Bit of a long one, so, apologies
In July 2012 we purchased an isolated old farm house up in Ain. Due to its location etc (and the mairie refusing to cash up to supply electricity to the tiny commune..) in rder to live here, we had to install solar panels for power, and solar heating panels and a cuisiniere for hot water and heating.
We, of course, met with several companies and awaited their quotes. We then chose a company, did all the usual FAQ's, are you insured? yes. Decinal? Yes. Are the installers your employees, or are they contractors? No, no, they work for me, they're not contractors.. Two week installation, due to commence September 19th 2012
In total, the cost was around the 54k mark, we paid 23k upfront for materials etc.
So september 18th we get a call, we cant start tomorrow... deep breath;;;
They started the work in october, and within a day or two my wife was concerned. Tiles were being left off over night (in the rain), broken tiles we in place... i shall just point out now that the roof was in perfect condition before their arrival
So, although we had many discussions with the guy regarding our concerns, yes, yes, it will be done today or tomorrow..
Pipes were leaking, new fittings were rusted within days (??!), roof tiles, broken surrounding the brackets that secured the panels to roof and at this point the two week installation started in oct was now the back end of november.
Throughout all of the installation, my wife repeated on several occassions to the installers and the owner, that no further payments would be made until the system worked as it should, the installation was to our satisfaction and all damages repaired...
All over christmas and new year 2012 the weather was horrendous, my wife was house bound unable to leave due to all the leaks, someone had to be there 24/7 in order to catch and empty all the leaks. We had water running down our lights, walls, lintels, ceilings bulging..
So we decided to get out a huiser to note the damage and send a copy of the report to the company ( who at this point were saying, there were no issues, and they were satified with the installation..
In January 2013 we agreed for them t come out and repair the broken roof tiles and leaks. They fixed half of them. But obviously there was the other half and still all the leaking pipework etc. So we made a payment to him for the section of work they had 'repaired'... within a week, everything was broken again and we could see properly why. The brackets had been placed unevenly, ranging from 100cm to 170cm.. Mre leaks, worse than last time.
Within days of having made this payment we received a court letter for non payment!
So, to cut a long story short, a court appointed expert has compiled a report (taken from jan 2013 until december 2013 to complete??!)
During this investigation, his employees are infact contractors. The company we employed have NO insurance what so ever, and what he does have dos not cover the type of business he is doing..
We have now discovered after MAAF the contractors insurance have aggreed to the repairs, damages, compensation in general... the insurance was not actually paid for and infact they have not been insured since 2011...
We are left with no hot water or heating (living in the alps) since February 2013, a leaking roof, and a solar system that gets minimal charge as the wiring is inverted
Our solicitor wants us to pursue him personally for his assets and have him arrested, criminal damage, no isurance etc etc..
I have no idea how we are going to repair this ourselves.. It was quoted to cost 44k to repair, i have around 12k spare..
Do you think its worth pursueing him?
Do you think our house insurance can help with the repairs?
Advice- even if you're shown an insurance certificate, it means nothing.
The french system is a joke
If anyone has any useful advice please offer it ha