the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency, which issues 25 year guarantees from CIGA. CIGA was set up by the insulation industry and claims to be an independent company. Denham pointed out that it was not independent from the industry as it is owned by directors who also own companies within the insulation industry.

Mr Denham concluded that CIGA co-operates with installers to hide evidence of failure and poor installation, as well as taking active steps to ensure that installers do not have to put things right.

Cavity wall insulation problems are not revealed when they are first installed, hence a recent surge in news stories regarding the problems. They are revealed after a few winters of wind driven rain, and by this point people may have forgotten that they had cavity wall insulation installed and thus not attribute the problem to this. Alternatively, some may not have seen a promised reduction in heating bills despite not seeing any visible problems.

It is important to report any problems you may be experiencing with retrofit CWI, as more and more people are coming forward.

The full story is available on the Telegraph.

Firm That Caused Death Through Cavity Wall Insulation Fined

The beads had fallen into the flue of the gas boiler.

In one of our previous news articles, we reported that on October 9, 2012, HIS Energy Ltd performed a cavity wall insulation installation, with some material accidentally falling into the flue of the gas boiler. This led to the death of Joyce Moore from the effects of carbon monoxide.

Her son Bob Moore and two paramedics were both hospitalised for high amounts of carbon monoxide in their blood. The case has now been settled in court, and HIS Energy were made accountable for their actions.

HIS Energy LTD, who carried out the cavity wall insulation, were found guilty of a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The court heard that when HIS Energy employees visited the property on the 9th October 2012, one of the employees was aware of the blockage of the flue, but gave no warning to either resident of the home. They also did not place warning signs on the boiler or perform any remedial action – only telling them that they would have to “come back in the morning”.

The Health and Safety Executive brought the prosecution, and the firm was fined £500,000. The firm is now in liquidation.

HSE Inspector Lisa Bailey said of the company: “[They] knew about the risks from its work but its safety standards fell well below the legal minimum.”

The full story is available on BBC News.

Homeowner Let Down By CIGA In Missing Cavity Wall Insulation Incident

Terence Breslin paid for the insulation to be installed, but it never was.

The Labour MP for Southampton John Denham has brought the issue of cavity wall insulation industry standards to parliament, making his concerns clear in a speech earlier this month. He brought up the following:

• Homeowners being wrongly advised to have insulation when it is unsuitable for their property
• Sales representatives giving misleading information regarding the funding of the work
• A failure by installers and the insulation industry body, the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA), to respond to customer complaints.

Shortly after the speech delivered by John Denham MP, Terence Breslin approached the Mirror newspaper about his experience. He had checks carried out on the brickwork of his home after noticing cracks in the walls. These checks revealed that he had no cavity wall insulation, despite the fact that he had paid to have the insulation installed and had seen the work being done. It had either disappeared or never been done at all.

The firm he had paid to carry out the work had disappeared, so he contacted CIGA. He was brushed off and told to contact another company, though this had little to do with the failure to carry out the original work, refusing to take responsibility for the lack of work. Terence last heard from CIGA in August 2014 claiming that they were investigating, but nothing came of this.

Gerry Miller, chief executive of CIGA, issued an apology and promised that they were “reviewing how the breakdown in communication occurred”. He added, “We will arrange for an inspection and ensure that this is resolved immediately.”

John Denham emphasised that he would like the Department of Energy and Climate Change to carry out a full review of how the industry and CIGA operate and to establish an independent assessment of properties at least one or two years after insulation, in order to understand the true scale of damp caused by CWI.

Read more at Mirror.co.uk.

Woman Takes ‘Damp Home’ Fight To Parliament

Damage damp wall

A typical wall suffering from damp due to poorly installed cavity wall installation.

According to the South Wales Argus, Pauline Saunders has decided to take the fight for redress from wrongly installed cavity wall insulation to parliament, with the aim of making it easier for victims to claim redress for their damages.

Pauline Saunders, from Malpas, Cheshire, had insulation installed in her semi-detached home, built in 1964, after a salesman approached her regarding the matter. After having a damp free property for years, in 2014 she was stricken by damp. The wallpaper bubbled and wood panelling was mouldy. The hallway walls, landing and stairs area were all damp to the touch.

After this, she contacted Mark Group about the problem. The surveyor they sent who looked at her property blamed maintenance issues. Saunders then asked a Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) surveyor to inspect the property, with the knowledge that they offer 25-year guarantees for if the installation goes wrong. She specifically asked about rubble in the wall cavity, which bricklayers would toss there before building regulations became more stringent.

She insisted on the surveyor using a boroscope to inspect inside the cavity, but the surveyor told her that no debris was present. She knew that cavity wall insulation should not be carried out if there is debris within the cavity, and only realised that the debris was there when her husband removed a brick from the wall.

She did eventually receive £1,750 and the Mark Group removed the insulation, but she only received this after a report on the property was sent to her in error, stating: “The property was and is unsuitable for cavity wall insulation and should not have been insulated.”

MP John Denham raised her case in a debate in parliament, which Saunders watched. He said that without the report, she would not have received a payout, and those whose cavity wall insulation goes wrong can find it near impossible to gain effective redress.

The Chief Executive of CIGA, Gerry Miller, issued an apology and promised that more cases would be solved.

Read the full story on South Wales Argus.

Has Poorly Installed Cavity Wall Insulation Caused Its First Death?

A court was recently told about the death of an elderly woman due to cavity wall insulation blocking her chimney and resulting in her suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

After receiving a cold call from a cavity wall insulation company, she agreed for the insulation to be fitted in her home for free. Things took a dramatic turn for the worst when she was discovered collapsed on her bed. She had died from inhaling toxic fumes that had flooded her bedroom.

So how can something that seems like a simple process such as cavity wall insulation, lead to a tragic death of a person? According to the Manchester Evening news, it started with a string of events beginning with workmen drilling and injecting the walls with insulation beads made from polystyrene.

It was reported that although everything appeared to be safe, the lead technician noticed that beads had spilled out of the wall and landed around the boiler which was placed in the garage. Work was then halted and a smoke test revealed that the flue of the boiler had in fact became blocked.

It was alleged that the company installing the cavity wall insulation would have to return in the morning, resulting in the company being accused of failing to follow correct safety procedures despite the flue being blocked.

The cavity wall installation company apparently informed the elderly lady’s son not to turn on the heating but failed to follow industry safety guidelines. This states that a heating engineer should have been called out to turn off the gas supply and that warnings should have been place on the boiler.

After being investigated by the health and safety executive, they stated that there was ‘a complete lack of guidance’ on the matter.

Unfortunately later that evening when the temperatures dropped, the heating was turned on. The elderly lady’s son to wake up a few hours later ‘feeling dizzy’. Checking on his mother he found her to be slumped on the bed unconscious. Unfortunately the lady died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

You can read the full story on the Manchester Evening News Website.